The first candle was the prophecy candle. It reminds us that God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. This week we look to the second candle. The second candle on the Advent Wreath is called the Bethlehem candle. It is a symbol of the preparations being made to receive and cradle the Christ child. Luke 2:1-7 “the census comes at the exact time to get a virgin to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy with her delivery.” -John Piper As we look at the preparations God made in sending His son to redeem us, we have to see that these preparations didn't end in the manger, or on the cross but He is continuing to bring things in preparation for others who will come to know Him personally! 2Corinthians 5:21, Romans 8:28, Philippians 1:6 These verses reveal to us that God sent His son as the sacrifice for our sin, but they also show us that the work God does in our life to redeem us and restore us and prepare the way for His Son does not stop at the moment of salvation. These verses are a reminder that God uses everything in our lives for a purpose - to make Himself known among the nations - and that what he begins in us, He will be faithful to complete. “The question is not what God could do, but what he willed to do.” -John Piper God could have sent His son in all his glory, but chose to send Him in humility. As we look at the Bethlehem candle we are reminded of this. We are reminded that God has a plan and it is far better than anything we could come up with, but it is also far beyond our ability to comprehend! Matthew 3:1-12 allows us to see John the Baptist preparing the way of the coming Messiah. In the same way that God used John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ, He uses us to prepare the way for what He will do in those around us. As we get closer to Christmas we should look expectantly toward what God will do, but also look back gratefully at what He has already done. He has shown up in our lives in amazing ways, in circumstances we could never have pieced together no matter how hard we tried. As we watch these candles burning we are reminded that not only is God who He says He is and does what He says he will do, but He has a perfect plan for our lives. He is the one making the preparations we must simply follow after Him!