Advent: Joy!!!…Yowzer Y’all

This candle is the candle of Joy or the candle of the shepherds. People ask, why shepherds? Why not someone…more important? Shepherds were not outcasts, but they were smelly, kind of rednecky, low on the totem pole of professions. But King David, from whom Jesus descended, was once a shepherd. Jesus was often likened, in prophecies, to be the shepherd of His people. Two songs for you today – Angels We Have Heard on Highand Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy).

And Bethlehem? Little backwater Bethlehem? David was born in Bethlehem. Prophets said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, and He did!!! When Jesus was born, in a very messy, human way in a stable, He became accessible to all of us. He was one of us – people put their children in His lap and to play around Him, His feet were callused from much walking, His hands knew hard work.

In God’s perfect time, in the perfect place, Jesus was born. Angels appeared to the shepherds and gave them news of very great joy. Right now, in the city of David, a Savior is born. Run! Go see Him! Be joyful!  Joy for the World.

Advent: Love

This second candle is sometimes called Mary’s candle or the Bethlehem candle as well as love. I stand in amazement and awe that God loves us all so much. His Son came willingly to dwell among us because He loved us so.

The Magnificat – Mary’s Canticle of Praise Luke 1:46-55

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.

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