Advent 2022

The Wonder of Christmas Devotional Series

Welcome to Advent 2022!   We encourage you to share the video and the message below with your family and forward to your friends as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (Or better yet, join us in worship each Sunday!)

Watch the video here:  The Wonder of Christmas Intro

Advent Week 1- Hope

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

The Wonder of Christmas video link here.

Click on image to go to this week’s video

HINTS, SECRETS & PROMISES

700 years . . . That’s a long time to wait for a promise to come true.  And, long enough for us humans, to truly make a mess out of what God had given us.  But His people waited.  The hinted at gift, Jesus, the Messiah, came to fruition just as it had been promised – more than 300 times in the Old Testament.  Hope incarnate was wrapped in swaddling cloths and lay sleeping in a manger.

God sent his son to battle the devil, rescue us from our sins, to offer forgiveness and abundant life.  That’s why we celebrate at Christmas.  These gifts from God: Jesus; forgiveness; and abundant life are available to all of us, anytime, anywhere.  We only need to accept Jesus as our Savior.

But WAIT! There’s MORE!  And here’ s a hint . . .Jesus is coming again!!!

“. . . so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28

And this time he won’t be coming to battle the devil but to claim what is His own . . . US!!!  And this time – it won’t be a meek, mild birth in a lowly manger.  He will be coming as the King of all heaven and earth, on a white horse with fire in His eyes, a crown on his head, a robe dipped in blood, trumpets blasting and the armies of heaven following.   All will see him at the same time and all will know he has come.  Can’t WAIT!!!!

Go ahead.  Pick up these gifts.  Open them and accept them in your hearts this Christmas. 

Prayer – Breathe in, and as you do so say to yourself silently “My hope . . . .” then as you breathe out say to yourself “. . . is in you, Lord.”  Do this several times in the morning, throughout the day and in the evening time.

We HOPE you will join us as we explore the Wonder of Christmas this Advent.

Advent Week 2- Peace

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him [the Good Shepherd…Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

If we stop and assess ourselves, we see how we can be like sheep in many areas of our lives: we can be pretty dense, make the same mistakes over and over, wander off course, and need help figuring out what to do and where to go. By nature, sheep tend to be unsettled, skittish and nervous. How is it that sheep find any peace in their existence? Quite frankly, why were they not extinct thousands of years ago? That’s right . . . Shepherds!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3

Psalm 23 is a passage of peace for our weary and wandering souls this Christmas. It’s a Psalm about protection and provision that moves people toward peace through the relationship status with the Good Shepherd. His presence in our lives has the same effect on us as His followers as sheep do with their shepherd. He brings peace and confidence that it is OK to lie down and rest because He is with us and taking care of us.

The wonder of Christmas includes a wonderous peace because not only was our Savior born, but that also meant our Good Shepherd finally arrived. The baby born in a Bethlehem sheep pen would grow up to lead, guide, provide, protect, and bring peace to all who would follow Him as the Good Shepherd.

Perhaps that is what Jesus, the Good Shepherd, wants to remind us about most of all this Christmas. He is present with you. He is near you. You can count on him to lead you to those green pastures where you can lie down on the inside of your soul. He leads you besides those still waters where you can drink deeply without fear of being swept away by life’s currents. His peace offered to us through His birth leading ultimately to our salvation, is part of the wonder of Christmas.

Prayer – Breathe in and say silently to yourself “The good Shepherd…” breathe out and say to yourself “…is always with me.” Repeat a few times and use throughout your days when you need a moment of peace from the Good Shepherd, Jesus.

PEACE be with you and yours as we explore the Wonder of Christmas this Advent.