We finish the Advent season lighting the candle of Love with a reading from John 1:9-14, ending with the song O Come All Ye Faithful.
Speaker B: Welcome to the Fourth Sunday of Advent with Westside. Today we light the candles of hope, faith and joy. And together let's light our final candle of Advent, the candle of love. Today's reading is from the Gospel of John, chapter one, verses nine through 14. You, the one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize Him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's, one and only Son. When Jesus chose to be born into our earthly world, it was the truest act of love there has ever been. He chose to live a full life from birth to adulthood, with all of the awkwardness of being a teenager and dealing with brothers and sisters, all of it. And he knew what was ahead. He knew what was waiting for Him at the end of this earthly life death on a cross to pay our debt and save us. He did it for us. Jesus came to give us a life and not only save us from death. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus today, we can't forget about the sacrifice he made in choosing to make his home among us. And we can't forget the life he offers to each and every one of us. And it all started here in a manger in Bethlehem. Let us be thankful today for his vast and endless love for us. Let's pray. Merciful God of peace, your work spoken by the prophets, restores Your people's life and hope. Fill our hearts with the joy of Your saving grace, that we may hold fast to Your great goodness. And in our lives, proclaim Your justice in all the world. Amen.