The Candle of Love: A Reflection for the Fourth Week of Advent

by Jessica Asbell

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 Savior 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 favor 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.”

Luke 2:9-15 NIV

Have you ever thought about the angels in this story? Have you thought about how excited they must’ve been to tell the shepherds the GREAT news that the Savior had been born? Think about the angels for a minute. They probably knew about God’s plan to send Jesus to the world to save it. They had to wait a long time, thousands and thousands of years, before they could announce God’s plan. Throughout the Old Testament, there are angels who appeared to prophets to deliver God’s message to them. But they had to wait until the world was ready for the best message. Then one day, God said, it’s time! Go shout for joy and sing hallelujah because the Christ is born this day. And off they went, appearing to shepherds and telling everyone about how God had just changed the world.

I imagine that waiting for that moment was very hard. It was like waiting for Christmas morning to arrive, because, well, they were. For children (and for adults who love Christmas), waiting for Christmas morning feels like an eternity. As it gets closer, it still feels very far away. You count down the days and wait with anticipation to wake up Christmas morning and see what presents await. Many times birthdays are the same way. If you ever ask a child who just turned four how old they are, they will tell you that they are almost five. Their birthday could have been yesterday, and they would still tell you that they are almost five. They start talking about their birthday the day after they have it, and they start talking about the next Christmas the day after this one. And then it seems to take forever for that birthday or Christmas to arrive.

In the time before Jesus, the angels were allowed to deliver bits and pieces of the good news. But finally, on that day when Jesus was born, finally they could announce it all. And in the blink of an eye, the world would never be the same. 

Reflection Question: When in your life has it felt like you'd been waiting forever for something? How did it feel when that something finally happened?

Prayer:  Thank God for changing the world in the blink of an eye. Thank Him for times of waiting that teach us to listen for Him.