In the ancient world, various peoples lit fires to mark the turning of the light into winter’s season and to pray for the return of the light. The church has Christianized that practice in the lighting of the Advent wreath. To us, these candles are signs of the growing light of Christ who is coming again in all fullness into the darkness of our world. Until the dawning of that Great Day, we watch and wait in Holy Spirit for Christ’s coming into the darkness of our world, lighting candles of hope, peace, joy, and love; and remembering the promises of God with prayer.
We lit the first candle in hope.
We light this candle for peace.
Hear Zechariah’s song of hope for peace to the Christ child. A reading from Luke 1:76-79:
“You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Let us pray:
God of hope, Prince of Peace,
you speak peace into the world
in the Way of the Christ child.
Help us embody your peace
and live as peacemakers
that we may called children of God.
God of hope, God of peace,
into our darkness come.
Office of Theology and Worship Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)