Crossroads: The Angel Candle or Candle of Peace

advent_wreath_xsmWelcome to the fourth week of Advent, the final Sunday before Christmas!

Advent is a time of preparation, when we wait and prepare for the Christ child. Each week, you will light a new candle as we recognize the things that Christ brings to this world: hope, love, joy, and peace. Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation, for at the end of Advent we celebrate Christmas and the Christ child. For children, the waiting feels like an eternity. Each devotion during this Advent season explores what each group was waiting for: we learned about the prophets who were waiting for something they’d never see (the Messiah). We focused on Mary and Joseph, a couple waiting for the changes that come with a big transition: a new baby. Last week we learned about the shepherds, waiting for daylight when Jesus changed everything. This week our focus is on the angels, who waited thousands and thousands of years to be able to shout the good news that Jesus had come and that He would save the world.

Luke 2:8-20

The Angel Candle or the Candle of Peace

Light three purple candles and the pink candle. Say: “Today we light the last purple candle. This candle is the angel candle, or the candle of peace. This candle reminds us of the peace Jesus gives to us. We also light the other two purple candles, candles that remind us that Jesus brought hope and love to the world. We light the pink candle to remind us of the joy Jesus brings. As we light the candle of peace, we remember the angels and how long they waited to be able to tell the world the good news, that God had a rescue plan and that God was changing the world.”

Read Luke 2:9-15 and John 3:16-17. From the NIV: An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Have you ever thought about the angels in this story? Have you thought about how excited they must’ve been to tell the shepherds the GREAT news that the Savior had been born? Think about the angels for a minute. They probably knew about God’s plan to send Jesus to the world to save it. They had to wait a long time, thousands and thousands of years, before they could announce God’s plan. Throughout the Old Testament, there are angels who appeared to prophets to deliver God’s messages to them. But they had to wait until the world was ready for the best message. Then one day, God said, “It’s time! Go shout for joy and sing hallelujah because the Christ is born this day.” And off they went, appearing to shepherds to tell them how God had just changed the world.

I imagine that waiting for that moment was very hard. It was like waiting for Christmas morning to arrive, because, well, they were. For children (and for adults who love Christmas), waiting for Christmas morning feels like an eternity. As it gets closer, it still feels very far away. You count down the days and wait with anticipation to wake up Christmas morning and see what presents await. Many times birthdays are the same way. If you ever ask a child who just turned four how old they are, they will tell you that they are almost five. Their birthday could have been yesterday, and they would still tell you that they are almost five. They start talking about their fifth birthday the day after they have their fourth, and they’ll start talking about the next Christmas the day after this one. And then it seems to take forever for that birthday or Christmas to arrive.

In the time before Jesus, the angels were allowed to deliver bits and pieces of the good news. But finally, on that day when Jesus was born, finally they could announce it all. And in the blink of an eye, the world would never be the same.

Discussion

Talk about times in life when it felt as if you were waiting forever for something to happen. How did it feel when that something finally happened?

Prayer

Thank God for changing the world in the blink of an eye. Thank Him for times of waiting that teach us to listen for Him.

Be sure to check back on Christmas Day for the final post in this Advent series.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email