Nov 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent Meditation

What is Advent?

Advent is the season in the Christian calendar that precedes Christmas. It is a time of anticipation and waiting to celebrate the Nativity of Christ. It is at once a time of joy and penitence, as Christians prepare their hearts to remember the incarnation of their God. It is also a time to anticipate the second coming of the Lord, a future event that Christians believe is just as certain as His first coming. The first time He came as a babe in a manger, born of a virgin, God in human flesh. When He comes again, He will come in power and great glory and His kingdom will reign forever.

Love Comes Down

"I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells." Psalm 26:8 (King David)

In Old Testament times, the glory of God dwelled in the Holy of Holies in the Temple, a most sacred area that was behind a curtain. Only the high priest could go in there and only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to offer a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. So sacred was that place where God's glory dwelled, that the High Priest had a rope tied around his ankle in the event he would drop dead, so that he could be pulled out.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us...

For years, the ancient prophets foretold of One who would come to be the Savior of God's people, Israel. His name would be called Emmanuel, which means, "God with us". God Himself would come to dwell among the peoples of the earth...not hidden behind a veil but as a man who would live and die as one of us.

... We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. " John 1:14

John's Gospel records that he and other eye witnesses of Jesus Christ had seen and recognized the glory of the One who was begotten of the Father. At just the right time, God intervened in human history. The glory of His grace is demonstrated in His condescension. The purpose of His coming was to die. Simple, yet profound. Long expected, yet rejected. Mysterious, yet revealed. Emmanuel, God with us. Love came down.

"Savior of the Nations, Come"
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Savior of the nations, come,
Virgin's Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood,
By the Spirit of our God,
Was the Word of God made flesh--
Woman's Offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell--
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father's only Son,
Hast o'er sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o'ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.


Wanda said...

Nice Advent post Jacquelyn...enjoy this wonderful holiday season!

Jess said...

How precious is the Advent season especially as we draw nearer His Return!

I treasure my Presbyterian roots and the tradition of Advent candles. Thank you for sharing the purpose and beauty of celebrating Advent.

Christmas Blessings ~

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed this. Our church put together a booklet of Advent devotionals written by members.

Jacquelyn said...

Thanks Wanda. I've been doing a 90 day discipline of book/bible reading etc that I found on line. I do it first thing in the morning and I'm finding it to be most helpful as I move through the season...

Jacquelyn said...

Jess, this year I have become more and more aware that Advent is a time to remember Christ's first coming as well as looking forward to when He comes again!

Jacquelyn said...

Shirley, our church does the same thing with the devotional booklets for Advent. It's a wonderful idea isn't it?

Wylie said...

So beautiful!!! Glad I visited you today to get this good word! I had to tell you the secret to the trees on top of my piano that you commented on. All the ornaments are wired on! So, these trees get stored every year w/ all the goodies on them & we drag them back out & throw them up on the piano. Well, hubby does b/c I sure can't carry them! Have a blessed day!