Posts Tagged ‘preparation for Advent’

Scripture:  Romans 15:4-13

Romans 15:4-13 (New Living Translation)

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:

“For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.”

And in another place it is written,

“Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.”

And yet again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles. Praise him, all you people of the earth.”

And in another place Isaiah said,

“The heir to David’s throne will come and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.”

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit

christmas angelsMarketers and commercial interests prepare all year long because their economic survival depends on Christmas sales.  Christmas songs fill the malls in October—two full months before the holiday—but it makes shoppers think about their own preparations for Christmas.

What if I told you that God prepared for thousands of years for giving His gift!  Look at this great passage from Paul, talking about “everything written in the past.” He is saying, Look what God said about you through Moses (12-1400 years ago), through David (1000 years ago), and through Isaiah (700 years ago)!  God had been planning—and we know it was from before Creation (1 Peter 1:20) for the first Advent.

And Jesus came—when the time was ripe (Galatians 4:4). All that preparation that God had done, all of those prophecies, all of the establishment of Israel, all of the movements in history, all to bring Jesus, His only Son, to live among us.

By waiting (last week’s theme), Israel and the Gentiles too were part of the preparation. When Jesus arrived, their hope was realized, so it was a time to praise God.  That is what Paul was telling the Gentiles in Romans 15:

  • You have hope because of God’s preparations, his endurance and encouragement!
  • Jesus came, just like God had promised.
  • So now, you have hope that you can count on again because Jesus is coming again!  Don’t worry, but be filled with joy and peace “as you trust in him.” 

In fact, you are so confident in your hope because of the preparations that it overflows by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God prepared the world for the First Advent, and the result was the birth of the Savior! Now the world moves toward the Second Advent day by day.  He is again preparing us.

Our part is to join those preparations, move towards our Hope with confidence.  The Day is coming when those who have prepared will celebrate Christmas in a whole new way!

Song:  Watchman, Tell Us of the Night  (Words: John Bowring, 1825; Music Lowell Mason, 1831)

Watchman, tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are.
Traveler, o’er yon mountain’s height,
See that glory beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveler, yes—it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel.

Watchman, tell us of the night;
Higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
See, it bursts o’er all the earth.

Watchman, tell us of the night,
For the morning seems to dawn.
Traveler, darkness takes its flight,
Doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease;
Hie thee to thy quiet home.
Traveler, lo! the Prince of Peace,
Lo! the Son of God is come!


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