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PreChristmas Candlelight service

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Setting:
· Subdued lights
· Candles available as people enter
· Stations with Lord’s Supper elements
Prelude music
Welcome / order of service / instructions on Lord’s Supper / instructions on candles / prayer
The advent candles have been used throughout the ages to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Each candle represents a different person or group of persons. As light each candle and read appropriate scriptures may we worship together.
Throughout history God has spoken directly to me through His prophets. Yes – He declared warnings and at times judgment ---- but through out He continued to offer hope.
The hope of the Messiah. The King would come. Like a brilliant star into a dark world. God Himself would come. The One bringing peace. A call to His faithful to come.

I. We light the Prophets’ candle – a symbol of hope

(ESV) Numbers 24 17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.
(ESV) Isaiah 9 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone…. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
· Light candle

Come All Ye Faithful (249)

How often God would make the small great. So when the Savior came, He would come to the least place instead of the palaces of kings and emperors. He came to show His love to the seeming unimportant. The insignificant would be exalted. From the lowly village of Bethlehem the great King would come.

II. We light the Bethlehem candle – a symbol God’s love

(ESV) Micah 5 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
(ESV) Luke 2 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
· Light candle

O Little Town of Bethlehem

And to an insignificant people the Lord would come. To the ones in darkness. Shepherds who were despised by the people. But to God they were important. And what better group. Ones who modelled who He Himself was. The great shepherd who would come to gather in His lambs. He brings joy as He comes.

III. We light the Shepherds candle – a symbol of joy

(ESV) Isaiah 40 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
(ESV) Luke 2 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
· Light candle

It Came upon a Midnight Clear (251)

If nature itself could sing, it would have at His coming. The angels erupted into to the night. Heaven itself declared His glory. They declared the peace that He would bring to all that received Him as Savior. These are the ones with whom He is well pleased.

IV. We light the Angel’s candle – a symbol of the peace that He brings

(ESV) Isaiah 55 12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
(ESV) Luke 2 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Light candle

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Of course the center of it all is Jesus Himself. He comes into the darkness to bring light. The bright star pointed to Him. The brightness of the angels burst into the night. Jesus Himself is the light of the world. And some came to worship Him.

V. We light the Christ candle – a symbol that He is the light of the world.

(ESV) Isaiah 60 3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. …19 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
(ESV) Matthew 2 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
· Light candle

Emmanuel (243)

VI. Jesus came to bring light into a lost world. The darkness of sin runs from His light. He came to bring light to all who will receive Him. And those who follow Him will no longer walk in darkness.

(ESV) John 1 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. … 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
(ESV) John 8 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
And the purpose of His birth. The way that enables those in darkness to find light. The means by which He gives life? He was born to die. And with His death He paid the price for sin. His body broken in our place. His blood shed to pay the price for our sin. He offers a New Covenant through the cross.

Communion Christmas Song

Let us worship together as we reflect on the cross. His death for us. As the music plays we invite you to go to one of the stations, take the bread and juice, find a place to pray and give thanks for what He did for you. Then sit a few moments and worship. Do so individually, as a family, or in groups of friends.

VII. Come worship through the Lord’s Supper

Instrumental Music

VIII. Shine your light

He is the light of the world. And as Christians He lives within us. And He called us to reflect His light to others that still reside in darkness. we are a city on a hill.
(ESV) Matthew 5 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
(Turn off lights)
Share candle light Let us pass His light among us.

Go Light Your Candle

IX. Let us share His light tonight and everyday.

X. Pray

This concludes our service. You may blow out your candles. Please place the candles in the basket as you leave.
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