Lighting All the Candles of Advent
As we light all four candles of Advent we can’t help but be reminded of the prophecy of Isaiah 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Jesus is the light, the first born of creation, foreshadowed in the first lights of creation (Genesis 1:3). On the fourth Sunday of Advent you light all four candles. The light will only be brighter on Christmas day when you light all four candles and the white Christ Candle in the middle.
The fourth candle reminds us of the peace we now have with God because our Princeof Peace has come to us as Isaiah announced in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us achild is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Princeof Peace.”
During this last week of Advent we remember the peace that Jesus brought us.He brought us peace with God. Before His one and final sacrifice for sin therewas no hope of eternal peace. Since He came to us as a babe in a manger, grewup and lived among us, He demonstrated in His life and teachings that He wasindeed a Wonderful Counselor. His death and resurrection verified to us thatHe is Mighty God as that one act has the power to save the whole world from oursins. He showed us that He is our Everlasting Father and taught us how to seeGod as our Father and His Father. Jesus’ purpose in coming to us was tomake everything right and restore us to the peace we were created to enjoy. Heis called our Prince of Peace.
The peace of advent is important to the story as the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14), which is why the fourth candle of Advent is the angel candle remembering the peace the angels foretold.
Serenity is the cry of your soul. Although you live in a world torn apart bythe realities of sin, you live with a God who brings you peace. There is a peacethat passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). Do you know that peace? If you don’t,what keeps you from lighting this forth candle of Advent, the candle of peacereceiving the message the angels brought to the shepherds? When you let the lightof Christ penetrate your darkness, you will find peace. You won’t be ableto explain what happened and why you are trusting God even though you can’tsee a way out of your problems, but you will be able to witness that there isa peace that doesn’t make sense but is just as real as if it did. May yourChristmas be blessed by receiving the Prince of Peace into your Christmas andinto your life.
Here is a prayer for the fourth Sunday in Advent:
Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who live in discord and strife have found peace in the promise of eternal life, through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.