“A child has been born for us. We have been given a son who will be our ruler. His names will be Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. His power will never end; peace will last forever. He will rule David’s kingdom and make it grow strong. He will always rule with honesty and justice. The Lord All-Powerful will make certain that all of this is done.” – Isaiah 9:6-7
While some people wait until December to start listening to Christmas music I start sometime in November, I even had my Christmas Tree decorated 3 weeks ago! I love this season for so many reasons but especially because it is a time where we can focus our minds and hearts towards the celebration of the birth of Jesus. One of my favourite versions of O Holy Night is posted at the top of this blog. The lyrics of O Holy Night repeat the words
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn”
This is a season where we can hope, where we can find strength in knowing that Jesus was born for us so that one day he would take on our sins and die for us. We have an incredible hope in the Lord. We have a reason to celebrate and take time to wait for the Lord, to have patience for what the Lord has for us. Hope is what the first Sunday of Advent is all about.
The weeks that lead up to Christmas day is the season of Advent, this isn’t just an extension of Christmas but rather a specific time that allows us to focus our hearts and minds to Christ. In the Axis Guide to Advent it is stated that, “Advent helps us remember that salvation is coming and has come. It’s a time of waiting, reflecting, contemplation, repentance, longing, and, in the midst of all these (and most importantly), hope. It’s light breaking into darkness.”
As you focus your mind towards the hope we have in Christ, some suggested bible readings include:
Charles Wesley wrote a beautiful Hymn in the mid 18th Century “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” may you read the lyrics and reflect on the Hope we find in Jesus today.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.