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We begin this week's Advent with a recap of The Prophecy Candle ~ The First Week of Advent, The Bethlehem Candle ~ The Second Week of Advent, and The Shepherds Candle ~ The Third Week of Advent.
The Kings’ Candle
(The Fourth Week in Advent)
Grandfather: “Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Grandchild: Light the fourth red candle and ask,: Why do we light four candles?
Grandfather: The first candle is a reminder of the light of hope of the prophets. The second candle is a symbol of the light and warmth Joseph and Mary found in the stable. The third candle reminds us of the great light and joy which surrounded the shepherds at the announcement of Jesus’ birth. The fourth candle reminds us of the light of the stars in the sky which guided the Wise men to Jesus and which keeps watch over us by night.
Let’s read the story of the birth of Jesus as Matthew wrote it.
Adult: “The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel,’ which is translated ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-24)
Adult: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born. ‘In Bethlehem of Judea,’ they told him, ‘because this is what was written by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah: because out of you will come a leader who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. When you find Him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship him.’ After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.” (Matthew 2:1-12)
Everyone sing: We Three Kings
We three kings of Orient are:
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Grandfather: Father, when we think of Christmas we think of love and lights and gifts and happy times. But most of all, we think of Jesus, born in a manger and grown up as a loving teacher. Help us to live the way Jesus teaches us so that we may show the real meaning of Christmas.