During what is, for many of us, the darkest time of year, Advent draws our attention towards the coming of the true Light into the world. It is a superb opportunity for us as Christians to re-calibrate our harried gaze onto the deep wonder of the Lord Jesus and to share the beauty of His Gospel message with a hurting world. This blog suggests some Advent scriptures to help you embark on that journey and bring others into it as well.
The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. It refers to the season where we intentionally reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ incarnation (when He entered the world ‘in flesh’) and His promise that He will come again to judge the world and usher in His new kingdom. It is a time of expectation and preparation as we ready ourselves to commemorate the coming of Christ.
Preparation is important. Any significant event requires preparation. You would prepare before going on a holiday or starting a new job and, like the Wise Men in Matthew’s Gospel account, you would (hopefully) prepare before you met the King of Kings. This is why Advent matters. As Christians, we need to recognise how extraordinary the coming of Christ was, and therefore choose also to prepare each year – readying our souls to come with bended knees before our victorious King at Christmas.
In a time of great difficulty in our world, the hope, peace, joy and love of Jesus is needed more than ever. The four Advent Scriptures below, each focusing on one of those traditional Advent themes, are a good place to start as you contemplate Christ’s coming and look to intentionally share His light with those around you.
Meditating On Advent Scriptures
The Scriptures are rich in content, so don’t skim-read if you can avoid it. Perhaps find somewhere where you can read the Scripture out loud. This will help you to slow down a little and to really hear what God’s Word is saying. Take a few deep breaths and pray over the words that you read. Ask God to help you and to show you His glory and truth amid the Advent season. You could even put a reminder on your phone with one of the Scriptures on it to ensure you contemplate it again later in the day.
4 Advent Scriptures: A Time Of Hope, Peace, Joy And Love
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope… Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:5-8
Advent is not only about remembering that Christ came to this earth to reconcile us back to God. It is also about anticipating the fact that He will come again and stirring ourselves to wait for Him. This is good news for us as Christians. It means that, whatever is going on in your life right now, the story is not over. As we look with an eternal perspective, we realise that we can put our hope in the Lord, even amid painful circumstances. Death is not even the end. Hope is a potent theme throughout Scripture and is something that we too can hold onto in every part of our lives. God is our sure foundation and He can always be trusted.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
In times of turmoil, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of Jesus as the Prince of Peace. This wonderful prophecy of Isaiah, written hundreds of years before Christ’s coming, gives us cause to reflect on Jesus’ character as we navigate the winter months.
Peace is inherent in God’s nature. He is a God of peace. Consequently, Advent is a time for us to remember that we are called to be peace-makers. Sometimes, the Christmas season can expose tensions within families and friendship groups. As Christians, we can choose to bring something different. Just as Jesus is the Prince of Peace, seek to carry that same peace into every environment you go this Christmas.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
The Christian message is one of joy! At Advent, we have the opportunity to remember that wonderful truth all over again. Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget it in our own lives. Jesus’ coming to the earth and His achievement on the cross is good news that can cause great joy for all the people – including you! In Christ, we are saved, redeemed, restored and forgiven.
If you have been struggling to find joy in your life, or you know people around you who have, then why not contemplate on this reality today. Consider why the message of Jesus is such good news, and then look for opportunities to share that joy with others.
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9-11
As the Apostle John notes, Jesus’ incarnation – and everything we celebrate at Christmas – was, above all, a demonstration of God’s radical love for us. Advent is all about receiving and giving love. I don’t know what you’re like in winter, but sometimes the gloomier weather can make me grumpy. Consequently, I find myself tempted to withdraw a little. However, that is not Jesus’ style. This Advent season, it is worth taking some space to reflect on God’s love for you. You are His beloved child and He has a purpose for your life. Once you have reminded yourself of that, then take that love out into the world and share it with whoever you can.
Let us do our best to ensure that it is God’s love that defines this Christmas period above all else – it’s the most powerful force in the universe.
Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on unsplash