Here in the week before Christmas, I am posting the advent Readings that we have been using this year at First Baptist Church. Here is the fnal reading that I have written, it is the reading for the Christ Candle to be lit on Christmas Eve.
Leaders: In the season of Advent we have used the Advent wreath and its candles to focus our minds on the truth that Christ will return in glory, and to help us get ready for this great celebration of the birth of Christ, the light of the world. Today, we light all the candles of the Advent wreath. We light the candle for HOPE because Jesus is our ultimate source of hope. We light the candle for peace because Jesus is our prince of peace. We light the candle for joy because Jesus brings everlasting joy. We light the candle for love because Jesus is God’s love incarnate. Lastly we light the Christ candle, as we celebrate the wonderful reality that Jesus the Christ, the light of the world, our glorious redeeming savior, is born
People: As we light the candles, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the light of the world, rejoicing in the incarnation of our Savior and Lord, and anticipating his glorious return. As we do this, we remember:
[Light all five candles]
Leaders: We remember the that in Christ, the infinite became finite, the one who was in very nature God, the holiest of holies, the sovereign light of the world and the one in whom the fullness of deity dwells, took on flesh and came as a helpless babe. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, holy God made flesh
People: We remember our need for a Savior who will redeem us from our sins, and that in Christ, God’s promise is fulfilled. Christ is born! We have complete victory through the birth of Christ. Eternal victory is ours both now and forever because of Christ! He alone is our ultimate source of hope, peace, joy, and love in this life, and the next. He is the savior of the world to whom all scripture points. Someday, he wills come again and bring us to his kingdom to enjoy life with him forever.
Leaders: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
People: He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:1-5, 9-13)
Leaders: Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
People: he people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:2,6)
Leaders: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. (John 8:12. Ps 145:3-4)
People: As we remember Christ’s birth, and anticipate Christ’s Glorious return, may God fill our hearts with His light and life.
Together: Great God of love and light, who revealed your light gloriously through the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we light these advent candles, remembering His birth and anticipating His return, we thank you that the light of life has entered our broken world to bring victory over evil, suffering, and death. Fill us now with the light of your love, so that we may live for your glory, and as we rejoice in the birth of your son, may we worship him, welcome him, and make room for him in our hearts. O come, let us adore him! Amen!