Celebrate the Third Week of Advent
By Lisa Robertson
"The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth -- the very thing the whole story has been about." -- C.S. Lewis
Advent is the first season in the church calendar. Since the 7th century A.D., Christians have included this celebration in their preparation for Christmas Day.
Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, its purpose is twofold: first, it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ and second, it reminds us that we are eagerly waiting for Jesus' return in glory.
The word "advent" originates from the Latin word advenio which means coming to. Advent is the time when we focus on Christ coming to the world. Throughout history, the Israelites anticipated the coming of their Messiah. In the Old Testament, over 400 scriptures and prophecies outline His birth, life, death, resurrection, and return. God had a plan to redeem His people. He declared His plan to His prophets over the centuries and is fulfilling His Word even now.
"Prepare the way of the Lord" serves as a main theme of this season. As we get ready for Christmas, we should not neglect to prepare our lives for Jesus, who came as "the light of the world." His light penetrated a dark world, which allowed all to see their Messiah, and the hope of their future.
Today we need to be prepared for the coming of Christ. Learning more about what the Bible reveals about Christ's return will enable us to understand the possible significance of world events.
Be ready and watchful, for the light of the world has come and will surely come again.
THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT: JOY
Hot pink, pale pink, rose pink are all shades of pink painted into a sunrise. Like the various shades of pink, our expressions of joy can be so different. Joy can be exuberant when we experience the faithfulness of God, it can be calm confidence in His sovereignty, or pure delight as He expresses His love.
Joy has many shades. It should never be determined by how we feel, but on who God is. The joy of the Lord can thrill us or make us resolute in the secure knowledge of God's presence. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 to be joyful always. Jesus tells us "With God all things are possible." (Mark 9:24) This combination of truth should help us be joyful each day.
DAY ONE: PERSEVERANCE
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in the God of my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength: He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to go on the heights." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Habakkus wrote this passage after Israel had been devastated by the Babylonian invasion. All of the typical indicators of comfort and security in a Hebrew society -- crops, livestock, food -- had been eliminated. Despite the devastation, he proclaims the greater reality of God's sovereignty. His source of hope and strength is in the presence of Almighty God. His determination anchors his joy in God and it gives him the strength to follow Him to new places. Even in times of our own suffereing, God is still sovereign.
Lord God, give us eyes to see your reality. When we are devastated, teach us how to persevere in following You. Help us to focus on Your sovereignty and Your love. Amen.
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This Devotion is taken from Advent: Making Christmas about Christ with permission.
Lisa Robertson has been a leader in women's ministry for over 20 years, as a Bible study teacher, speaker and author of Advent: Making Christmas about Christ. She has served on several local and national boards including Teen Mania, Smart Beginnings and Alpha, while remaining active in her church and her children's school. She has been a guest on The 700 Club and Living the Life. Married to Tim Robertson, Lisa is the mother of five children and lives in Virginia Beach, VA.
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