Advent 2021 • The 4th Sunday • LOVE

Sunday, December 19th, 2021

Prayer ~

Lord Jesus, you are our Hope and we give thanks to you for the gift of salvation. You poured out your love for us on the cross, sacrificing and paying the debt of sin for all mankind. Help us to learn from your great love and teach us to love others as you do. Be with us this week as we prepare for your birth and celebration of this Advent season. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.

🌟🕯🪔🕯🪔🕯🌟

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” —Isaiah 9:2

Why Do We Light The Fourth Candle?

The fourth candle reminds us that God demonstrated His love by sending His Son Jesus to be born in a manger and suffer and die for our sins, so we may live forever with Him.

✝️ 🤍 🛐 🤍 ✝️ 🤍 🛐 🤍 ✝️ 🤍 🛐 🤍 ✝️

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16

🌟🕯🪔🕯🪔🕯🌟

The Story of Christmas: Luke 2:8-20

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Verse of the Day

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
— 1 John 4:10 —

Discussion Questions:

1. God could have wiped out all humans and started over, but He chose to sacrifice Jesus so He could rescue us. What does this tell us about God?

I actually have two answers, the first is God did this in the Old Testament with Noah and the Ark. It did not work then and it would not have worked a second time. My second answer, I believe God knew we would always make bad choices. As humans, we are born into sin from the original sin with Adam and Eve. The flood did destroy everyone except for those God saved, Noah and his family but…they too were of the same original sin and so that line continues today. I know that God loves His creation; you and I, along with every living thing and person, the only way to save us was by a single event of heavenly proportions. A gateway to God, Jesus is that gateway, Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to be in relationship with the Father.

2. How does the birth of Jesus show us God’s love?

I see God’s love through the individuals He chose to announce the birth to; shepherds, wise/learned men who studied stars; Joseph to parent and teach Jesus his craftsmanship and how to be a good man; Mary to be his mother, to care for him and love him from infant to adulthood to Jesus being her Savior. The place where Jesus was born shows us that money, power and social status are not important and have nothing to do with how good or bad a person is. Love, humility, and patience are some of the qualities of being Christlike. Jesus became one of us, in order to save us. He lowered himself and loved the least of mankind, He traveled with the unpopular, He dined with tax collectors and talked with prostitutes; He loved the unloveable. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8

3. In what ways can we allow God’s love to pour out through us into the lives of others?

I am firm in my belief that the best way for us to share God’s love and to allow His love to flow through us is by simply being real and meeting people where they are as opposed to where I may be or think that I am. Simply by being KIND to others is allowing the Spirit of God to flow freely to all we meet. Notice people, made eye contact, smile, hold doors and say please/thank you. Kindness can be infectious, when we think of self less and others more. Life was never meant to be survival of the fittest, richest, prettiest….blah, blah, blah. We are all God’s children, we are brothers and sisters! Practice mindful kindness upon yourself and then to others.

The Lighting of the First Four Candles of Advent.

🌟🕯 🪔🕯 🪔🕯🌟

Week One • HOPE

This candle reminds us of the promise that a Messiah would come, bringing peace and love to the world.

Week Two • PREPARATION

This candle reminds us that the prophets waited for a Messiah to come and save the people.

Week Three • JOY

This candle reminds us that Jesus’ birth brings joy to all who believe in Him, so we join all creation in celebrating Him.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

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