Third Sunday of Advent, Year C
Sunday between 11 December and 17 December
Inspired by Luke 3:7-18 and Philippians 4:4-7.
The Third Candle – a candle of Justice
Reader 1: Christmas is coming! What will your Christmas be like? What will it be like for others?
Reader 2: We give gifts to show we care, to show our love. There are many around us who are struggling with problems of all sorts. Sometimes the best gift we can give is our time, our understanding, our company.
Reader 1: There are many in the world struggling to survive. The poor get poorer, the weather gets harsher, wars rumble on. We see the injustice and have a burning desire to bring Christ’s love to all people everywhere.
Reader 2: Christ is coming! As we approach our Christmas celebrations we light this third candle as a sign that we will always be here for those in need, and that Christ’s light will shine out from this place and illuminate a sometimes dark world.
Lighting of the third candle
Prayer: Lord of the downtrodden and the outcasts, come soon. Come and break the chains of injustice, remove disaster, deal with oppressors and bring your joy and harmony to all corners of this world. Amen.
We are waiting Lord,
waiting for all things to be made new and wonderful.
But as we look around we see a world that is broken,
mostly by us,
and we want to stop breaking and start healing:
we want to be a voice crying for change.
So prepare our church for service Lord;
give new purpose to this congregation
and the millions of believers gathering in your name today.
Remind us to look out at our wonderful world, not in at ourselves
and let us burn with a desire to make all wrongs right.
Let us be there for the sick and the troubled, the lonely and the hopeless.
[especially… or brief pause]
Open our ears and hearts to their plight,
give us the words to speak and the confidence to help
and let us bring your healing and your joy.
Let us stand among the people of our confused society,
where old customs are fading and the new ones are disconcerting.
Don’t let us ever be judgemental, don’t let us look down
but give us understanding and wisdom
and a will to bring your love in to the centre of all things.
Let us care for this torn world
where bombs are falling and species are dying;
where greed and lunacy seem to win.
In every place ordinary people are caught up in something they never asked for.
[we think particularly of… or brief pause]
There are so many good people working tirelessly to make a difference:
show us how we can support and help them
and how we can change the way things are.
Let us bring your love and your light,
your wonder and awe
to a tarnished world
and be part of your transforming plan.