Plymouth United Church of Christ

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“Advent Candle Lighting, Candle of Hope, First Sunday of Advent” Year C, Advent 1, December 2, 2012
Plymouth United Church of Christ, Eau Claire, WI
© Rev. David J. Huber
Focus Scripture: Jeremiah

Gabriel: It began in the quiet town of Nazareth, far from the imperial center of Rome. God is about to do a new thing here, and has chosen me to be the messenger of this Good News.

God: My prophets have been ignored, Gabriel. Leaders are colluding with Rome and priests are twisting my message from love of neighbor to fear. The burdens they put on my people are as heavy as Pharaoh's.

Gabriel: What can we do?

God: I am going to go there myself. The young girl Mary is faithful and good. I will become her son to grow up experiencing all that human pain and love have to teach me. Then I will teach them how to live in hope.

Gabriel: So God sent me to Mary. She was afraid, but I told her, "Do not fear! Have hope. Jeremiah promised a righteous branch from David who will save his people, and God is fulfilling that promise now. And you, Mary, as a descendent of David, you are chosen to give birth to God, and you will name him Jesus."

voice: And so we light the Candle of Hope, the first candle on our Advent Wreath, shining the light of hope through which we, like Mary, anticipate the birth of Jesus, who is Emmanuel, God With Us. Let us pray: God of new things, your world carries too much old fear. It seems that every day the media and our leaders tell us to be afraid. Some of us suffer from real fears of violence, hunger, job loss, or political upheavals. Some are fearful because the world they used to know changes faster than they can keep up with. When we are afraid, help us remember the words you and your angels speak, "Do not fear." Send us a sign that we may dare to hope as Mary and her people did. Amen.

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Plymouth United Church of Christ
2010 Moholt Drive
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 54703

Webpastor: Pastor David