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.

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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

[ 1296 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 33, 9th Day of Christmas…

    

    
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 33 Devotional…

    

"IMPORTANT VISITORS, 9th Day of Christmas"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer 
January 2, 2011

    

Read Matthew 2:1-2.

… behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. (Matthew 2:1b)

    

During these last days of the Christmas season we turn to the wise men. We mentioned briefly last week that these men were counselors and advisors to their king. They were considered experts in nature, astrology and medicine. While studying the heavens, they spotted a special light that announced the birth of a great king. God had placed it in the sky to guide them to His Son.

There are many mysterious things about the wise men. We aren’t sure what country they came from; though they certainly didn’t come from the Far East-the Orient. We don’t know how many there were; we only know they presented three gifts to Jesus. We don’t even have enough information to know the nature of this "star." The Greek word can refer to a comet, a conjunction of planets or a special miraculous light God placed in the heavens. But one thing is clear: the star convinced them the great King had been born.

As they arrive in Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, one great mystery remains for them. They ask King Herod "Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him."

Throughout this Christmas season God has shown you the certain fact that He sent His Son Jesus into our world to save you from your sins. Will you be like the wise men, leaving everything behind to worship your Savior and learn more about Him?

    

    
Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me the certainty You gave the wise men, that Your Son was born King of the Jews and my King. Move me to worship Him and want to know more about Him. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

    

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

    

    

"The Birth of Jesus"…  (4:06)

    

    

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 33…
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