If you stop and think about it, it’s safe to say that nothing that has ever happened on earth is as staggering as the miraculous arrival of the Son of God. Heaven come down. Jesus, in human flesh. Emmanuel, God with us!
Yet, lost amidst the frenzy of western consumerism and a Christmas season gone wild is the beauty of that message and the powerful hope Christ’s appearing brings to a broken, weary world.
The Advent season is simply an effort to embrace the Christ of Christmas by creating space and a posture of expectation as we celebrate His supernatural birth and the promise of all that lies ahead.
Our hope is that this daily Advent guide will help you prepare ample room in our hearts for faith and hope to bloom again, with the prayer that this year Christmas will actually fuel our lives with endurance for today and fresh vision for tomorrow.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. Your sacred cities have become a wasteland; even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation.
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Charles Wesley, 1774
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Father, meet us, Your children, as we begin our Advent journey. Give us eyes to examine ourselves, and ears to hear Your Word so that we may rejoice anew at the birth of Your Son. Jesus is our all in all. He is our hope and a sure foundation both now and forever. Be glorified in these days and shine Your light upon us all. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.