Editor's Note: Each week of Advent, Eric D. Huntsman will share the scriptures and carols that his family uses in their celebration of Advent.
The final Sunday of Advent, closest to Christmas Eve, is the one that best celebrates the imminent birth of the Prince of Peace. The contrast between the Newborn King and worldly kings — such as the vicious Herod the Great — make it clear that the peace Jesus brings is often spiritual and internal, often in spite of the turbulence that exists in the world around us. Yet because Advent also anticipates the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, scriptural passages that talk of the peace that he brings also have a literal, millennial application.
After lighting all the outer candles, including now the fourth purple candle, I recommend the following passages:
I then suggest that this week’s theme be tied to the unfolding Christmas story by reading the account of the Annunciation to Joseph from Matthew 1:18–23. The gentle carpenter, also of the royal house of David, was a man of peace who was also a strong, inspired man, chosen to love and protect the Baby Jesus and his mother, Mary. He thus provides a wonderful model as a righteous husband and father.
A fitting carol for the last Sunday of Advent is “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” the last verse of which speaks of the time “when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their king.”
Eric D. Huntsman is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University and is the author of "Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior's Birth" published by Deseret Book.