Dive Into Advent Devotionals
Follow how the “Impossible” is gifted, lived and experienced through the lives of a few of our Advent figures. We will merge the sermon series being pulled from the Old Testament into how the New Testament highlights and unwraps the idea of God making all things possible.
These weekly reflections enhance and complement the weekend’s teaching, providing you with an additional lens to see the “Impossible” in the everyday moments of your life. In the midst of this busy season, we invite you to create space to discover time with God and the gift of the possible.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”
- Matthew 2:1-2
This past weekend we experienced the rich Advent tradition passed down since 1880, “Lessons and Carols.” This is a tradition that points us to the grace of God through the message of hope and joy that was given to us in the most unlikely of ways, a baby born to a teen couple, witnessed by a community of farm animals.
No one expected this story. No one that is except this mysterious group of people from the east: the wisemen. Have you ever thought of the Magi?. “The Three Kings” as they are called in the classic Christmas carol.
I’ve always been fascinated by these mysterious fellows who show up near the beginning of the Christmas story. When I started to pay attention to them, I noticed some interesting things and was left with even more questions.
Magi Moment: Did you ever notice when they actually arrive on the scene of the Christmas story? Take a look at Matthew 2:1-11. No seriously just click the link and read the passage. I’ll wait. ... Ok did you see it? They weren’t at the manger. They come some time later as they go into the house where Mary and Jesus were staying. This explains why my family and I put the wisemen from our annual manger scene in the kitchen. It’s also a great conversation starter for friends and family who visit during the Advent season.
One of my big questions is how did they know to look for this star of the new King of the Jews? Could it have been Daniel? Daniel we know is fresh in our minds and hearts as we have just finished up a two-month sermon series. From that series, you might recall that Daniel held the position of wiseman. Another thing we know about Daniel is that he and his closest friends continually lived faithfully before God as testified by King Darius, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” (Daniel 6:16)
Daniel, as a faith-filled Jewish exile would be looking for the day God would restore Israel. When the Messiah, the Promised One of God would come. However, when the Magi from the Christmas story noticed the star in the sky, something prompted them perhaps to recall these words of Daniel pointing to God’s faithfulness and plan for His people.
This is a glimpse of how the story of Jesus works isn’t it? God working behind the scenes many times unnoticed yet through the words, actions and stories of the faithful. Through the lives of those who have come to know Jesus in such a way that they, like Daniel, are compelled to pass on the story of God is setting things right through the Promised One, through Jesus.
This Advent season I encourage you to cherish and recall the loving mystery of how you came to know Jesus. Who told you? Perhaps send them a card of thanks for their faithfulness. Individually or as a family share your story with one another and join the long line of faithful storytellers pointing each other to Jesus.
“Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out.”
- Psalm 34:3, The Message
To help you toward this end, here are a few guidelines to create a Spiritual Genealogy. This is a great way to trace through whom and how God worked in your life to bring the story of Jesus to you.
A Spiritual Genealogy
To start your Spiritual Genealogy, answer the questions concerning your coming to faith in Jesus. Then interview the person who introduced you to Jesus (if possible) and answer the same questions. Do this as far back as possible to see all that God used to bring you into the family of faith. After you’ve gone back as far as possible, create a poster board with pictures of key people or places, write a couple of lines describing that person’s coming to faith to visually represent your Spiritual Genealogy. Then stand back and marvel at the beautiful grace and love of God and how it weaves through our individual stories to bring us into the grand story of God’s redeeming love for the world through Jesus.
- Who introduced you to Jesus?
- Where were you when you invited Jesus into your life?
- How old were you?
- What were the circumstances which enabled the person to share Jesus with you?
- What’s the best thing about knowing Jesus personally?