Celebrating Advent - Week 1

Christmas is this wonderful time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's more than the twinkling lights, beautifully wrapped gifts, and cozy homes filled with parties. It's so much more than what we've made it over the years. At the heart of Christmas is the celebration of Christ's coming to Earth more than 2,000 years ago.

Advent is a time when this focus is placed back at the center of the season. The word, in fact, means "coming." It's the celebration of the coming of Christ centuries ago and the anticipation of the coming of Christ yet to be. It's valuable to prepare our hearts and keep Christ first at all times, but especially now when it can be overshadowed by festivities and gifts.

Advent takes place the 4 Sundays leading to Christmas with the first 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival already made and the last 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival to come. There are numerous ways to celebrate this holiday and you can read more here if you’re interested. All to say, I can't think of a better way to embrace Christmas and prepare our hearts to glorify Jesus before anything else than taking this Advent journey together. With that said, let's dive into week 1!

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
— Isaiah 9:6-7

In this passage, Isaiah gives a prophecy of the Savior who would come and reign on this earth. We get such a beautiful and powerful glimpse into this coming and it was with eager expectation people looked forward to this moment. It was an event they longed for.

In this short passage, many things about the Messiah are described.

  1. A child would be born. The Messiah would be born to the people of Israel. A son made flesh. (Isaiah 7:14, a child would be born of a virgin and he would be named Immanuel, "God with us.").

  2. The government would rest on his shoulders. He would rule over Israel and the world for all time. His authority would be established above all.

  3. He would be to his people:

    1. A Wonderful Counselor - Intimately aware of the workings of God and every man's heart. He is the wisdom of God and speaks to mankind.

    2. A Mighty God - Not only would he be a man but he would be fully God, mighty to save.

    3. An Everlasting Father - He is the author of life and designer of the universe.

    4. The Prince of Peace - He established peace both on the earth and in our hearts.

  4. He would reign on the throne of David. Established from the line of David, once a king and a prophecy of his human lineage. 

  5. He would have the zeal of the Lord Almighty. The zeal of the Lord overcomes all things and all things depend on God.

There was a time when people heard this prophecy and held it dear to them, hoping and praying it would come soon. We get to experience this fulfillment on the other side and that's what Christmas is about--celebrating the coming that already took place. Celebrating the moment Christ entered the world to save humanity.

Are you ready to prepare your heart? Ready to celebrate Jesus!

This week, reflect on this passage and sit in Christ's love for you. He didn't have to come to Earth and wrap himself in flesh but out of incredible love, he chose to do so. He loves you and honestly would have done it all if just for you. Carry this with you this week and appreciate who he is and what he came to do.