Fourth Week of Advent: Dec 23-26
Dec 23 – The Fourth Sunday in Advent
Read Matthew 1:18-2:6
Can you imagine what Joseph thought? First he discovers that Mary is pregnant. Then an angel visits him and relays this unbelievable message. This child is from the Holy Spirit and he will be named Jesus, which means the LORD saves. This child is the fulfillment of the Immanuel prophecy in Isaiah. This wasn’t just good news, it was incredible news! But who would believe it? And then this child would be born in Bethlehem, the city of Kings. Micah’s prophecy would also be fulfilled in this child. “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” May this incredible news resonate in our ears and reverberate down into our hearts, that we would worship the King whom wise men seek.
Dec 24 – Bethlehem
Read Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-7
From long ago God had planned for a Savior to come and crush the head of the serpent. He would come from on high and stoop down low. And from this lowly place he would lift up the humble. From a simple backwoods’ town, God brought forth the King of the Universe. Bethlehem means “house of bread.” In a common stable in this little village, the Bread of Life was born. God’s good plan to redeem his people is unfolding exactly as he had ordained. If God can orchestrate the arrival of the King of the Universe in a nothing town like Bethlehem, then surely, we can trust him with our whole lives and walk in his paths.
Dec 25 – The Birth of Jesus
Read Luke 2:1-7; John 3:16-17
On Christmas Day we give gifts to those we love. God so loved you that he gave a gift so precious and so valuable. His generosity is astounding and overwhelming. It floods into our lives and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. At just the right time and in just the right way, God gave us his Son that we might not die but have eternal life. The world often tries to hide the significance of this day, but the lights, the gifts, the celebration, and the joy all remind us to look back to that first Advent with awe and wonder. May God fill our hearts with the love of Christ this Christmas.
Dec 26 – The Next Advent
Read Matthew 2:1-12; Revelation 22:16-21
It isn’t over yet. The term Advent means “coming.” Jesus came on Christmas, but there is another. We live between the Advents. Christ came at that first Christmas to dwell with us. He lived the holy life we did not and died the death we should have, so that we could enter into his Kingdom. And Christ will return for a second Advent, in which he will consummate his Kingdom. His Kingdom will come, and his will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We long for that day when every tear is wiped away. When there is no more death. When there is neither mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Rev. 21:1-7). As we celebrate the first Advent, we look forward with longing eyes to the next. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”