Black History Month

Advent 3   The Candle of Joy

SCRIPTURE: Luke 3:7-14

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

STORY: “No laughter on empty bellies”


“Joy Rising” by KiwanukaVoice one:         

My name is Kamaro.  My parents died of AIDS. I lived alone since I was thirteen. I wanted so badly to go to school. But I had to eat. So I worked as a farm laborer for a few months. Then I stopped work and went to school. When the money ran out, I worked again.  It was hard to learn anything that way! 

When I was seventeen, a kind family took me in and sent me to school. They had help from a Canadian church. I was so happy. There was food every day and I was learning. I dreamed of being a social worker, of helping children like myself. But my marks weren’t good enough. So instead I’m doing masonry. And it’s great! I have skills that I can use to help others.

On my way home from school there are widows that ask me to fix their roof, their wall. I love to do it for them. And I love coming home at night. I laugh and joke with my brothers and sisters. It is so wonderful to have a family where I belong. My father likes to say, “There is no laughter on empty bellies.” And I know how right he is! I believe that.

Voice two:         

Joy arises when we know that we have enough!


Leader:   Holy God,

who came into this world needy and helpless,

so that the seeds of abundant life might be planted in us

and we might be filled with joy,

People:   shine your light of joy into every care-filled  burdened heart,

that we may know we have enough, and are enough,

and may share what we have

to bring the needy joy.


Leader:   We light this candle to welcome Christ’s light of joy into every place of care and sorrow.

People:   Come Lord Jesus Christ, Fountain of Life, let your joy rise up in our midst.


More Voices # 33, Jesus came bringing us joy.


See the notices in today’s bulletin for ideas on how you might give a GIFT of JOY this Christmas.



Click here for ADVENT 4