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Advent Week 1 - Hope


12-3-23


Today is the first day of Advent - 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas.


Advent, observed in the Christian faith, marks the period leading up to Christmas. Lasting four weeks, it's a time of reflection, expectation, and readiness for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. During Advent, as believers we engage in spiritual preparation and joyful anticipation, symbolizing the hope and significance of Christ's arrival in the world.


Each of the four weeks leading up to Christmas is represented by a candle on an Advent wreath.


First Week: The first candle symbolizes hope or the "Prophet's Candle," signifying the anticipation of the Messiah's arrival. It represents the hope that Christ brings into the world.


Second Week: The second candle is often known as the "Bethlehem Candle" or the candle of preparation. It symbolizes faith and represents the preparations made by prophets and people for the coming of Jesus.


Third Week: The third candle is called the "Shepherd's Candle" or the candle of joy. It signifies the joy experienced by the shepherds upon hearing the news of Jesus' birth. It's also referred to as the candle of joy because the arrival of Jesus brings joy to the world.


Fourth Week: The fourth candle, often known as the "Angel's Candle" or the candle of love, represents the love brought by Christ into the world. It signifies the message of the angels proclaiming peace and goodwill.


Sometimes a fifth candle, often white, is placed in the center and lit on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. This is called the "Christ Candle," symbolizing the arrival of Jesus, the Light of the World.


Each week, an additional candle is lit, building up to the full illumination of the wreath by the fourth week, representing the culmination of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus.


If you're following my blogs then you know I'm also walking us through the entire book of Luke (3rd book of the New Testament). This special edition 4 week advent series is a supplement to that other writing.


ADVENT WEEK 1

The first week focuses on the foretelling of Jesus in the Old Testament.


WHO WAS ISAIAH

Isaiah is a prophet that prophesied about Jesus coming. Before he did - he gave some warnings.

In verse 1 he explains that God hates worship charades and religious games while people just keep on sinning. God warns that we need to stop tearing each other apart. In the Message version it says stop being evil, say no to doing wrong, learn to do good, work for justice, help the down and out, stand up for the homeless, go to bat for the defenseless. Friends - don’t look to the government to do that. This is something we each can do. But it is up to us to elect leaders that will stand up for what is right for all, not just some.


These are all things Jesus also came to teach and how He also lived. Thank God (literally) that He came for all people, including you and me.


In Isaiah 2 the prophet says that God will come to show us the way He works so we can live the way we were made. We only could learn that by watching and knowing a man - who was Jesus.

Through my walk through of Luke - this December I highlight who He was on earth and what He taught.


The first mention of God sending Jesus is presumed in chapter 4.


Isaiah 7 is clear about how Jesus will be born. This was all written long before he came.


Isaiah is written as God’s promise for what people hoped for. Next week we will explore how hope became human - in the New Testament.

Advent honors the promise of God coming, the purpose of Jesus’ life, and the promise of Him coming back for us again.


Advent means “coming” - Lord, amazing counselor, strong God, eternal Father, Prince of wholeness, come for us soon.


As we start advent today, may our minds and hearts be filled with hope knowing that Jesus grew up and is coming back for us.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." - Hebrews 10:23

PRAYER

Lord - this week is about foretelling of what is to come. It is a focus on the prophets of old and the hope we have in what they said would come to pass. Lord You said You were going to prepare a place for us and in Your Father's house there are many rooms. You also said You'd never leave nor forsake us. You said you'd never forget us. Lord Jesus I put my hope and trust in you. Help me to remember that hope throughout this week. Thank You for Your promises, Your sacrifices, and Your forgiveness and unconditional love for me. Amen


Each week I’ll post songs that may inspire you to reflect on the reason for this season.


The first song is also the same name as the words below - people longed for Jesus. When He came many rejected Him. Now 2000 years later we are still expecting and waiting for Him to come again.


MUSIC FOR THE WEEK

Come thou long expected Jesus


Peace


Big House


Holy Forever


All My Hope


My Hope is in You


The Commission



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