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Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14
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Third Sunday
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We share the glow of the light from the promise candle and the Bethlehem candle. We will now light the candle that represents the angels with the message: I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY TO ALL THE PEOPLE!


Before Jesus was born, the angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Do not be afraid”. The angel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid”. Now, following the birth of Jesus, the angel said to the shepherds and to people through the ages, “Do not be afraid… I bring you good news… JESUS IS BORN!”
Reader: Luke 2:8-14  
Leader: When Jesus was born, there were no announcement cards sent out. But people found out about it in the strangest ways.

Shepherds watching their sheep on a hillside. Young boys were helping their fathers care for the sheep. Probably one boy’s name was Joel.

“Nothing ever happens in Bethlehem,” Joel may have said as he walked alongside his father. “I wish that I could live in the big city of Jerusalem where kings ride into the city and you could do something besides take care of sheep. Nothing ever happens in Bethlehem.”

It may have been at that very moment when the light appeared in the dark sky and Joel, with all the other shepherds, saw the angel and heard the wonderful news, “Do not be afraid… a Savior is born!”

Joel may have still been staring into the sky when he felt a pull on his sleeve and heard his father say, “Son, let’s go, now, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

An angel appeared to Mary. An angel appeared to Joseph. Now an angel came to Bethlehem to make the announcement about the most exciting event in the history of the world.

Then came in the heavens the greatest choir ever as a great company of angels called out.
Reader: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace."(Luke 2:14)
Sing Together: Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph in the skies,
With angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Pray Together: Express thanks for Jesus, God’s greatest gift and thanks for each other.
Family Activity: Each member of the family is given a candy cane.
Reader: Did you know that the candy cane tells the story of Jesus?

Examine your candy cane as I read the following:
A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would tell the story of Jesus, His birth, His ministry, and His love for us shown in His death.

The candy maker began with a stick of pure white, hard candy.

He used white to symbolize the sinlessness of Jesus.

It was made of hard candy to show the firmness of God’s promise that He would send His son.

The shape of the candy cane was shepherd’s staff, reminding us of those common people who first heard the announcement of Jesus’ birth.

The candy cane would not be complete without the red stripes.

He used three small stripes to show the stripes of blood on Jesus’ back caused by the beating of the soldiers at the time His arrest. The large red stripe was for the blood that was shed by Jesus on the cross so that we could have eternal life.

The candy cane is sweet. By knowing and following Jesus, our lives are touched by the sweetness and care of this One who is now our Savior, Friend, and Guide.
  Other Scriptures to Read This Week
Isaiah 61:1 | 2nd Corinthians 9:15

A blessed and wonderful Christmas to all of you.

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