Advent Week 1
You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. Acts 22:15 (NIV)
What have you to tell? Words often fade from our strong voices in the daily grind of life. We no longer speak of the events that once made our faces light up with great joy. We unfortunately often tell of the current struggle, the lack or the loss of provision or opportunity. I am guilty here. Resolve with me and let light drill through the dark tonight as you light the first candle of advent, a symbol of expectation to a harsh and cold world. Recall a world once without a Savior expectant of an incoming King who would break sin’s death hold and mute man’s mortal shame.
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood,
Sealed my pardon with His blood,
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” Can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
1 John 1:3 (NIV)
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Proclaiming leads to fellowship.
Reflection Reading (Message Version):
LUKE 2: 8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
Worldwide expectation is happening and God selects shepherds to tell everything they had heard and seen. If you are among the shepherds who are you telling?
So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22 (NIV)
Do THIS: take action. Light a candle around your table or with little ones at bedtime and share stories from what you have seen and heard about Christ. Traveler, did he calm a snow storm so you could fly home? Refugee, did Christ provide safe passage from a hostile country? Prayerful nurse, did Christ heal someone? Grandparent, did Christ bring home your prodigal? To the fathers, did Christ make provision for your family when resources were depleted? Young mother, did Christ restore a broken relationship or heal a fever in your young one? Adventurer, did Christ provide funding for that mission trip?