Friday, December 23, 2016

Advent: Week 4—The Candle of Love (or the Angel’s Candle)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV)

Note:  This is a re-post from last year with some editing.  I am currently in the process of discerning about writing some additional posts looking at Jesus’ birth prophesied in the Old Testament, so there may be a few additional posts in the coming weeks (likely in 2017).

*A special time of year is upon us—the season of Advent.  On November 27, 2016, we marked the first Sunday of Advent; this post takes a look at the fourth candle.  To read the previous posts in my Advent series please see: Advent, The Candle of Hope, The Candle of Peace, and The Candle of Joy

Word Cloud creation of K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.

Love.  Throughout the Bible—the Word of God—we see His love for the whole of His creation.  He even loves His wayward, disobedient children!  The love we see and experience on earth is but a shadow of God’s love.  In a fallen, sinful world, love can be hard to come by at times.  At times, “love” does not seem much like love.  However, God’s love transcends all of this.

God’s ultimate expression of love came through sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth (see John 3:16-17).  Ultimately, Jesus freely gave His life on a cross for you and for me—for every person on earth.   

Banner, Trinity UMC--Albia, IA. Photo Credit: D. Wright

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 KJV).

In His resurrection, He won victory over death and the grave (see 1 Corinthians 15:56-57)!  We have that victory too, if we have Jesus in our heart (as our Savior)!

Advent candles and wreath--Fourth Sunday of Advent--Trinity UMC--Albia, IA. Photo Credit: D. Wright

On the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, we light the Candle of LOVE (or in some traditions, the Angel’s Candle).  Jesus Christ is love; He loves us so much—far more than we can begin to understand!  The fourth Sunday of Advent reminds us that in Jesus we have true HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE.  Hope, peace, joy, and love that is true and solid—so true and solid that it lasts for all eternity!

How have you experienced God’s love in a tangible way?  How can you share that love with others?

Word Cloud creation of K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.

The Christmas story provides so much for us—hope, peace, joy, and love—love came down so many years ago on that first Christmas Day.  The first Christmas Day changed the world!  Light stepped into darkness, that light continues to over the darkness today. 

Experiencing salvation in Jesus has changed me for the better.  Jesus’ love sets us free—free to be the person we were created to be and do what God intended us to do before He formed us in the womb (see Jeremiah 1:5). 

If you have not experienced this freedom, this love, this joy, what are you waiting for?  Jesus stands ready to welcome you to Him—He has already said “yes” to you.  Salvation is in Jesus alone; we cannot get to heaven without Jesus as our Savior.  No one gets to heaven by being a “good person”—all our good deeds are but filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6).

Christmas is a wonderful time to focus on LOVE—an emotion that is sometimes hard to come by in this world, especially during the busy holiday season when people are distracted by all the busyness.  What hope, peace, joy, and love we should feel when we deeply consider that Jesus came to this world He created to provide a way for us to be reunited with our Heavenly Father.  He did this willingly, knowing what He would endure.  He loves us so much that He did what only He could do.  Because of that, I rejoice…  What about you?

Poinsettias--Trinity UMC--Albia, IA. Photo Credit: D. Wright

Take some time prior to and on Christmas Day to truly focus on Jesus whose birth we celebrate. 

Remember the Reason for the Season!

What can you do to focus on the hope, peace, joy, and love found in Jesus?

Please do not forget your single friends, family, neighbors, or those in your church who will be alone on Christmas Day—consider inviting them to join with your family (no matter how simple and informal the gathering is)—the blessings will flow both ways!  Whatever you do, please do not tell them, “Oh, God is with you…” and then walk off, ignoring their hurting heart and heart-felt desire to fellowship with others on Christmas Day.  Do not assume they want to spend the day alone.  Your family may be the only family they will get to experience…EVER.  My prayer is that churches will not cancel services on Christmas Day—to do so is to miss the point of the day and season entirely!

Please join with me in prayer:

Father, thank You for showing us how much You love us through sending Your only Son, Jesus, to earth.  Show us how to love others with the love You have given us.  Prepare our hearts to truly celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day.  Help us to not forget why and who we are celebrating.  Remind us to truly care for those around us, especially those who need extra love and care due to their life story.  Place within us ears to hear, eyes to see, and a caring heart for others that reflects Your love and care.  Once again, show us how to be a comforting, loving presence to those around us who need to experience Your love and presence with skin on.  Jesus Christ, Immanuel—God with us—our HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE—we praise You!  Help us to truly experience hope, peace, joy, and love during this season of Advent and throughout the year.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


**Special Note: Please look for a post on Christmas Day.  It will likely be fairly short. **

Merry Christmas!


  1. Beautiful post and prayer, Kim! I will definitely take time to celebrate Jesus, the reason for the season, not just at Christmas, but each and every day.
    Love and blessings!

    1. Martha, thank you for your kind words on this post. I'm glad that you'll be taking time to celebrate Jesus on Christmas Day and every day. You are correct, Jesus is the reason for each and every day!!

      Love and blessings!


All comments are moderated. Please use care in posting comments or replies. If you wouldn't say what you are writing in person, rethink your words. Remember words can build up or tear down. Speak the truth in love.