Crossroads: The Candle of Joy – Shepherds


During the third week of Advent, we light the Shepherds candle, the candle of Joy. You will also be lighting the first two purple candles (the candle of prophecy and the Bethlehem candle).

Read Luke 2:8-20:

“Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, ‘Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.’ When the angels returned to heaven, shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.’ They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.”

Imagine this story: it was a dark, quiet night. The shepherds were settling in for a long night of guarding the sheep when all of a sudden this bright light shone around them and they saw an angel! In an instant, an ordinary day turned into a day they would never forget. And this angel brought the most joyful news of all—the Savior had been born! Immediately the shepherds went to Bethlehem to meet their Savior. Their lives were never the same.

They were never important people—their jobs were tiring, lonely, and dirty. And yet they were the ones to whom God sent the most important message of all, that the Savior had been born. They were still shepherds whom others still saw as unimportant. But after that night, they knew how much God cared for them and that He had come to rescue His people. He loved them. The joy of the Lord filled them that night—the joy in knowing that God is always there, that God cares, and that God had come to rescue them. Nothing could take that joy from them.

Light two purple candles first. As you light the pink candle, the candle of joy, remind your family that we have that joy as well—we know that Christ has come and Christ has saved us. We know that God is always there and that God loves us no matter what.

As a family, spend time talking about the joy we have. Remind each other this week to be joyful even when there are bad days, because God has saved us!


Thank God for the joyful news about the Savior. Ask God to show you and your family ways that you can glorify Him this week.

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.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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