Sunday, December 12, 2010

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent

We Light the Third Candle:The Rose Candle(pink)

Today is also known as “White Gift Sunday.”

The tradition dates back to 1904 in Ohio. It was the idea of the wife of a Methodist minister and her two daughters. The women created the day borrowing from a Chinese tradition in which the people gave their king gifts wrapped in plain white paper so that every gift would look the same. They initiated this on the third Sunday of advent and asked parishioners to bring gifts to the church for others in the community who were in need. As with the Chinese tradition, the white paper allows for the ability for each person to be able to give what they are able, anonymously, so that people who can only give a little will not be embarrassed.

The White Gift Sunday idea gives us another way to share in the spirit of Christ and to emulate the God of love at Christmas. God loved us and gave the gift of His Son to us to show that love. In turn, we give gifts of love to people in need, through the year and as Christmastime. Additionally, we remember the gifts given by the Three Kings to the King of Kings. Finally, the "sameness" of the gifts reminds us that Our God put on flesh so that He would appear as one of us...

Advent Liturgy~

Voice 1: The Third Candle of Advent is the Candle of Joy. It reminds us of the joy that Mary felt when the angel, Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to her- a child who would save and deliver the world.

Voice 2: God wants us all to experience Joy! The angel who announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born told them: “Fear Not! I bring you Good Tidings of Great Joy for all people. Unto you is born this day…A Savior …The Messiah!”

Voice 3: We light this candle to remember that Jesus brings gifts to us…
Sight for the blind…
Dancing for the crippled…
Freedom for captives…
Beauty for ashes…
Laughter for mourning…
Peace for despair…

Voice 4: We light this candle today to remind us that He brings Joy to all who trust in Him.

~Light the Two Purple Candles,and the One Rose Candle~

Loving God,
We thank You for the joy that you bring us.
Help us prepare for this gift.
Bless our Christmas preparations.
Fill us with your joy.
Help us to know how to bring Your joy to others.

Scripture Reading:
Isaiah 61

Joy to the World!

~Extinguish Candles~

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