Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love Candle
Sunday, December 22, 2019
“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.”
Today at church our congregation lit the candle of love and shared in a moving and encouraging sermon. We all have gifts to present to God, we are all created as unique individual and therefore our gifts will vary as well. Some have a gift of singing and they share that talent by singing in the choir. It is through this act of living into their gift others are fed the gospel of Christ. Others have the gift of great speaking voices, individuals who can grasp our attention and ignite our imaginations and prepare the rest of us to carry the message of Christ to others. Some have gifts of organization, they work tirelessly to ensure the candles are ready for every service, make sure refreshments are available during fellowship time and bulletins are printed for each service. And there’s a group of individuals who ensure all the lights are working, the heat and air are functioning properly…this list is endless and everyone has a part. If you are struggling with finding your place, look at the things you enjoy doing or things that you get excited about, find your passion and that is where you will find your gifts.
The writer today goes into great detail about God and His plans for all mankind. The word, “particular and particularly” are used many times. God had a plan, His plan was told through the prophets, His plans come to fruition. The birth and genealogy of Jesus was not an accident, each person had particular roles and responsibilities and the character of each person was specifically chosen and used by God. God knows you by name, He has a purpose and plan for you. He wants you to prosper!
“…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” ~Isaiah 43:1b
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” ~John 10:3
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” ~Proverbs 16:3-4
“Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” ~3 John 1:2 (ASV)
“Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.” ~Deuteronomy 29:9 (ASV)
Lord, you call each of us to a particular task within the building of your kingdom. Some are called to be prophetic, while others are called to serve the lowly. Some are called to sing, and others are called to organizing. Whatever you call me to, Lord, I am here. In calling each of us, may you reveal the grace of Christ to the world. ~Amen.