Did you know? It’s advent season. That means it’s the time of year when we intentionally wait. We anticipate the celebration of the coming of Jesus—God with us. I have found it so significant to wait with purpose; to pursue this act of looking forward and anticipating. It brings depth to the meaning of the season and richness to the joy of Jesus’ birth. Would you wait with me this year?
I just organized an advent devotional for my home church and would like to share it with you here. The devotional itself is all about intentional readings of Scripture for each day of the week for a four week period. It gives us Scripture to read and then a few questions of reflection. It’s very simple and open to God’s voice in our lives as we await the honor of his Son’s coming. The four weeks represent four movements of waiting for Jesus birth, four movements of responding to the Gospel of peace through Jesus. Week one (starting today) focuses on hearing. Week two is centered on believing. Week three is the response of worshiping, and week four is proclaiming his coming. I hope that you will join me as I wait this advent season.
Each week will begin with a thought on the focus for the week. Each day that week will offer Scripture and a few questions intended to draw our minds to that weeks theme. Some days I will only post the Scripture and the questions and I invite you to read with care and reflect on the questions provided. Give yourself space and time to listen as you consider the questions. Respond as the Spirit calls you.
On some days I may also share some words of my own, but always you will find the Scripture and the questions. I pray that this season of waiting will be one in which God draws us into hearing the story anew, believing with greater depth, worshiping the Son in truth, and that we will develop hearts for proclaiming his coming. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
Week One — Hearing
The gospel of Jesus Christ begins with hearing. It is good news—the best news—to be told that Jesus is the Son of God, sent by the Father to redeem his people. And so we begin with the act of hearing this good news. This week we look to hear some of the prophecies which foretold that God would send a Messiah—prophecies foretold hundreds of years before Christ comes on the scene. We also seek to hear the words spoken to Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth and Joseph as they hear for the first time who it is that God is sending. May God grant us ears to hear these words with fresh ears. May he grant us hearts that begin to anticipate the birth we will soon celebrate.
Day One Reading: Luke 1:1-25
Luke is writing this gospel so his reader will have certainty concerning what he has been taught. What words/passages from the Scriptures give you certainty in your faith?
Can you think of times you were uncertain of God’s plan or promises?
Zechariah’s son is coming to turn the people back to the Lord; he is coming to prepare the people for the Lord. In what ways do you live and speak today in an effort to prepare people for an encounter with the Lord? What do people hear and see from you concerning Jesus?
Prayer—Father, give me certainty in you through the reading of your Word. Grant me a life that prepares others for you. You are worthy of all my confidence and proclamation.