Behind all the gift shopping, jingling tunes, ugly sweaters, parties, cleaning, and cooking of December, Advent beckons . . . inviting you into a deeper spiritual focus. Ushering you into a quiet, restful place for your soul where you can meet with God.
"Advent" comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning an "arrival" or "coming." Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, throughout church history Advent has traditionally been a season focused on waiting and anticipation. During Advent . . .
- We step into the past to focus our hearts on what it was like for God's people to wait for the coming Messiah.
- We engage our hearts in the present as we contemplate how Jesus, the Messiah, meets our deepest longings and answers our soul's deepest needs.
- And we turn our hearts in hope toward the future to the Second Advent we await. We dwell in the longing and yearning in our souls for the Messiah's return to ultimately rule over all things.
Along with all the joy and inevitable chaos of the season, join TCW in observing Advent through creative, fun, contemplative, and rich experiences using this day-by-day Advent devotional calendar for 2013.
First Sunday of Advent, December 1, 2013
This first week of Advent, focus your heart on the theme of God's messianic promises. From the very beginning, God had a plan of redemption—a story of longing and need, of hope and new life.
The Old Testament is full of prophecies that a Messiah would come. The book of Isaiah contains many beautiful descriptions of the coming Messiah, highlighting what he would be like, what he would do, and the deep human needs and longings he would address. Study the following passages from Isaiah and record in your notes the key descriptions and promises: Isaiah 2:4; 7:14; 9:2, 6–7; 11:1–5, 10; 22:22; 28:16; 33:22; 42:1–7; 60:1–3. (Family option: Read the passages aloud together. Afterward, discuss: What words, phrases, or ideas stand out to you? Why?)