This advent, we’ll be sending out United Methodist readings every Sunday. In churches throughout advent, one candle is lit each week to symbolize preparing for Jesus. Advent is a wonderful time of reflection and preparing, it can be similar to Lent in that way. This is a time of anxious anticipation and excitement that can be very life-giving. Use these readings to prepare yourself for Jesus’ arrival!
Advent Wreath Meditations: Year C, Advent 1 (Candle of Hope)
Originally published December 2, 2012
by F. Richard Garland
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
“In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.
“And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.”
The Season of Advent is an invitation to meditate on the promises of God. Here is what the prophet Jeremiah sees:
. . . a righteous leader will spring up
. . . one who will carry out justice and righteousness
. . . one who brings salvation and safety for the people
How then do we live as those who believe that the promises of God will be fulfilled?
. . . as those who lift up their souls to God?
. . . as those who walk a path of love and faithfulness?
. . . as those who work for justice and righteousness?
. . . as those who live in the light of hope?
If we are alert to the promise of the Lord and live in the light of hope, we will be truly blessed as Christ comes again into our lives.
Candle Lighting Liturgy (this is read as the candle is being lit)
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promises I have made.
To you, O Lord, we lift up our souls: In you, O God, we trust.
The one who is coming will show us the path of steadfast love and faithfulness.
Teach us your ways, O God of our salvation. We light this candle in the sure hope that God??s promises endure.
[Here light the first Advent candle]
We will live in the light of hope as we await the coming of the Lord.
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” Stanza 1, 196, The United Methodist Hymnal
“Song of Hope,” 2186, The Faith We Sing
The Promise of the Lord by F. Richard Garland