Today we light the third purple candle, called the “Shepherd’s candle.” The lonely shepherds who responded with awe and joy illustrate a proper response to the coming of God in Christ Jesus. The light burst into their cold, desolate, and dark existence. They were drawn into the circle of joy. Come celebrate a new baby born. For this Baby is the Promised King , the Saviour of the World.
Luke 2:8-20 says: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Lord, rekindle in us the joy we had in the beginning. We all have been invited to this birthday party. Give us shining eyes, smiling lips, voices full of laughter, and hearts full of good cheer! ‘A Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’ Amen.