For the next four weeks, I will suspend the Monday Vitamins and Mid-Week Boost features on this blog, to focus on the Advent season, which began this year on Sunday, November 27. Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas and extends over a period of four weeks. As stated by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts, “Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word adventus, which means ‘coming’ or ‘visit.’ In the season with this name, we keep in mind both ‘advents’ of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.”
Prepare. My Christmas tree is up. There are red poinsettias in pots wrapped in gold colored paper and candles and small nativity scenes in my living room. Several presents have been purchased. One can say that my preparations for Christmas have begun. But more than any physical and visible preparations I have made and can make, the one that is the most important, is the preparation of my heart.
Four themes are emphasized during Advent: Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. In keeping with the Advent calendar, I will focus on hope this week, primarily by sharing Scripture verses on hope. Also, for the first post of each week, I will include a link to a prayer. I pray these will be a blessing to you.
“And again, Isaiah says: ‘There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.’” (Romans 15:12)
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)