Introducing Advent

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah’s beautiful prophecy foretold a promise 700 years in the making. Though the world was dark and hope was fleeting, joy was coming. Though life was hard and toilsome, rest was coming. Though sin had enslaved, a rescuer was coming. A child, like no other, would be born. A Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace was coming. A Savior was on His way. This is the promise of Advent.

Advent comes from a Latin word meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. For centuries, Christians have reflected upon the first Advent – Jesus’s arrival as Messiah and the second Advent when Jesus will come as King.

Traditionally, the Advent season occurs in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are a variety of ways in which people have celebrated the season. Some have lit candles on a wreath or stand, reflecting on the imagery of Jesus as the Light of the World. (John 1:4-9; 8-12) Others have used a window calendar, usually made with twenty-four “windows” you open.

No matter how you celebrate the season, what is important is the opportunity to reflect on the Savior who came to fulfill God’s promise of rescue and redemption.

INSTRUCTIONS

Each week I’ll publish a personal advent reflection. Each Wednesday I’ll publish a group or family reflection. The goal of these weekly reflections is to stir your heart and mind as you reflect on our Savior. Additionally, the family reflections require very little preparation, but are good tools for discipling your children and sharing the Gospel.

One of the most important things this guide can do is cause us to slow down, pause and reflect on the birth of Jesus. The Christmas season can be so busy and hectic, the most important aspects of the season get lost. Make a plan to spend time reflecting on Jesus and the promise of a Savior who came to overcome sin and death forever.

Each family reflection includes a scripture, song, activity, and prayer. The songs can be found on the Fellowship West Advent Spotify playlist. These are intended to be suggestions to help get your family involved, not a to-do list. Be creative and find what works for your family.

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