A Season of Peace

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It’s the second Sunday of Advent: time to ponder the PEACE that comes from knowing Jesus as our Savior. This week reminds us that since God prepared the world for His Son, we need to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord.

So light the second purple candle in your Advent wreath (the Candle of Peace, also called the Candle of Preparation or the Bethlehem Candle) and read the following verses (or read one selection each day this week):

Micah 5:2

Matthew 2:1-2

Matthew 2:9-11

Isaiah 2:1-5

Matthew 3:1-6

God kept His promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Through this promise, we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1,6-8), peace from God (John 14:27), and the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7).

Preparation means to “get ready.” During this season, we need to “get ready” to welcome Jesus into our hearts, our homes, our everything.

Pray: Jesus, You amaze me. You are a glorious King, and yet You were born in the most humble of circumstances. Thank You for showing me what true humility looks like. I know that even when I feel unworthy, You can still use me. Please give me the boldness to be a voice in the wilderness of this world, sharing my faith with those who don’t yet know You and the peace You bring. I pray You are preparing their hearts in advance to hear the Good News. Thank You for being Immanuel: God with us. Thank You for being with me throughout this week and for blessing me with Your peace. In Your Name we pray, Jesus. Amen (adapted from Rose Publishing, “Celebrating Advent”).

A Season of Hope

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At this time of the year it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. What with shopping to do, decorating to accomplish, gifts to wrap, parties to attend, and food to prepare, there seems to be little time to do anything else. But we need to be especially mindful during this time that our preparations for Christmas don’t get in the way of our time with Christ.

So how can we, as Christians, show others the beauty, rather than the busyness, of this time for celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? One of the best ways to do this is to focus on the Word and all of its promises regarding Jesus’ birth and the first Christmas.

To help you focus your hearts on the reason for the season, we will be posting Advent readings each Sunday through Christmas. We pray they bring you the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christ with each new week.

This being the first week of Advent, we will ponder the HOPE that the promise of Christ’s birth brings to our hearts. The Scripture readings for this week remind us that Jesus is coming! It is all about the expectation of the Savior. “They shall see the glory of our Lord, the majesty of our God” (Isaiah 35:2).

If you have an Advent wreath, light the first purple candle and read the following verses (or read one selection each day this week). Remember that the most important part of this exercise is not checking it off of your list, but slowing down and taking time to meditate on and savor His Word.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah 11:1-10

Luke 1:26-38

Isaiah 7:10-14

Matthew 1:18-24

We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises He made to us. Our HOPE comes from God (Romans 15:12-13).

Pray the words of Isaiah 9:6. Thank You, Jesus, for being Wonderful to me. Thank You for being my Counselor when I am in need. Thank You for being my Mighty God when I feel weak. Thank You for always being there for me, my Everlasting Father. Thank You for being my Prince of Peace, calming the storms of my life and granting me rest. In Your name we pray, Jesus. Amen. (adapted from Rose Publishing, “Celebrating Advent”)

Take time to quiet yourself before the Lord during this often hectic time of the year, and you will be blessed.