Gracious God, as our nights grow longer and our days grow short, we look on these earthly signs – light and green branches—and remember God’s promise to our world: Christ, our Light and our Hope, will come bringing peace and spreading love. We know not when he will come; give us strength to wait and hope, knowing that the time is near. Keep us alert and vigilant. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Listen to the words of the Prophet Isaiah:
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth instructions and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift ups sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Families with small children – Instead of the words above, read “God will Bring Peace” (Pg. 164) in the Spark Story Bible OR in your favorite story Bible.
Speak these words while lighting the first candle:
O God, rejoicing, we remember the promise of your Son. As the light from this candle, may the blessing of Christ come upon us, brightening our way and guiding us by his truth. May Christ our Savior bring life into the darkness of our world, and to us, as we wait for his coming. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Highs & Lows:
Share the best and worst parts of your day.
Read Matthew 24: 36-44 OR “Noah’s Ark” in the Spark Story Bible (or a similar story in your favorite story Bible) Families with smaller children – you may want to reference the Matthew 24 passage in regards to not knowing when Christ will return.
- Who knows when Christ will return? Do Angels? Do People? Does Jesus?
- The Gospel talks about Noah and his family listening and following God’s instructions. Is it sometimes hard to focus and listen to God? Why?
- How can we prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming?
Heavenly Father, we cling to the promise of Christ’s return with joy and anticipation. We know not when that day will be. Guide us as we listen to your call, empower us to share your love with others, and nurture us as we prepare the way for his return. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Child of God, the time is drawing near, spread peace throughout the world, be patient and wait.