Advent is a time of reflection and anticipation in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The word "Advent" comes from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming". The advent season symbolizes both the waiting for the birth of Christ and his return. A popular tradition during Advent is the advent wreath made of evergreen to symbolize everlasting life in the midst of winter and a circle to remind us of both God's unending love and the eternal life offered through Jesus Christ.
The Advent wreath has four candles - one is lit each Sunday of the four weeks of Advent. Each candle represents a new focus and time of reflection. The third week of Advent is the candle of joy. Also known as the "shepherd candle", it is in this third week of advent that we rejoice for the coming King. The shepherds experienced joy at the good news of the birth of the Messiah.
Use these Scriptures and prayer for the third week of Advent to reflect on the greatest joy in the world - the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Advent Week Three Scripture for Reflection:
Advent Week Three Prayer - A Prayer for Joy
Heavenly Father, This third week of Advent, let us remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth has the power to bring us great joy this Christmas season. Our joy isn’t dependent on what is going on in our life, in our world, or the people that we are with. It doesn’t depend on the gifts we give or the gifts we find under the tree. No earthly thing can ever give us complete joy. Our joy comes from you. That joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.
Those who gathered around the new baby were blessed because they believed that you had fulfilled your promises. Mary and Joseph believed and were able to feel the joy of holding baby Jesus in their arms. The shepherds and wise men believed the angles and the signs and experienced the great gladness of worshipping their Messiah.
Those who knew him and recognized him were overjoyed at the coming of Jesus. They saw the prophecies fulfilled and their fear was replaced with happiness as they gazed on the face of the one who would be their Savior. They trusted in your promises and their hearts were filled with gladness as they watched your loving-kindness manifested in the face of a tiny baby in a lowly manger.
Father, you offer that same joy to us now if we know you and recognize Jesus as our Savior and Lord. You gave us a reason to celebrate when you gave us the unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ. You came to dwell among us. You went to Calvary’s cross for us. You overcame death and rose from the dead for us. You forgive our sin and give us eternal life when we believe in you.
Our joy doesn’t come from our jobs, our family, our relationships, our finances, or our success. Our joy doesn’t come from what we have on earth or who we are with. Our joy is a gift. It is the gift that you gave us that first Christmas in Jesus Christ. Our joy is encompassed in our Savior, King Jesus. Flood our hearts with joy this Advent season as we reflect on the good news of Jesus’ birth. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
Get your FREE copy of 25 Days of Advent Prayer Guide - short daily prayers for your family to connect your heart and mind to the reason we have hope and peace this holiday season, and each day to come!
This article is part of Bobbie's series of Advent wreath prayers for each week of the season. For more weeks please visit:
Advent Prayer Week 1
Advent Prayer Week 2
Advent Prayer Week 3
Advent Prayer Week 4
Bobbie Schaeperkoetter is married to her high school sweetheart and is a homeschooling mama of a tween boy and a teen boy. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and is just doing her best to honor him in the craziness of life. She hopes that by sharing her efforts to do so, she can shake a little salt, shine a little light, and encourage you to do the same.
Bobbie is also a writer and blogger at www.bobbieschae.com
She would love for you to stop by and say hello on social media at www.facebook.com/bobbieschae, on twitter @bobbie_schae and on Instagram @Bobbieschae
Read Advent Bible verses at BibleStudyTools.com - The 28 Scriptures can be broken into 4 weeks with a passage for each day!
Prayer is a wonderful way to help cut away from distractions of the season and open your heart to prepare for the joy and hope of Christ's birth. Crosswalk.com offers 12 Advent Prayers to help you focus on the reason for the season!
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