I have been trying to get my husband to start a blog because he has a great deal of wisdom in how and what he communicates. But for now, he’s going to ‘guest’ blog here. This week I am going to post the advent devotions that he has written for our church. I hope they help you focus on the birth of Christ and what that means for God’s people.
Today is our first week in the celebration of advent. This week we light the first advent candle to celebrate the hope that we have in the coming of Christ. The word advent means arrival or coming. For centuries the prophets foretold the coming of one who would rule and reign over God’s people and rescue them from the oppression of this sinful world and redeem them from their sins. God, in speaking judgment upon the serpent in the Garden of Eden, spoke of Eve’s offspring. God further clarified to the serpent that He was talking about a person, a man. He says to the serpent, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Nearly 7 centuries before the birth of Christ, Jeremiah spoke of the hope to come in the Shepherd King who would be in the line of David. He says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’” In between these divine revelations and even after the return of the exiles, glimpses of hope are given through God’s word as recorded in the prophets and wisdom writings and history books of the Old Testament. For centuries the nation of Israel suffered at the hands of pagan nations, immoral and idolatrous kings, false prophets, and in the midst of all these sufferings, God gave glorious glimpses of the hope to come in the person of Christ.
One of those glorious glimpses is found in the book written by the prophet Isaiah. Let us all stand together and read from chapter 9 of Isaiah.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.Isaiah 9:2, 6-7