Today is the second Sunday of Advent, and I was just sitting down to think about writing this when my mother-in-law called. When I told her what I was writing on, she said that she really likes Advent, but that it's hard to think about Advent when all around us is Christmas.
I agree. We're surrounded by Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Christmas shopping advertisements, and Christmas planning. Advent reflection gets lost, as quietness often gets overwhelmed by the noise of our world. It's hard to settle into quiet when we're bombarded externally, and even more, internally, by noise and to-do lists, but the richness of life is not found in checking off to-do lists.
Richness is found in relationships-- relationships with those we love, and most deeply in relationship with the God who made us and who loves us deeply. Without time and effort, relationships dwindle and become dry. Advent is a time set apart to enrich our relationship with God by preparing ourselves to receive his love revealed in Jesus. Last week we focused on our need for a savior and how Jesus came to be that Savior. Another way we can prepare ourselves is to meditate on who Jesus is and what it means that he is the Christ, which means Messiah or Anointed One.
Let's make some quiet moments for ourselves this week to ponder some passages of Scripture that speak to us of who Jesus is and what he does for us.
Each day we’ll have a verse or verses to
meditate on to expand our picture of what it means that Jesus is the
Christ. Let’s dwell on these verses, perhaps printing them out or
writing them down to read throughout the day, allowing them to give us a
deeper knowledge of Jesus and thus a greater anticipation of his coming
Monday: The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord...Isaiah 11:2
Tuesday: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. Isaiah 61:1
Wednesday: He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners... Isaiah 61:1
Thursday: ...to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve... Isaiah 61:2-3
Friday: to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:3
first thing Andrew did was find his brother Simon and tell him, “We
have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to
Jesus. John 1:41-42