Tag Archives: Advent

First Sunday of Advent

Join us on a journey of Advent. Each Sunday, we will have a reading posted, along with what candle we are lighting in our churches or homes today. Today is the candle of Hope. We hope for the future king. What will he be like? Will we see it in our lifetime? Hope.

Speaker 1: Lighting a candle in the darkness helps us find our way. In the darkness, we lose direction. We cannot see where we have been or where we are going. A single candle, flickering brightly, helps us find our way again.

Speaker 2: “Stir up your might, and come to save us. Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:2b-3).

The first candle is lit.

Speaker 3: Light one candle; see it glow
Brightly, so that all may know
How one candle shows the way
Making our darkness bright as God’s day.

Speaker 4: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. All pray: Dear God, on this first Sunday in Advent, let this light shine brightly as the days grow shorter so that we will be ready for your face to shine upon us at Christmas. In the Savior’s name, we pray. Amen.

Hail the Incarnate Deity

~Charles Swindoll

On that still winter’s night, something was up… something extraordinary… something supernatural. The shepherds raced to the City of David and found their Savior, just as the angel had said… swaddled and lying in a feeding trough. This was the Promised One, the Messiah! God had finally come to dwell with His people, but in such an unexpected way.

Just who was this holy Child the shepherds gazed upon? Make no mistake: He was incarnate deity. The newborn Jesus existed in eternity past as God the Son. He was coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus relinquished the privileges and the pleasures of His existence in heaven when He took upon Himself the limitations of humanity (Philippians 2:6-7). In emptying Himself, Jesus voluntarily set aside the prerogatives and prerequisites of life as He had known it, an existence He had enjoyed; He released His right to that kind of life, saying to the Father, “I will go.”

Go where? To Bethlehem. He took “the form of a bond-servant, and [was] made in the likeness of men.” Allow yourself to picture what the shepherds saw. There He is, the baby. Do you see His ten fingers and ten toes? His button nose? Can you hear the cries? There’s humanity. In this holy infant is the beginning of an earthly life. Look deep into His eyes and see the beginning of life itself.

Later, this divine man, completely unique in His nature and in the perfect life that He lived, “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Isn’t that amazing? Of all ways to die, He died on a cross—the most humiliating and painful kind of death.

God the Son lowered Himself. He took on the flesh of an infant. He died a humiliating death. As a result, God the Father “highly exalted Him.” One day, all will bow in worship of the risen Lord, “to the glory of God the Father.”

It’s all about His glory. What a plan. What an execution. What a perfect, awesome wrapping! The God-man. Jesus is undiminished deity and true humanity, two distinct natures in one person, forever. That’s the baby in the manger!

See Isaiah 7:14 and Philippians 2:5-11.

The baby in the manger is undiminished deity and true humanity, two distinct natures in one person, forever.

-Charles Swindoll