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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Celebrate the First Week of Advent

"The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth—the very thing the whole story has been about."—C.S. Lewis

Advent is the first season in the church calendar. Since the 7th century A.D., Christians have included this celebration in their preparation for Christmas Day.

Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, its purpose is twofold: first, it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ and second, it reminds us that we are eagerly waiting for Jesus' return in glory.

The word "advent" originates from the Latin word advenio which means coming to. Advent is the time when we focus on Christ coming to the world. Throughout history, the Israelites anticipated the coming of their Messiah. In the Old Testament, over 400 scriptures and prophecies outline His birth, life, death, resurrection, and return. God had a plan to redeem His people. He declared His plan to His prophets over the centuries and is fulfilling His Word even now.

"Prepare the way of the Lord" serves as a main theme of this season. As we get ready for Christmas, we should not neglect to prepare our lives for Jesus, who came as "the light of the world." His light penetrated a dark world, which allowed all to see their Messiah, and the hope of their future.

Today we need to be prepared for the coming of Christ. Learning more about what the Bible reveals about Christ's return will enable us to understand the possible significance of world events.

Be ready and watchful, for the light of the world has come and will surely come again.

FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT: PROPHECIES

The first Sunday in Advent focuses on the prophecies of the Bible describing the coming of Christ. Prophecies prepared, taught, warned and encouraged the people about God, His ways, and His plans.

This week we will look at how over 2,700 years ago, God revealed His plan to His people. 2,100 years ago, He fulfilled His plan by sending His Son, Jesus and now in the 21st century we are anticipating the fulfillment of the final prophecies describing His return.

Some of the most significant prophecies regarding the Advent season appear in the following passages:

His Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:3, Micah 5:4-5)

His Annointing (Isaiah 11:1-4)

His Betrayal (Psalm 41:4; Zechariah 11:12-13)

His Death (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22:1-31)

His Crucifixion (Isaiah 53:12)

His Resurrection (Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 16:10)

His Return in Glory (Acts 1:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; Revelation 22:20)

His Glorious Reign (Isaiah 11:3-12:6)

DAY ONE: LIGHT

"Come, people of Israel, let us walk in the light of the Lord." (Isaiah 2:5)

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light -- on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2)

The prophet Isaiah describes how God was preparing to bring His great light to the dark confusion of the world. Darkness in the Bible describes a society in chaos and rebellion. Throughout the Bible, we see that God's light heralds His presence and His truth.

In this passage, Isaiah invites the people of Israel to "walk in the light of the Lord." The prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus who boldly declared, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). Therefore the invitation is no longer just for the people of Israel, but for all humanity.

Father God, let the light of Christ shine in our lives so that we may glorify you. Help us to walk in the light of the Lord. Daily teach us the truth in your word. Amen.

Excerpt from Advent: Making Christmas About Christ, Copyright Lisa Robertson. Used by permission.

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