Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.

Greek Orthodox Image of Nativity

Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.

Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1316 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Advent:

    

“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison

“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel

“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner

“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby

    

Celebrating Advent: Day 32, New Year’s Day, 2012…

    

    
Advent-Calendar-1_thumb1_thumb_thumbAn Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3.

Today, most Advent calendars are made for children. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are often 24; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day during Advent. In many of these calendars, each window opens to reveal an image, a poem, or a portion of a story such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus. More elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

The traditional calendar consists of two pieces of card stock on top of each other. Twenty-four doors are cut out in the top layer, with a number ranging from one to twenty-four on each. Beginning on the first day of December, one door is opened each day, counting down the days remaining until Christmas Eve, from one to twenty-four where the 24th door often holds an extra surprise like an extra large piece of chocolate. Some modern calendars are labeled as "countdown calendars" and are designed to start at number 24 and count down to number 1 so the number of days until Christmas can be easily determined. Each compartment displays an image, which can be either a feature of the Nativity story and the birth of Jesus or a piece of paraphernalia to do with Christmas (e.g., bells or holly).
    

    

Advent Devotions 2011

    

    
God’s unfailing love at Christmas is a source of strength in all seasons. But what if you’re picking up the pieces from a disaster that wiped out everything-or you can’t find work-or your marriage is on the rocks-or you’ve lost a loved one?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find again the joy and peace that Christmas is all about? In Transforming This Christmas, Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Theological Writer/Editor, Pastor Wayne Palmer shows how God can raise you above it all as He transforms this Christmas for you.

In Transforming This Christmas you will find that every year we hope this will be a Christmas to remember- a time of true joy and peace. But how can it be if you’re picking up the pieces from a hurricane, tornado, fire or drought- if you’re still unemployed after months or years of searching- if your marriage is disintegrating- if you’re living with constant health problems- if you lost a dear loved one this year?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this Christmas we could rise above the turmoil in our lives? Wouldn’t it be great if you could really find joy and peace despite all the burdens you carry and the mad, hectic preparations for Christmas? Join us for our Christmas devotions and watch God raise you above it all as He transforms this Christmas for you.
    

    
Day 32 Devotional…

    

"THE PERFECT NAME, New Year’s Day"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer 
January 01, 2012

    

Read Matthew 1:20-25.

And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the Name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21)

    

Have you noticed through all these devotions up to this one I have not used the name for Mary’s Son, the newborn King of the Jews? I’ve been following the Jewish custom of not naming the baby boy until he was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. Well, today is the day.

For the first time God’s Son sheds His blood and shares the pain we experience in this life; it will certainly not be the last time. His circumcision places Him under His Father’s covenant with Abraham. He will carefully obey God’s rules and requirements. But being God’s Son He doesn’t do it for His own sake; He puts Himself under God’s Law for our sakes. His perfect life will earn our place in heaven, and when He sheds His blood on the cross He will remove the curse of hell from us.

That is why He receives the name God had chosen and revealed to both Mary and Joseph through the angels He sent to visit them. It was a very common name at that time; its Hebrew equivalent still is today-Joshua. His name means, "The Lord saves." Every other man who ever bore that name was pointing to the Lord in heaven who alone could save him. This Child is the Lord Himself who came down to earth to save His people. And His Name is Jesus, the Lord who saves.

    

    
Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for bearing the Name that reveals the purpose for Your birth and life among us. You are the Savior who has delivered us from God’s wrath and promised our eternal home in heaven. Keep us in this faith until You return on the Last Day. Amen.

    

[ from: Advent Devotions by the Lutheran Hour Ministries web page (see References) ]

    

    

"Let us Go Rejoicing to the House of the Lord"… (3:16)

    

    

References

    

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Advent…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

Wikipedia: Advent Calendar…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent_calendar

Lutheran Hour Ministries: Advent Devotions…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

Lutheran Hour Ministries: Daily Devotions: Day 32…
http://www.adventdevotions.net/dailydevotions.asp

Brainy Quote: Advent Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/advent.html

    

Other Posts on related Topics:

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent: Traditions & Meditations…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=21170

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Holiday Season: Advent
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5614

Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent Traditions
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5655