Candle Lighting Ceremony Week 4: The Humble Birth of Jesus
Dear friends in Christ, as we gather in fellowship, we light this candle as a reminder of the light of Jesus Christ, who came into our world to bring hope and salvation. This flame is a symbol of His presence among us.
(While lighting the candle) Let us remember the words of Jesus in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” May this candle be a sign of Jesus’ light in our lives, guiding us in love and truth.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, the true Light of the World. As this candle burns, let it be a reminder of Your love and the light You bring to our lives. Help us to follow You more closely each day. Amen.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-40 (NIV) – The Humble Birth of Jesus
Luke 2:1-20: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they saw him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Commentary on Luke 2:1-20
This passage tells us about the birth of Jesus, a moment that changed the world forever. Jesus’ birth was humble – no grand hospital or palace, but a simple manger. This shows us God’s way is not like the world’s way. He chose the lowly, the simple, the humble. The shepherds, who were among the first to hear of Jesus’ birth, remind us that God’s message is for everyone, not just the rich or powerful. God’s love and salvation are available to all. This event – the birth of Jesus – is the beginning of God’s great plan to save us, showing His love and grace.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-40 (NIV) – Simeon and Anna: Witnesses to the Messiah
Luke 2:21-40: On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Closing Prayer with Commentary on Luke 2:21-40
Lord, in the story of Simeon and Anna, we see faithful servants who recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah. Simeon’s words remind us that Jesus is our salvation, a light for all – not just for Israel but for everyone around the world. Anna’s joy and sharing about Jesus show us the importance of witnessing to others about Your love and redemption.
Teach us, Lord, to be like Simeon and Anna, recognizing Your work in our lives and eagerly sharing Your love with others. Help us to grow in wisdom and grace, just as Jesus did, and to live lives that reflect Your love and truth. We thank You for Jesus, our Savior, and for the light and hope He brings into our lives. In His precious name, we pray, Amen.
Final Thoughts on The Birth of Christ Foretold in Luke
This prayer and reflection on Luke 2:21-40 encourage us to recognize the profound impact of Jesus’ early life and the faithful witness of those like Simeon and Anna. Their recognition of Jesus as the Messiah and their joyous proclamation remind us of our role as bearers of God’s truth and love. Just as they eagerly shared the news of the Messiah’s arrival, we too are called to share the good news of Jesus with the world around us. With action, living, giving, and loving. Sharing our Time, Talents and Treasure with all in need of the Touch of The Masters Hand.
In this scripture, we are also reminded of the growth and development of Jesus, filled with wisdom and grace. This serves as an inspiration for our own spiritual journey, emphasizing the importance of growing in understanding, living out God’s word, and continually seeking His grace in our lives.
In all, this passage from Luke provides a profound reflection on the early life of Jesus, His significance as the Messiah, and the example set by those who recognized and proclaimed His arrival. It calls us to be attentive to God’s presence in our lives and to share His love and salvation with all.
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