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Church, today we light the third candle of the Advent season which is the candle of joy.
John 1:14 declares “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” which assures us that God has entered into human history through the incarnation of the Son. The season of Advent, a season of waiting, is designed to cultivate our awareness of God’s actions—past, present, and future. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb, death will be swallowed up, and every tear will be wiped away. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God’s redemptive plan. Though Christ has come, not all things have reached completion. While we remember Israel’s waiting and hoping and we give thanks for Christ’s birth, we also eagerly anticipate His second coming at the end of time.
With great hope and joy, we read these words together:
O Morning Star,
splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Come, Lord Jesus

Our time of confession this week focuses on our Advent theme of Joy.
The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said: “Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of our Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.
Our true and only source of Joy comes from knowing and being known by Jesus. No matter how much or how little processions we own or success we experience. Nothing can compare to the unshakable love and grace that He provides.

Our time of confession this week focuses on our Advent Theme of Joy.
God of salvation, in Christ you have done great things— 
our hearts are filled with joy.
By your power you lifted us out of the wasteland of sin
and brought us with joy and laughter into your kingdom. 
Salvation is your gift to us.
But we confess that often we try to replace
your gift with our own efforts. 
We try to complete what is already perfect;
we try to add to what is already full;
we try to earn what we already have.
Forgive us for our foolishness.
Help us to focus on your grace.
Help us to live grateful lives in return. 
For Jesus’ sake alone, 
—based on Psalm 126

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