This weekly series is brought to you by OBHC President, Greg McNeece. Click here to learn more about Greg. From our OBHC family to yours, we are delighted to share the joy of Advent.
Week Three: “Shepherd Candle”
As a part of the Advent season, you will light three candles, the two purple from last week and then your pink candle this week.
To review, the first week, we lit a purple candle which is called the Prophecy candle. It reminds us of how God spoke to His people through the prophets, offering them the hope of a Savior. The purple candle from week two is known as the Bethlehem candle. This candle reminds us that God came to us in humbleness and simplicity.
The third candle of the Advent season is traditionally referred to as the Shepherd candle. The shepherds sat on a quiet hilltop watching their sheep by night. They were common people like you and me. The angels announced the news of Jesus’ birth to them in the midst of their work. It was not the rich and famous who first came to the baby, it was shepherds. They responded with wonder, curiosity and faith as they sought the Savior whom the angels proclaimed. The shepherds sought their Savior in the baby Jesus.
As we share in this week’s Advent celebration, we need to spend time focusing on what took place in and around the stable. Think on the people more than the environment. The scripture for today will shift from where we have been on the Old Testament, to a very familiar passage in the New Testament.
Today, you will light the two purple candles you have previously lit (the Prophecy candle) and the Bethlehem candle). Now, light the pink candle (the Shepherd candle).
Read Luke 2:15-20 Holman Christian Standard Version
When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
If you think back to the time and culture of the birth of Jesus, what do you know about shepherds? Share what you know or tell what you think it was like being a shepherd during those days. Did you know that shepherds were young men predominantly in their early to mid-teenage years? Is there a job that you feel is comparable in our society to that of a shepherd? Share what you think it would be like if a “birth of Jesus” event happened in our culture to people who are comparable to the shepherds.
Amazing Father, I stand amazed at your work through the birth of Jesus. I should never be surprised how you orchestrate things in this life. Just as you used people who society defines as “lowly and dirty,” many times I inadvertently classify people in ways I should not. I actually need to help people of all walks of life. When I do think about others, I then realize I am not only encouraging them, but I potentially am affirming your call upon their life. Thank you for calling me to salvation and helping me to remember that I and others are a part of your plan of salvation. Amen.