TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Genesis 12:1-3
BOTTOM LINE: The WAITING Was All Worth It!
QUESTION: Is there a Place in our Life that God is Calling us to Separate Ourselves from the World? Is there somewhere God is Calling us to Go that we are wrestling with right now?
ADVENT means Coming. For many, many years, early Christians were awaiting the Coming of the Messiah. God had Promised He would send a Messiah, and they were waiting … anxiously … almost like the kids on CHRISTmas Eve who are so anxious to open presents. There’s this energy of anticipation … and this energy of wondering what … and when … and how … all that.
ONE … it leans back into this powerful time of Prayer, and Reflection … for many there’s a time of Fasting and Preparation … and we lean back into this 4-weeks of intentionally focusing on the arrival of Jesus … and who Jesus was … and what that meant for us …
SECONDLY … it creates this Hope & Peace & Joy & Love in us that we experience … but it collides that w/ this reality that Jesus is Coming again … and it ignites this Urgency in us that while we are grateful and celebrating … we’ve got to make this season all about Jesus so those who don’t know Him can hopefully discover the Reason for the Season … right?
The 4 Outer Candles … represent the period of waiting during the 4 Sunday’s of ADVENT for the coming Messiah … they also symbolize the 4 centuries that passed between the prophet Malachi and. the birth of Jesus
The 5TH CANDLE is the Christ Candle … it’s often Bigger and Taller than the others … representing the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son.
The COLORS of the Candles have meaning as well:
- 3 Purple – representing Royalty
- 1 Pink or Red – representing Joy
- 1 White – representing the Purity of Christ … His Perfection & Divinity
And so hopefully that helps … as it was really helpful in sharing so many of the details and the Why about how and why we do all that we do in so many of the CHRISTmas traditions.
One of the elements of the CHRISTmas season that can be so difficult sometimes is the WAITING … RIGHT?
The BIBLE is full of people that WAITED!
For over 400 years … people literally WAITED on the birth of Jesus! God was completely silent and yet His People were anticipating and praying for this moment when a King would be born to rescue them from their enemies!
Maybe you’ve heard of Abraham before? His story is in the very 1st Letter of the Bible … Genesis … and it’s a Messy Story that also involves a LOT of waiting!
He and his wife Sarai want to be parents … but Sarai is unable to conceive a child … and 1 day … God speaks to Abraham and tells him that he will be a Father!
And just as God had Promised … when we read through Matthew 1 … we are reminded once again that it was through Abraham’s descendants that Jesus would 1 day be born!
Even in his name … Abram means Exalted Father … and then God changed his name to Abraham … which means Father of a Multitude.
And just like that … God’s Covenant w/ Abraham goes from being the Father of Isaac … to in the direct line of the birth of Christ!
And when God speaks … He expects a Response too!
God Expects Obedience!
He required 2 things of Abraham didn’t He?
- Leave your country and your family.
- Go to the land I will show you!
God made Abraham 7 Promises:
- I will make you a Great Nation (Israel)
- I will Bless You
- I will make your Name Great
- You will be a Blessing
- I will bless those that Bless You
- I will Curse Those that Curse You
- In YOU … all the Earth will be Blessed!
Through ABRAHAM …
- We have a Savior!
- We have God’s Word … the Bible.
- We have the story of the Gospel to tell!
God Expects our Obedience!
And He has created us so that we can live Dependent on Him!