The candle set that I have pictured and that we have been using here is one I “made” for the Youth Group. It isn’t the correctly color scheme. It it didn’t come from an official religious artifact store. It is a collection of scented candles from Wal-Mart. It was painted by Youth Group alumnus Megan Osborne.
I bring this up because the Love candle is the one that gets lit the least, next to the Christ Candle in the middle. The majority of the youth think that this is the best smelling candle and wish we could just light it all the time for that reason.
Despite the humble origins of this Advent Candle set, I believe that it has been sanctified by the love that has been put into it and the love that surrounds it.
Let’s light that Love Candle:
One: Love’s memory is long.
As we come to the last Sunday of Advent,
we recall the many times we have been here before
with still so much to do
and so much love left unexpressed.
The Hebrew Bible lesson today recalls a promise to King David,
which the church has often understood
to be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
Love’s promise is often kept in unexpected ways.
All: God’s love endures forever.
In a world where even evergreens turn dry and brittle,
God’s love is the one reality on which we can rely.
Today we prepare for the greatest expression of that love,
as we listen once more for the Word in the words.
One: A reading from the Second Book of Samuel, Chapter 7, verses 10-11; 16.
I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies… Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.
All: God’s love endures forever.
Through acts as simple and common
as the birth of a baby,
God transforms the world,
and God’s promises are kept.
It is that expression of faithful love
we anticipate and celebrate this day.
It is that promise that brings light to our deepest night.
One: So, as we light the fourth candle
in eager anticipation of God’s greatest promise fulfilled,
what else can we do but name this candle Love?
I would add that not pictured is the green hula hoop we use to signify a wreath. I forgot to bring a wreath and the youth decided that a green hula hoop could have the same meaning as a wreath.
The green of the wreath symbolizes continuous life. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life we find in Christ. A green hula hoop has the same qualities and therefore can symbolize the same things. Plus it is more meaningful since the youth picked that out themselves.
However, the reason it isn’t pictured is because somebody stole (or more likely moved) our green hula hoop. I guess they wanted themselves some of that everlasting life found in Christ.
Liturgy of Light was written by the Rev. Michael Piazza, Dean and National Pastor of the Cathedral of Hope UCC,
Copyright 2008 Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH