The First Sunday of Advent
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 7:14, Psalm 130:1-8
Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from first to last they testify of Him. At the creation we at once discern Him as one of the sacred Trinity; we catch a glimpse of Him in the promise of the woman’s seed; we see Him typified in the ark of Noah; we walk with Abraham, as He sees Messiah’s day; we dwell in the tents of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise; we hear the venerable Israel talking of Shiloh; and in the numerous types of the law, we find the Redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and kings, priests and preachers, all look one way — they all stand as the cherubs did over the ark, desiring to look within, and to read the mystery of God’s great propitiation.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
There is just something about the Advent season.
I love a good set of flannel pajamas, a crackling fire, wassail simmering on the stovetop, and the nothing-like-it glow of the Christmas tree—all while the nostalgic sounds of Vince Guaraldi’s piano fill the air with memories of Christmases long past, before we were old enough to buy gifts.
The music and the ambiance would be wonderful even if we were experiencing them for the very first time, but what really makes them special—what makes the season really sing—is we did it this way last year, too. Or, because I remember this smell of spiced cider from when I was a child. The layering of tradition adorns this season like no other. Even our decorations tell a story. Carefully and expectantly, we lift each ornament out of its packaging, remembering the Christmas it was given to us, or what it looked like hanging from our mother’s tree.
This is what I love about traditional Advent scriptures. Like that box of ornaments we pull out of the attic, we unpack the familiar verses, one at a time. Weary world that we are, we read the ancient truth once more—a prophecy first, a promise after that—to remember again why we needed Christmas. Each passage builds on the last, telling a story and adorning our season, building an eagerness within us for the moment we stand at the scene of the nativity and rejoice that this is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Our holy God incarnate is the thrill of hope the world was waiting for, and He is the One we wait for once again.
Whether you are brand new to the story of Jesus’s birth, or you grew up lighting Advent wreaths and reciting Luke 2 from memory, our prayer is that the Scripture in this book would feel like home to you. From the first promise of the Messiah to the moment Jesus is presented in the temple, we pray that you will sense the quiet, unmistakable thrill of hope that is yours because the Son of God became a baby.
There is just something about this season, friends. And we are honored to unpack the Advent story with you.