This set of brief meditations and Scripture may be used in lighting the candles of the Advent wreath in worship at church or home. Each meditation uses one of the 2011 lectionary readings for that day. The readings are divided into sections that can be assigned to various persons participating, including the children. A suggested hymn from Worship & Song, The Faith We Sing, and The United Methodist Hymnal is provided, as an option, to conclude each meditation. Permission is granted to download, copy, adapt, edit, and reprint for home or congregational worship with the inclusion of the copyright citation on each copy.
First Sunday of Advent
But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come…in the evening, or at midnight, or at dawn. Keep awake. (Mark 13:24-26, 32, 33, 35, 37).
Such amazing things happen in the sky to herald the return of the Son of Man:
…Jesus, coming in the clouds
…the sun grows dark
…the moon doesn’t shine
…and stars fall from the heavens
So different from that first coming more than 2000 years ago:
…with angels singing of God’s glory and peace on earth
…with the single star guiding the way to the manger
…with shepherds and wise men — rich and poor — coming to worship
And so we watch, and wait, and stay alert, waiting again for the coming of Jesus.
And we light a single candle in preparation for that glorious day.
[Light the first candle on the Advent wreath.]
…And even if the sun should grow dark
…even if the moon refuses to shine
…even if the stars should fall from the sky
…we will have Jesus, the Light of the World, to shine brightly in our hearts, lighting our way.
ALL: COME, LORD JESUS. AMEN.
- “Until Jesus Comes,” Worship & Song, no. 3050
- “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” The Faith We Sing, no. 2173, stanza 1
- “My Lord, What a Morning,” The United Methodist Hymnal, no. 719, stanza 1