The Christmas Advent
Well here we are again, right at the beginning of another December. The feast of Thanksgiving day is beyond us and yet still lingers with us in "unappreciated weighs." "Black Friday" is past but we will be reminded of it for a number of months every time the mail comes. Christmas songs on heard on the radio and in the stores as if they are new and different. Newspapers are packed full of "hot buys" that you and I must respond to. Yes, here we are again….it's Christmas time.
For the past 10 years or so, my church family and I have used sought to overcome the commercial Christmas by spending the four weeks leading up to Christmas celebrating Advent. Now for some churches the celebration of Advent is a tradition that goes back centuries not just 10 years. But for our Baptist church the celebration of Advent has added a much needed dimension to the month of December. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Advent, let me explain. "Advent in the Christian sense refers to the four weeks before Christmas. The four Sundays of advent are often traditionally celebrated with four candles with one to be lit each Sunday. Each candle has a specific meaning associated with different aspects of the Advent story." Now in our church we take much liberty in what each candle represents. This year as we light each of the four candles we will study the four titles mentioned in Isaiah nine of the messiah.
Isaiah 9:6: 'And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.' (NAS)
Each of those titles tells us so much about Jesus and what He can bring to our lives.
Wonderful Counselor. Jesus knows not only the answers to the questions of life; He is the answer to the questions. Jesus came to provide salvation for us, but also to give us the insight and understanding of life that we need to live fully and freely during our stay here on earth.
Mighty God. Certainly the might and power of God is displayed in many ways. And yet when Jesus came to earth in the form of baby, He showed us that his might and power can also be displayed in weakness and vulnerability.
Eternal Father. As Jesus taught during His 3 years of public ministry He claimed that He and the Father were one. The title of "eternal father" certainly supports His claim. Jesus has always been. He is the "alpha and omega", the "beginning and the end"
Prince of Peace. Will there ever be peace on earth? More importantly will there ever be peace in our lives and our hearts. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the one that can bring peace even in conflict, even in troubles and even in doubts.
The First Advent of Jesus brought us a child, who grew to a man, who died on a lonely cross for your sins and mine.
The Second Advent of Jesus will bring a triumphant King who will establish Himself as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Come Lord Jesus come!