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The angel said to them “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This shall be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9-12

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In many churches special candles are lit each Sunday of Advent. The first is known as the Prophecy candle, pointing to the hope of the coming of Jesus. The second is called the Bethlehem candle, symbolic of His cradle and speaks of love some down to us through Christ’s birth.

Clearly Advent should be a time of love. The entire nation is frantically buying presents for families and friends, sending greetings to long lists of people they want to connect with and many households are buying large quantities of food and drink, gearing up for serious hospitality. So why is it that with all this love in the season, I find myself feeling more than usually impatient, resentful and sometimes just for it to be over? I suspect that I am not alone here; both husbands and wives feel the stress on their wallets, energy levels and time.

Stopping for a moment to pray together and light a candle as a sign of God’s love could be a really good way to remind ourselves of the reason for it all.

Prayer (as a couple)

Heavenly Father, we want to pause and express our worship, praise and thanksgiving to You for the birth of Your Son our Saviour. Please fill us with Your grace so that each gift and activity this Christmas time reflects Your love. Help us especially to appreciate each other. Amen

Prayer (for others)

Loving Lord, we think of … and … who have so much on their plate at this time, leading up to and including Christmas. In the midst of their busyness and concern please help them to seize moments to reach out to You and experience Your love. Amen

Final Quote

Lord Jesus Christ; we welcome You into our hearts this Advent time.

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