Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 22, 2013

Meditation for the week December 22, 2013

  

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.”            Revelation 22:10

 

Advent is the first season in the church calendar. Since the 7th century A.D., Christians have included this celebration in their preparation for Christmas Day.  We should consider it an anticipatory season, which really has a two-fold purpose.

First, it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  As a child, I remember Advent being the “countdown to Christmas.”  The readings in church all reach back to the prophets of the Old Testament and remind us how they too eagerly anticipated the coming of their king. Martin Luther, speaking of the purpose of Advent put it this way, “He is your king, the king promised to you, whose own you are. He and no other shall rule over you, but in spirit and not after worldly rule. This is he for whom you longed from the beginning. This is he for whom your dear ancestors were yearning and crying with heartfelt desire. From all the things that until now have burdened, oppressed, and imprisoned you, he will redeem you and will set you free.”

The word “advent” originates from the Latin word “advenio” which means “coming to.” Advent is the time when we focus on Christ our King coming to the world. Throughout history, the Israelites anticipated the coming of their Messiah. In the Old Testament, over 400 scriptures and prophecies outline His birth, life, death, resurrection, and return. God had a plan to redeem His people. He declared His plan to His prophets over the centuries and is fulfilling His Word even now.

“Prepare the way of the Lord” serves as a main theme, therefore, of this season. As we get ready for Christmas, Advent prepares our lives for Jesus, who came as “the light of the world.” His light penetrated a dark world and the darkness of sin in our hearts and allowed all to see their Messiah, and the hope of their future.

Second, Advent reminds us that Jesus has promised to come again.  After his death and resurrection Jesus triumphed over sin and death.  He won for all who believe forgiveness of sins and salvation.  And, although he ascended to be with his Father in heaven, he also promised to return to take us home to be with him forever.  In the same way that the saints in the Old Testament looked to the horizons to see their coming Savior, we New Testament saints do the same.  This time, however, we do not look for one born in a lowly manger but for one who will come in the full majesty and power of the King of kings!  It is the day all believers anticipate with great hope!

In truth, Jesus’ second coming is our ultimate hope for at that time he will bring to fulfillment all of his gracious promises to us.  He will come for our final rescue and we will go to live with him in the peace that surpasses all understanding.  So we are ever watchful for he promises that he is coming soon and that is our Advent prayer.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

 

Our Weekly Prayer

Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord, as we move through the season of Advent and you prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior, prepare us also to always be watchful for the second coming of Jesus that we might meet him with joy when he comes to take us home.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.