Candlelight Service

Candlelight Service

When I say the word light, turn on your candles.  When I say darkness, turn off your candles. 

We begin in darkness.

Genesis 1:1-4

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good.

God created mankind in His image and blessed them with life and with a rich abundance of all that they needed to thrive.  God created mankind to rule over the earth.

Unfortunately, mankind chose to instead be ruled by the things of the world.  Mankind chose to lust after created things and to jealously long for them.  Eternity was within their hearts, but they darkened their understanding and rejected the light of life.  Darkness filled their lives.

Genesis 6:5-8

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created – and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground – for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

God spared Noah and his descendants and their families.  He provided them salvation on the ark and started the world anew and afresh.

Genesis 8:21

The Lord said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

God established a covenant promise to Noah and created the rainbow as an everlasting remembrance of it.  The rainbow.  Light refracted and dispersed to reveal the beautiful gradients of color hidden within it.

Ten generations later, God then chose another man to form a covenant with; Abram.  God promised to make him into a great nation and to bless all of the nations of the world through him.  It was through Abraham’s descendants that God formed the nation of Israel; His own chosen people.

God’s purpose was to work in and through the nation of Israel to draw all of the people of the world to Himself.  The Lord said:

Isaiah 42:6-7

6 I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;

    I will take hold of your hand.

I will keep you and will make you

    to be a covenant for the people

    and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind,

    to free captives from prison

    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

The nation of Israel was to be a light through which He could shine to draw all Gentiles (non-Israelites) to Him.  They were a forerunner, an example, a lighthouse for all others.  God’s very Presence dwelt among them so long as they obediently followed Him and the light that His word provided them as a guide.

However, mankind’s thoughts and hearts were still darkened.

Even after experiencing the miracles that served as signs and wonders, God’s people still had a tendency to stray away from Him and go their own way.

However, all of those miracles and prophetic promises and symbolic traditions were all about to come to pass!  Although mankind was trapped in sin, freedom was on its way!  Where there was no other way, God was about to personally pioneer a way!

Isaiah 8:18-22

18 Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.

19 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. 21 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.

Isaiah 9:1-2

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.

2 The people walking in darkness

    have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness

    a light has dawned.

God was about to wrap Himself in flesh and dwell among us.  Born not into sin, but born of a virgin mother and the Holy Spirit as His father.  Tempted and tried in every way that we are and yet never once giving into it.  Living a pure life of victory!

Jesus, light of the world!

Luke 2:1-20

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Matthew 2:1-12

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Christ our savior is born!  Jesus is alive! 

Because He humbled Himself to be wrapped in flesh just like us,

He can fully relate to all of our weaknesses and temptations. 

Because He never gave into them and sinned,

He is victorious in every way.

There is victory in Jesus!

All of us was born into sin; darkened in our understanding and dead spiritually.

Ephesians 5:8-9

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Christ our savior is born!  Jesus is alive!

Therefore, go out into the world rejoicing and let His light shine brightly through your life!

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