Candle 1 – Temptation –We heard about Jesus being tempted in the desert by Satan.
Candle 2 – Searching – Lent is a season when we search for God, just as Nicodemus came searching for Jesus in the middle of the night.
Candle 3 – Confession – We recognized that we confess our sins, and we confess the truth that Jesus is Lord. We heard how a Samaritan woman confessed to her neighbors that she had met the Savior of the world, and they believed her.
This week brings us to the Candle of Joy …
LENT 4A The Candle of Joy
It might seem a bit strange to celebrate joy in the middle of Lent,
but this is Laetare Sunday.
Laetare is a Latin word that means “Rejoice!”
On this Sunday, many Christians hear words from Isaiah 66:10, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her—”
Here in the midst of Lent, we remember that even psalms of lament include thanksgiving and praise.
We find our joy in God.
The prophet Nehemiah says “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) So, as we put out the flame, may the joy this candle represents continue to live in us.
May the joy of Christ spill over into every part of our lives.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
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