Advent – Day 2
Yesterday, December 1st, began the Advent season (it always starts the 4th Sunday before Christmas).
The English word “Advent” is from the Latin word “adven- tus,” which means “coming.” The Advent season is a Church tradition that calls us to celebrate the first coming of Jesus, and to patiently long for the 2nd coming of Jesus. In the midst of a chaotic and busy time in our culture, Advent can be a beautiful time of redeeming all the holiday hustle & bustle.
And to that end, yesterday we kicked off a new series called “The Rescue” in our Sunday service. You can listen to the first sermon here.
But we are also going to be sending out devotionals and articles and scripture thoughts over the next few weeks — not every day, but a few times each week. And not always from Pastor Chris; sometimes from other folks in our church, and sometimes from other folks at other churches.
PREPARE THE WAY by John Piper
“He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a peopleprepared.” —Luke1:16–17
What John the Baptist did for Israel, Advent can do for us. Don’t let Christmas find you unprepared. I mean spiritu- ally unprepared. Its joy and impact will be so much greater if you are ready!
That you might be prepared…
First, meditate on the fact that we need a Savior. Christ- mas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior. Let these short Advent meditations help awaken in you a bittersweet sense of need for the Savior.
Second, engage in sober self-examination. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23–24) Let every heart prepare him room… by cleaning house.
Third, build God-centered anticipation and expec- tancy and excitement into your home—especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.
Fourth, be much in the Scriptures, and memorize the great passages! “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!” (Jeremiah 23:29) Gather ‘round that fire this Advent sea- son. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights.