Imagine your kitchen table at Christmastime. Little voices giggle as little fingers flick off all the lights in the house. All that is left is darkness. And stillness.
These Advent Candle readings have become my very favorite Advent tradition because of the emotional and physical hush they bring over the house. We intentionally quiet down and listen in while watching the flickering of a single candle.
I also love that it’s something SIMPLE I can do each Advent season. It doesn’t take any prep work and I don’t need supplies, other than the candles (which last a few years).
This is the fourth of 5 Advent readings, one for each weekend of Advent and one for Christmas Eve. Receive them in printable form and emailed on each weekend of Advent by signing up here.
If you would like more info about the Advent candle tradition, pop over here.
Turn off most of the lights in the room.
SAY: Three weeks ago we learned that God’s people were waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a Saviour. Then some prophets came and told them God’s plan for sending a baby to be born in Bethlehem.
As you light the first purple candle, SAY together:
God’s people waited for the promise to come true.
SAY: Last week we learned that God sent angels to Mary and Joseph, telling them about the baby that Mary was going to have. The baby named Jesus!
As you light the second purple candle, SAY together:
God’s promise came true through Jesus.
SAY: Last week we learned about some shepherds that had a pretty wild night! They met angels and babies, and told the whole town what they had seen.
As you light the pink candle, SAY together:
Shepherds visited Jesus: God’s promise made true.
SAY: It wasn’t only people that lived close by that got to meet the baby Jesus. There were some men that lived far, far, far away. They were men who studied the stars, and were called Magi. One day they discovered a new star in the sky. They knew that it meant a new king had been born, so they packed up for a long journey and went to find the baby king.
READ: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw
the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 (NIV)
ASK: If you were a Magi, what gift would you bring to baby Jesus? (wait for answers)
As you light the last purple candle, SAY together:
Wise men searched for God’s promise, and found it in baby Jesus.
Sing “We Three Kings”.
(animated video available here)
We three kings of orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect Light
FINAL PRAYER: Thank you God that you allowed strangers from far away to meet baby Jesus. Thank you that you are still drawing in those who seem far from your love. Help us to always seek you and worship you. Amen.