Monday, December 09, 2019


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Rev 22: 20-21.

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Nov 23

Written by: Andries
Saturday, November 23, 2019 2:45:01 AM  RssIcon

The lighting of the Advent candles became a trademark of the Advent Season for many. During the four Sundays before Christmastide starts on Christmas Day, we are prepared to celebrate a real Christmas, and more importantly, we are prepared that Jesus Christ is coming into our lives and churches – and one day returns to us, in glory.
 
Worship during the Advent Season is for millions of Christians associated with the four Advent candles lit on the four Sundays before Christmas. It is an appropriate Season to light candles during dark and challenging times, because Jesus Christ, given birth to by the virgin Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit, is indeed the Light of the world, of all humanity!
 
We expect the coming of the light of God into our homes, our churches and most importantly, into our lives and innermost needs, desires, prayers and devotions during this Season.
We expect and pray that darkness will flee from us as Christ Jesus enters our lives, our worship and our world in a very special way during Advent and Christmastide!
 
Jesus called himself the light of the world!
The purpose of  light is to drive darkness away. And we battle with darkness every day.
 
We battle with the darkness of hopelessness and despondency, because when we make the calculations, our world is deeply troubled and is becoming a dangerous place to live in.
We battle with the darkness of conflict, war and even stressful competition that leads to anger, envy, jealousy, resentment and eventually hate.
We battle with the darkness of depression and a simple lack of cheer and happiness. Our responsibilities and our concerns rob us of the enjoyment of life, and even of enjoying Christ, God’s significant Christmas gift to his people.
We battle with the darkness caused by loneliness, broken relationships, broken families, broken churches and communities and we experience an emotional deficiency as a result of a lack of respect, friendship, help and most of all love!
 
We need a Season where we light candles. We need a Season when we are made aware of the need to drive darkness away. We need a season when we bring the light of Christ to a sad, frightened and lonely world.
 
We know that God’s light has dawned. That Jesus came as the light of the world. That Jesus was born to overcome darkness, hopelessness, conflict and loneliness. That he is Emmanuel – God with us.
 
So we light the Advent candles with enthusiasm and pray that Christ will be revealed during this Season as the Sun of righteousness, as Redeemer who sets us free and as conqueror who defeats our enemies.
Christ is the light for the whole human race. His light shines from Bethlehem, through the ages, in the worship and testimony of his followers. His light shines through the faith, love and ministry of his Church.
 
Therefore, on the first Advent Sunday, on 1 December 2019, we light the candle of hope, that the world may know that Jesus Christ is our hope and our future, and the remedy for despondency.
On the second Sunday we light the candle of peace, for Jesus said that the peacemakers will be blessed. Let the light of the unity and peace amongst God’s people bring hope to a world petrified by warmongers we encounter far too often.
On the third Sunday we light the pink candle of joy! Enjoy the Season with lots of cheer and happiness, because you know the Reason for the season and more importantly, because you stand in awe before Christ Jesus, the only begotten Son of God and the Light of the world born as a human being.
On the fourth, the last Advent Sunday, light the candle of love! Love one another, even as Christ loves us. Drive the dark loneliness and self doubt of this world away and affirm God’s love for everyone. Cheer our dangerous world through loving the world in the Name of Jesus!
 
Christ is the light for the whole human race. Pray that Christ may reveal himself to us during this Season, anew.
He is the Light of the world that was born in Bethlehem. And we, his Church, should reflect the radiance of his light to make the Advent Season and Christmastide truly meaningful.
 
Prayers for the Season of Advent, before we light the 4 candles.
 
1st Advent:   Gracious God, in living our busy daily lives, keep us ever ready, ever faithful and ever hopeful for the day of Christ’s return. May this hope be born into our lives anew.
 
2nd Advent: Loving God, while we patiently wait for Christ’s return and for your peace to ultimately prevail, enable each of us to work for peaceful solutions to the various conflicts which abound in our lives and our world. May your peace be born into our lives today and during his special time of celebrations.
 
3rd Advent: Merciful God, while we patiently wait for Christ’s return, may each one of us rejoice in our salvation; and may that joy infuse all aspects of our lives and be freely shared with others. Grant us your joy. Grant us your eternal joy.
 
4th Advent: Gracious Creator, while we patiently wait for Christ physically coming to us again, inspire us when we celebrate Christmas and Christmastide, to marvel on the fact that your love for each of us knows no bounds. May this love be mirrored in all aspects of our lives, as we freely share it with others. When we celebrate Christmas, may we and all our loved ones share in your divine love through sincere love for each other.
 
A hymn for Advent.
Our Lord was born on Christmas,
as prophets did foretell.
In David’s blesséd city,
became Emmanuel.
May God be ever with you,
and bless you day by day!
and grant us hope and gladness:
God’s peace and love, we pray!
 
He brought the light of heaven,
to guide us on our way.
For love of lowly sinners,
He came to serve, to pay.
God so much loved the world, that
He gave his only Son -
our Lord being born on Christmas:
eternal life was won!
 
Our Lord was born on Christmas;
his people waited long.
So shepherds shouted “Glory!”
after the angels’ song!
As we are waiting ages,
for God’s new glorious reign,
may we be found elated,
when Jesus comes again!!
(Music of “Die Heiland is gebore”) 

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