Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Sunday of Advent - November 28, 2010

Isaiah 9:2-7 (New International Version, ©2010)
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Today in the Christian church marks the beginning of the season of Advent(Latin adventus means "the coming"), which marks the time when God's people prepare for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This marks not only the remembrance of his first coming, at the birth of Christ, but it also reminds us to look forward in anticipation of Christ's second coming. Many traditional churches today mark this Sunday with the lighting of the first Advent candle, signifying Hope.

This tradition has been lost in many evangelical, non-denominational churches, but this reminder given through the practice of reflecting on Christ's coming through Advent, seems even more appropriate today as the world focus on shopping, Santa Claus, reindeer and the like. As we approach Christmas, we need to stop to read God's word and meditate on Jesus Christ and his coming.

In this portion of scripture from the prophet Isaiah, written almost 700 years prior to the event, we read the word of God speaking of Christ's advent, the coming of "a great light" that will shine on those living in a land of great darkness. Who else can Isaiah be prophesying about when we read, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders."

The "Hope of Mankind" is coming into the world; a light is coming to shine into the darkness of man's heart and bring freedom from the bondage of our sin. And we will call him our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, and the Prince of our Peace.

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

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