Advent- JOY! The Shepherds’ Candle

joy candles   Today marks the beginning of the third week in Advent. The candle for this week is pink, symbolizing the joy of the Shepherds upon hearing of the birth of the long awaited Savior of the World.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 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.” [Wow! What a surprise.]

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

~Luke 2:8-20 (NIV)

     Have you ever had an angel speak to you? No, me either. But the image of my conversion at the Church of the Ascension on 5th Avenue and West 10th Street in NYC remains a vivid confrontation between God and myself. I lost. He won. My prayer of commitment was simply “I give up! I cannot fight with you.” Hopefully, your turning to Christ was not as dramatic as mine.

     People respond to Christ in many different ways. Surely, my introduction pales in comparison to the announcement to the shepherds on that quiet night in Israel so many years ago.

     But it didn’t stay quiet, did it?!? Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. Well…, that should have aroused them! Seriously!

     May this third candle in Advent interrupt your life to give you l-o-n-g moments of joy as you look forward to this Christmas and to the return of our glorious King.

     Just keep out of the way of shepherds running.

Merry Christmas

Gary

NEXT ADVENT 4— The Angle’s Candle— Peace on Earth: good will toward men

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