The Lighting of the Christmas Candles
The Candle of Joy
We light the Christmas candles to get our hearts ready to celebrate Christmas. We have already lit the Candles of Hope and of Peace.
(Relight the first two candles.)
Today, we light the third candle. We call it the Candle of Joy to remind us of the “good news of great joy for all people” that the angels shared with the shepherds; Jesus was born that day! The pink candle represents joy. The time now is for rejoicing–because the Lord is coming soon!
Together, let’s read the Christmas story. We find it in Luke 2:1-7. Read. As needed, explain who Casesar August was why Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for the census.
Shepherds were some of the lowliest and least respected people in those days, but God chose them to be the first ones to hear about Jesus’ birth. Perhaps they were chosen because Jesus is our Good Shepherd, who laid His life down for His sheep. Read Luke 2:8-20.
We light the third candle of Advent, the Candle of Joy, to remind us of the joy we feel when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and to remind us to share that joyful news with others. And there is more good news! Jesus came to earth to be our Savior and one day, He will come to earth again. Light the third candle.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that we can see You and worship You, just as the shepherds did. May we be as excited about knowing You as they were. Help us to let others know Christmas is special because it is Jesus’ birthday. Show us how we can bring joy to those around us this Christmas season and always. Amen.
Sing: “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Away in a Manger,” or “The Little Drummer Boy.”
- Share something joyful that happened to you today or this week.
- How can you bring joy to someone you know?
- Read scriptures about peace: Psalm 47:1-2; Psalm 126:2-3; Romans 15:13; 1 Peter 1:8; Hebrews 12:1-3.
- The shepherds returned to their ordinary lives after they saw baby Jesus, but they were changed. When we have seen Jesus face-to-face, we too are changed. Jesus gives us a new heart. Read Ezekiel 36:26-27 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. If you or your child has not received Christ into your heart, this is a great time to talk about what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. If you would like a resource for introducing this topic, check out http://resourcewell.s3.amazonaws.com/children/otherresources/Ages6-12_NewBelieversGuideforChildren.pdf.
Add the baby Jesus, shepherds, and sheep to your nativity set. Talk about how the shepherds must have felt when they saw the angels that night. If you have younger children, talk about sheep and the role of shepherds: “What do sheep eat?” or “What do shepherds do to care for their sheep?”