December 1 a total of 1 readings for today
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
A Preface to This Adventure
What Is Advent? Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning arrival or coming. The Hebrews looked forward to the coming of a Savior or Messiah—the First Advent. Now, we are waiting expectantly for His return to sweep His bride off of our feet—the Second Advent. The Church has been waiting for Him to come back from the moment He left the first time.
Why Should I Participate in Advent? So, what does Advent have to do with celebrating the arrival of Jesus? Traditionally, Advent counts down the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Practically, Advent reminds us to look forward to His return every day. This season is about resetting Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. After all, when He comes to take us home forever, we want to be ready. Expect to be inspired, challenged, refocused, broken, motivated, unified, encouraged, and most of all, expectant.
How Do I Use This Reading Plan? Each day provides daily reflection questions and often a suggested activity to help you center that day on Jesus. You can go in order or you can skip around and pick a day that you feel would be the most beneficial. You can go through the plan as an individual, but think of ways to do them in groups or as a family. Some activities will be things that you may already do during the Christmas season, but will suggest a Christ-centered way to think about it. Other activities will be things that you have never done before, so be open-minded and willing to try something new. Each day will includeExposure, Exploration, Expression, and Experience. You may find that you want to read the Additional Content each day before the scripture to guide what you’re looking for.
Exposure: Read the account of two people who waited every day in the Temple for Jesus’ arrival. To add a traditional element, look up information about Advent wreaths and set up something like it in your home to use during this time. Yours can be as simple as four candles arranged in a circle.
Exploration: Discuss or journal about these two people who were blessed by seeing God’s Savior with their own eyes. How can your life reflect this kind of anticipation?
Expression: Think about how you anticipate Christmas. How much of this feeling of excitement is centered on the arrival of Christ?
Experience: Before you dive into this 25-day journey, spend some time in prayer. Ask God to open your eyes so your vision of Jesus becomes clearer than it has ever been. Ask God to make you more aware of what it means to live your life with the expectation of the Advent of Jesus. Even on a personal level, when Jesus comes, life truly is an ADVENTure. Let’s experience it fully this Christmas season!