2018 Advent Readings

The countdown to Christmas can either quicken our pace or steady it with purpose. Throughout the season of Advent, we encourage you to use these daily scripture readings to prepare your heart for the coming of Christ.

Advent is a period of roughly 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. If you’re unfamiliar with Advent, it is a season of anticipation. (Think “adventure,” which actually comes from the same latin root.) During Advent, we prepare for Christ’s arrival. We remind ourselves that all is not right in the world, and what we need most is not a thing but a person. We need a savior. Not presents. Presence.

Many families observe the four weeks of Advent by lighting candles. Typically 4 candles are arranged in a circle or wreath. These symbolize four great gifts Christ brings us: hope, love, joy, and peace. Inside the circle, a fifth candle is placed to symbolize Christ. Each Sunday a new candle is lit, representing these gifts. The readings below are grouped accordingly, with a special prompt each Sunday for reflection on that week’s gift.

DEC 2 – HOPE (Click any scripture to open in new window.)
God is our creator, our very creative God, and that’s a good reason for hope. Hope asks, “What good thing will God do next?”

DEC 9 – LOVE (Click any scripture to open in new window.)
More than a feeling, love is a verb. Love does. And love did. God went first, declaring his love for us all when we were thoroughly unlovely and risking rejection. Love whispers, “There is nothing, nothing, nothing that could make you unlovable.”

DEC 16 – JOY (Click any scripture to open in new window.)
Just as the Jews joyfully awaited the coming of a messiah, we look forward to Christ’s second coming. Joy announces, “Even when rejected by others, I am chosen and precious to God!”

DEC 23 – PEACE (Click any scripture to open in new window.)
Peace, or “shalom” in Hebrew, is more than an absence of conflict. It is the abundance of everything good and life-giving. Peace – about both present and future – declares, “All is well and all shall be well.”

Christmas Eve and Christmas – ARRIVAL (Click any scripture to open in new window.)
Hope does not disappoint. Behold this new good thing God has done!

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