It happens every year.
December rolls around and the festivities get underway, and for most of us … that is it. We enjoy the season, and we love all that surrounds it, but do we love the reason for the season? Do we come into it with clear eyes and full hearts … about Jesus?
This is the beauty of Advent, and this is what we are excited about at Harvest as we embark on the celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is why we want to “Make Christmas Matter” for you, your loved ones, and the people you interact with this Christmas. And this is why we are so excited to spend this next month looking closer at how you can transform your Advent season into something eternal—something that has the power to change your life forever—if you let the truth of Christmas sink deep into your soul. Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV) highlights this profoundly…
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
God has come to us, and there is no one besides Jesus that can carry the load of this broken world besides the Christ himself. And when we enter the Advent season, we can celebrate this reality through five distinct candles …
The Candle of Hope, the Candle of Preparation, the Candle of Joy, the Candle of Love, and most importantly of all, the Candle of Adoration. (Also referred to as the Prophet’s Candle, the Bethlehem Candle, the Shepherd’s Candle, the Angel’s Candle, and the Christ Candle, respectively).
Our Savior has come!
So here is your challenge …
Over the next four Sundays, take some time either individually, and/or with your loved ones, and do the following …
In the name of HOPE: READ Isaiah 9:2, 6-7; Psalm 122; Isaiah 2:2-5; Romans 13:11-14 / SING “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “Silent Night”
In the name of PREPARATION: READ Isaiah 40:3-5; Psalm 72:18; Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 1:26-38 / SING “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
In the name of JOY: READ Matthew 2:10-11; Psalm 146:5-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 2:8-14 / SING “Joy to the World”
In the name of LOVE: READ John 3:16-19; Psalm 24:1-10; Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke 2:8-20; John 1:14; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10 / SING “Away in a Manger” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
In the name of ADORATION: READ John 1:14, Psalm 96; Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-40; Titus 2:11-14 / SING “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
We also have a reading plan that you can download here that can take you through a daily dose of Advent reading as well. Pick one up and read right along with us every day in the month of December!
And may we all as one church family “Make Christmas Matter” at Harvest like never before. For there is only one King we celebrate and serve this Christmas, and He shares His throne with no one.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ (Luke 2:13-14, ESV)
Merry Christmas everyone!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS WE DIG INTO GOD’S WORD TOGETHER THIS CHRISTMAS:
- What is the meaning of Christmas and why do you really celebrate it?
- What do you want to do differently this Christmas to “Make it Matter?”
- What aspect of Advent is most meaningful to you and how will you share that with others?
- Who is Jesus and why is He worthy of our worship and gratitude?
- How are you planning on glorifying Jesus this Christmas?
“MAKING CHRISTMAS MATTER” …
“Making the Mission Matter” – January 1, 2023
Christmas Candlelight Service – December 24 & 25, 2022
“Making God With Us Matter Today” – December 18, 2022
“God With Us: Making the Miracle of His Presence Matter” – December 11, 2022
“A Picture of the Coming Messiah” – December 4, 2022