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Lighting a Pink Candle

Traditionally, the third week of Advent is when you light the one pink candle on your advent wreath. It’s interesting to ponder how traditions like this get started. I have to wonder if a church did not have enough purple candles one year, so they used a pink one and attached a spiritual meaning to it that made it a tradition. As you light the pink candle, it calls you to pause and truly drink in the meaning of the season and the anticipation of Advent that is growing as you wait. It also makes you think about how great the light of Advent is becoming. It encourages you to see that Jesus brings ever brighter light the more we wait and watch for Him.

In the third week of Advent we celebrate the joy the shepherds felt as they weretold the good news about the birth of our Savior in Bethlehem. There are manyreasons that we rejoice here on earth, but I have never felt greater joy thanspiritual joy. The joy of the redeemed is the pinnacle of joy. I’m notsure if you have been around a new Christian lately, but their joy after receivingJesus Christ into their hearts is uncontainable. Isaiah 35:10 describes the joywe feel when God’s promises come true in our own hearts: “And theransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlastingjoy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow andsighing will flee away.” Do you remember when you felt joy like that afterbelieving in Jesus Christ? I don’t remember my own joy, but I do rememberthe joy I have witnessed in others who have just come to know Christ as theirpersonal Savior. The bad things in their lives may not have changed, but theyhad a spiritual joy that passed understanding.

That’s the joy the shepherds felt when their hearts fully accepted themessage the angels came to bring. Their hearts were transformed from fear toaction and finally to joy. When the angel first appeared to them they were terrified.After the angels left, they were willing to obey the heavenly messenger’sinstructions. When they met Jesus and saw with their very eyes the Son of Godcome to man, they were filled with joy. They had so much joy in fact, that theytold everyone they knew about Jesus. “The shepherds returned, glorifyingand praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just asthey had been told” (Luke 2:20).

Have you received the message in your heart that Jesus was sent by God to saveyou from your sins? Do you glorify and praise God in your heart for the promisesHe has shown you? Whom have you told about Jesus? Advent is a season to spreadthe joy of the birth of God’s Son and the hope He brings to all who liveon earth!

Lord God we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who brings great joy. We who have walked in the shadow of the valley of death have found life in the resurrection of 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.

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