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Advent IV, 2014: Lighting the Candle for Love

From the order of worship for the fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

Voice: Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy. We light it and the candles of hope and peace again as we remember that Christ will come again and bring us everlasting peace and joy.

A person lights the candles of hope, peace, and joy.

Voice: The fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love. It’s light is meant to remind us of the love that God has for us.

Voice: Jesus shows us God’s perfect love. He is God’s love in human form. The bible says that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Voice: Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. Love is not quick to take offense, it keeps no records of wrongs, it does not gloat over other people’s troubles, but rejoices in the right, the good, and the true. There is nothing that love cannot face, there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its endurance. Love never ends.

Voice: We light this candle today to remind us of how God’s perfect love is found in Jesus.

Light the Fourth Candle.

All Sing: First four verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, we thank you for your gift of love – shown to us perfectly in Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bless our worship. Help us to hear and do your word. We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem. Amen.

The Biggest Obstacle to Feeling Blessed by God

How do you experience joy? How do you feel God’s blessing in your life? If either of these things is unclear, there’s one very simple thing you can do to make both of these things much more apparent.

www.gentlespirit.org

Sermon for December 14, 2014
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Atlanta, Georgia

Advent III, 2014: Lighting the Candle for Joy

The Candles of Advent (Year B)

The Third Sunday of Advent: Joy

Voice: Last Sunday the candle of peace was lit.  We light it and the candle of hope again as we remember that Christ will come again and bring to the world everlasting peace.

A person lights the candles of hope, and peace.

VoiceThe third candle of Advent is the Candle of Joy.  It reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to her – a child who would save and deliver his people.

Voice: God wants us all to have joy.  The angel who  announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born told them: “Do not be afraid.  I am bringing you good news of a great joy for all people – for to you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Voice: We light this candle to remember that Christ brings the promise of a new life – a life in which the blind receive sight, the lame walk, and the prisoners are set free.  We light it to remember that He is the bringer of true and everlasting joy.

Light the Third Candle.

All Sing: First three verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, we thank you for the joy  you bring us.  Help us prepare our hearts for this gift.  Bless our worship.  Help us to hear and to do your word.  We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem. Amen.

The First Step Toward Peace

On the second Sunday of Advent we light the candle for peace. And the first step toward peace is one we all can take: To change our thinking. It’s what Jesus’ ministry was all about.

www.gentlespirit.org

Sermon for December 7, 2014
By Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Atlanta, Georgia

Advent II, 2018: Lighting the Candle for Peace

The Candles of Advent (Year B)

The Second Sunday of Advent: Peace

Voice: Last Sunday we lit the first candle in our Advent wreath, the candle of hope. We light it again as we remember that Christ will come again to fulfill all of God’s promises to us.

A person lights the candle of hope.

Voice: The second candle of Advent is the Candle of Peace. It is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle to remind us of the place in which preparations were made to receive and cradle the Christ child.

Voice: Peace is a gift that we must be prepared for. God gives us the gift of peace when we turn to God in faith.

Voice: The prophet Isaiah calls Christ “the Prince of Peace.” Through John the Baptist and all the other prophets, God asks us to prepare our hearts so that He may come in.

Voice: Our hope is in God, and in God’s son Jesus Christ. Our peace is found in Him. We light this candle today to remind us that He brings peace to all who trust in Him.

Light the Second Candle.

All Sing: First two verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, thank you for the peace you give us through Jesus. Help us prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bless our worship. Guide us in all that we say and do. We ask it in the name of the One born in Bethlehem. Amen.

This Week’s Message

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
1 Thessalonians 5:13-15

Advent I, 2014: Lighting the Candle for Hope

The Candles of Advent (Year B)

The First Sunday of Advent: Hope

Voice: Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the Sunday in which we recall the hope we have in Christ.

Voice: The prophets of Israel all spoke of the coming of Christ, of how a savior would be born, a king in the line of David. They spoke of how He would rule the world wisely and bless all nations.

Voice: On Christmas day the Christ of our hope was born. On Good Friday the Christ of our hope died. On Easter day the Christ of our hope rose from the dead. He then ascended into heaven. On the last day, the Christ of our hope will come again to establish His realm over all things on earth.

Voice: As the followers of Christ, we await His return. We light this candle to remember that as He came to us as humbly in the manger at Bethlehem and gave light to the world, so is He coming again in power to deliver His people.

Voice: We light this candle to remind us to be alert and to watch for His return.

Light the First Candle.

All Sing: Verse One of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, we thank you for the hope you give us. Help us prepare our hearts for the Lord’s coming. Bless our worship. Help us live holy and righteous lives. We ask it in the name of the One born in Bethlehem. Amen.

This Week’s Message

Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner. Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.
James 5:9-11