Posted on Sat, Nov 28, 2020
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
"Advent" simply means coming as in Christ is coming, and for us now He has arrived. This is referring to His birth in history and in humanity. It meant the welcoming or the arrival of a special king and for us; it is our King of Kings. This is what the Old Testament prophecies foretold concerning Jesus' Incarnation, the Word made flesh for our Hope and Atonement that brought us our deliverance.
Advent represents our expectation, anticipation, and preparation for who Christ is and what He has done for us. He arrived into the world as a human being, being fully God and fully man. He came to identify as one of us, as the Son of Man, as a baby born in a manger. He came for us, He came for you and He comes into our lives and into our hearts. He is coming again in great power and glory to bring His Kingdom into fruition.
The Advent Wreath
And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:12-13).
Traditionally, during the Christmas season we have an "Advent Wreath" in our Churches, and this is remarkably celebrated in all Denominations. The Advent Wreath is a venerable tradition that cuts across denominational and theological boundaries.
It dates to the beginning of the 19thcentury in Europe. This Advent Wreath is arranged with 4 or 5 Advent candles, 3 or 4 of which are in a circle, along with one in the center, all on a base of evergreens each has a powerful message for us about our Lord. This has prevailing imagery we should not take for granted or consider just another holiday decoration.
Each candle has a special meaning:
Each candle is lighted during the worship services each week in progression until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day when the last candle is lit. Each week the new unlit candle for that week is lighted, and then the previous candles are re-lighted.
The four weeks are a period of waiting also signifying the four centuries of waiting between the last prophet Malachi and the birth of Jesus. All five candles should continue to be lighted in worship services through Epiphany on January 6th (Epiphany means "to show," is the climax of the Christmas Season and the "Twelve Days of Christmas." It is observed to denote the coming of the wise men bringing gifts and their worship to Christ).
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (Isaiah 11:2)
Typical Liturgical Verses:
Week 1: Isaiah 11:1-10 and/or Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1-5 and/or Jeremiah 33:14-16;
Week 2: Psalm 25:1-10 and/or Psalm 27:1-7,18-19 and/or Micah 5:2 and/or Matthew 2:1-12
Week 3: I Thessalonians 3:9-13 and/or Romans 15:4-13and/or Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
Week 4: Matthew 3:1-12 and/or Luke 21:25-36 and/or Luke 2:8-20;
Additional Scripture verses that can be personally read during Advent:
FOUR WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
SUNDAY: Isaiah 7:14 and Micah 5:2
MONDAY: Matthew 1:18-24 and Luke 1:26-33
TUESDAY: Luke 2:1-5
WEDNESDAY: Luke 2:6-7
THURSDAY: Luke 2:8-9
FRIDAY: Luke 2:10-12
SATURDAY: Luke 2:13-14
THREE WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
SUNDAY: Luke 2:15-16
MONDAY: Luke 2:17-18
TUESDAY: Luke 2:19
WEDNESDAY: Luke 2:20
THURSDAY: Luke 2:21
FRIDAY: Matthew 2:1-2
SATURDAY: Matthew 2:3-6
TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
SUNDAY: Matthew 2:7-8
MONDAY: Matthew 2:9
TUESDAY: Matthew 2:10-11
WEDNESDAY: Matthew 2:12-15
THURSDAY: Galatians 4:4-5
FRIDAY: Ephesians 2:8-9
SATURDAY: 1 John 4:7-16
ONE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS
SUNDAY: Ephesians 2:12-22
MONDAY: John 7:37-38, and 14:6
TUESDAY: Matthew 28:19-20
WEDNESDAY: John 8:12
THURSDAY: John 9:4-5 and Matthew 5:14-16
FRIDAY: Psalm 98:1-6
SATURDAY: John 1:1-3, 14 and Romans 6:23
Psalm 100, Revelation 3:20-21
His birth was for his death; his death was for our birth! (John 1:29 and John 3:1-8)
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul. Show me your paths and teach me to follow; guide me by your truth and instruct me. (Psalm 25)
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