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The Expectation, Fascination, Realization and Transformation from Jesus - For Advent

Updated on September 4, 2015

Readings for the Advent Season

What are the expectations you have for the Christmas Season?

and Why are so many people Fascinated with Jesus Christ?

Have you ever considered that a Realization that Jesus is who He says He is leads to a Transformation of the heart and life?

These are the topics we'll explore during all the weeks of Advent. Below you'll find four of the readings found in this booklet designed to help you with the Advent season (One from each week). With enough daily readings for even the longest of Advent Seasons, this booklet is undated to allow flexibility in its use.

Source

The First Week of Advent

The Candle of Expectation

Isaiah 9:2-7

Since the beginning of time, God gave hints that He would send a Messiah, a Savior, and, as this scripture says, a King. God promised that when the Messiah came, the Kingdom He would set up would continue forever and peace would be everlasting. So when Jesus came in such humble circumstances, many didn't believe He really was the promised Messiah. They didn't understand that the Kingdom God promised was an eternal Kingdom, and the peace He guaranteed was internal peace. Here we are some 2000 years later and still Jesus doesn't always fit the mold people have cast for Him. This week we're going to look at some of the things that people expected of Jesus and the Christ and look at how He fulfilled or didn't fulfill their expectations. Each day we'll take some time to look at what we are expecting from Christ and try to decide if our expectations are limiting Christ. As you light the first candle today, the Candle of Expectation, think about that, what do you expect from Jesus Christ?

Graphic purchased at Kozzi.com

The Greatest of These is Love
The Greatest of These is Love

This is a set of Advent Readings I created. You'll find one reading for every day of Advent. You can preview them courtesy of a link you'll find below.

 

The Second Week of Advent

The Candle of Fascination

Luke 2:8-20

This week we’ll light two candles each day. The first will remind us to never limit our expectations of Christ. The second will help us see how fascinating God really is. Today as we light for the first time The Candle of Fascination, we read a story that’s been told thousands of times since Christ was born. How do you think it felt to be in that field that night? Think about it: Everything is going along much like usual. The sheep are grazing quietly, some have bedded down for the night, and the shepherds are sitting around fires keeping watch for wild animals that might try to attack the flock. Fascination is probably not an adequate word to describe all that was going on in those shepherds’ minds on that night that would live on forever in history. But, I wonder, has the story of Jesus’ birth gotten so familiar for some of us who have heard it over and over again, that we’re no longer fascinated by the wonder of it? Has this angelic event become so commonplace that we don’t find it awe-inspiring anymore? Let’s spend this week and the rest of our Advent season working to bring back the fascination . . . the fascination of the Christmas season and the fascination that will allow us to still be awed by Christ today.

Angel by Cooee on MorgueFile.com
Angel by Cooee on MorgueFile.com

The Third Week of Advent

The Candle of Realization

Matthew 1:18-25

This week we’ll light three candles every day. The candle of expectation will remind us to reconsider just what it is we expect Jesus to be, and the candle of fascination will help us continue our search for Christ so we can find Him to be even more than we expected. Today we’ll add the candle of realization to help us overcome our skepticism. Tonight we read Matthew’s account of Joseph finding out that Mary was going to have a baby. This might be the ultimate story of skepticism in the scripture. We don’t know if Mary told Joseph she was going to have a baby or if he found out through the grapevine. We do know that even though he loved this young girl enough to avoid ruining her reputation, he was skeptical about where Mary had been and whom she’d been with. His skepticism turned to realization when the angel spoke to him and he understood that the child Mary was carrying was the Son of God. Perhaps we would be less skeptical if an angel spoke to us. Fortunately though, we have the entire scripture to help us see who Jesus really is and overcome our skepticism. Each time we light the candle this week, we’ll look at people who were skeptical but discovered that Jesus really is who He says He is. If you find yourself skeptical about Christ and church, this candle is for you! The candle of realization . . . the realization of the truth of Jesus Christ.

More Advent Readings

Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers together with Nouwen's Own Words
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers together with Nouwen's Own Words

I love the works of Henri Nouwen. I've not read these; however, everything else Mr. Nouwen writes is beautiful.

 

The Fourth Week of Advent

The Candle of Transformation

Revelation 21:3-5 & Isaiah 65:17

Today you’ll light four candles. A candle that will ask you “What do you expect from Christ?” One to remind you to constantly be fascinated by Christ and a third that will question your skepticism and bring you to the realization of the truth of Christ. But when it comes down to it, this fourth candle is what Christianity is all about. The Candle of Transformation. Jesus’ whole point in coming to earth was to transform us. He came to bring us from slavery to sin into freedom in Christ, to turn a life of turmoil into a spirit of peace, from sadness to joy, unrest to contentment and the list goes on. As we discovered during the first week of advent, many people believed and still believe that the Messiah came to change the world, but what they don’t understand is that He came to do it one person at a time. He came to transform your heart, to change you and make you into the very best “you” you can be. We wonder how a baby born in a stable can do such a thing. Ah, but that brings us back to the Candle of Expectation. Will Christ ever be what we expect Him to be? It amazes us when we see someone whom Christ has transformed. Yes, even today we need the Candle of Fascination. And even with the transformation that goes on everyday in the lives of those who trust Him, there are those who are still skeptical that Jesus Christ really is who He claims to be. Today is a day of Expectation and Fascination. My prayer for you is that it will also be a day of Realization and Transformation. May you have a truly Blessed Christmas

What's Your Favorite Thing about Advent? - Or Just say Hi!

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