This series of Advent readings was prepared by Rev. Donny Friederichsen and originally appeared as reflections in 2018. They are being republished now with slight editorial modifications.
Sunday, December 11 – The Wonder of Christ’s Birth
Read Luke 2:8-20
The birth of Christ is a pretty amazing story. Shepherds, angels, wise men, miraculous births, stables, and mangers, it is all quite astonishing. The shepherds heard this good news from angels and were frightened. But they went to see this thing that had happened. All of this was overwhelming to Mary and Joseph. But Mary pondered all these things in her heart. And the response of all to these amazing events was to worship and glorify God. As we draw nearer to our Lord’s Advent, our hearts should swell with worship and glory to God.
Monday, December 12 – A Virgin with Child
Read Isaiah 7:10-14
How astounding it is that God would come down to us as a baby! How miraculous that he would be born of a virgin’s womb! Every other person in the history of the world was born by ordinary generation from the line of Adam. But God is born of woman in a different way. He is fully God and fully man. He comes to us as the second or last Adam, born to break the curse of the first Adam. He is God with us, Immanuel.
Tuesday, December 13 – A Righteous Judge
Read Isaiah 11:1-5
God has sent forth salvation for his people. He promised long ago that he would send a Son. And God is faithful to his Word. And the Spirit of God rests upon him who was called to redeem God’s people. The Branch of Jesse is a righteous and just judge. He is wise and understanding. His delight is in the Lord. May we follow his example. May we be more like Christ every day.
Wednesday, December 14 – The Lion and the Lamb
Read Isaiah 11:6-10
Jesus came at the first Advent to lay down his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus will come again at the second Advent to renew the whole world. Evil and harm will be destroyed by the peace of Christ in the land. Predator and prey, the lion and the lamb, will lie down in harmony together. And a little child shall lead them. There is a hope and promise that all that is wrong and broken and sad and evil in this world will become untrue. The first Advent points our eyes forward to the hope of the second Advent to come.
Thursday, December 15 – The Prince of Peace
Read Isaiah 9:6-7; John 14:27
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In his presence our troubles melt away. In his presence we find the abundance and fullness of God. By his grace we know peace. In Christ we have eternal life. We taste in him the fruit of an eternal Promised Land that flows with milk and honey. Justice, peace, abundance, and mercy flow from the rivers that find their source in Christ. As we long to drink of that water, may we find strength in Christ to work for justice, righteousness, and peace in a troubled world.
Friday, December 16 – My Chosen One
Read Isaiah 42:1-9; John 19:30
Our great and glorious God has sent his Servant to redeem us. In a world shattered by sin, we all experience the weight and burden. We feel broken and bruised by the harsh realities of life East of Eden. We may even feel like our faintly burning wick will be snuffed out. But God’s Chosen One offers hope. A bruised reed he will not break. A faintly burning wick he will not quench. When we are faint or discouraged, Jesus brings restoration and justice and hope. He will redeem and restore the former things and make them new.
Saturday, December 17 – The Suffering Servant
Read Isaiah 53:1-12
The babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger would be wrapped in a burial cloth and laid in a tomb. The baby born in a cattle stall would grow to be the Servant who gave his life as an atonement for sins. He would take on the chastisement and punishment of our sins, so that we might receive the gift of eternal life. He suffered in the place of God’s people that we might receive the rewards of heaven. May we accept this gift with gratitude and humility. May we share this gift with others through our words and deeds.