Since the Advent candles serve only to count down the weeks to Christmas, they can stand for any theme that a church would like to attribute to them. Historically, certain of the candles have been given certain names like The Prophets' Candle symbolizing hope, The Bethlehem Candle symbolizing humility, The Shepherds' Candle symbolizing joy, and the Angels' Candle symbolizing peace. However, any themes or no theme at all can be used. They can simply be lighted as part of the countdown to Christmas. After all, that was the purpose of the candles for Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881)who popularized the use of them - to help young children know how close Christmas was getting! Have fun with them!
At the church I serve, we are are using these themes this year: Hope, The Way, Justice, Peace.
Here is our reading for Advent Candle #2 - The Way:
We light this candle in preparation for the coming of the Christ child. God sent the prophets to prepare the way for Jesus. John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness that a Messiah was coming. Christ is the embodiment of God's light, love, justice, and peace. We pray to walk in the way of Christ, shining with God's light, brimming with God's love, embodying God's justice, and establishing God's peace. Christ is coming. God's realm has begun. And we are God’s children who are told to prepare ourselves and who are invited to walk in the way of the Lord as we wait in hope for that glorious day.
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