Christmas Eve; Advent ~ 20161224 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

12/24 Christmas Eve; Advent – Hope, Peace, Love, Joy in Jesus; Audio available at:

Christmas Eve Service

We have been lighting candles each of the past 4 Sundays as a way to focus our attention on Jesus. Advent candles: prophecy/hope, bethlehem/peace, shepherd/love, angels/joy, Christ/arrival. Advent candles remind us of the hope, peace, love and joy we have in Jesus.


The first candle is the prophecy candle or the hope candle. The Old Testamenent is overflowing with prophesies pointing to Jesus and pictures of Jesus, foreshadows of Jesus. There was a deep hunger in the hearts of God's people for the fulfillment of all that was missing under the Old Covenant. Jesus brings the fullness of all the symbols and shadows we see there. He brings us 'eternal comfort and good hope through grace' (2Thess.2:16). We have this hope as 'a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul' (Heb.6:19), the hope of the gospel (Col.1:23).


The second candle is the peace candle. We have hope because the good news of great joy for all people is peace. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom.5:1). We are justified, declared righteous, cleared of all guilt through simple dependence, faith in Jesus. Jesus came to pay our price in full at the cross, so that we can enjoy intimate fellowship, a reconciled relationship, peace with God. He died to 'bring us to God' (1Pet.3:18).


The third candle is the candle of love. God so loved the world that he gave. Christmas is about love, and Christmas is about giving. God loved the world in this way, that he gave his only Son (Jn.3:16). He 'did not spare his only Son, but gave him up for us all' (Rom.8:32). It was the will of the Lord to crush him; the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all; he was smitten by God and afflicted, but he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. (Is.53:4-10). See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called his children! (1Jn.3:1). 'This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.(1Jn.4:10).


This is truly good news of great joy for all people! For unto us is born this day a Savior, Christ the Lord. The fourth candle represents joy, because such great salvation brings great joy. This greatest of all news creates joy in God's people. There is fullness of joy in his presence, and now, because of Jesus, we have unlimited access to God's presence.

Christmas is about hope, strong confidence in the promises of God. It is about peace, blood bought peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas is about love, the love of God expressed in the greatest gift of all time, the sacrifice of the one and only Son of God in my place, for my sin. Christmas is about joy, true joy, real lasing joy in the presence of God forever, the joy of our salvation, the priceless possession of those who faith and hope are in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us truly celebrate and spread the hope and peace and love and joy we have in Our Lord Jesus this Christmas!

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~