This Sunday is the fourth and final Sunday of the Advent season. This is the liturgy we are using at GCR to acknowledge the event and light the fourth candle, the candle representing love. Please use these readings and passages during this week to bolster your time with the Lord in Word and Prayer. Feel free to use this at your own church or small group this Sunday.

When the angel Gabriel visited Mary, announcing God’s plan for her to conceive and give birth to the Messiah, Mary said to the angel, “How can this be?” And yet, only a few months later, Mary sings praise to the Lord as she holds his salvation in her arms.

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name!
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
~ Luke 1:46-50

We, like Mary, hear God’s call to participate in making God’s plan for our salvation a reality. We are gracious recipients of God’s gifts and his great love that transforms us into bearers of the Good News. As the apostle reminds us in 1 John 4:

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
~ 1 John 4:9-11

Congregation: We wait as people who have encountered our God’s divine love that disrupts the status quo and ushers us into abundant life, together, marked by mutual love and peace.

We light this candle as a reminder of the love of Christ that transforms us. May his love grow within us, changing us into bold proclaimers of God’s salvation with our voices and our lives. Amen.