Written by Gerald Boerner
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.
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
[ 1298 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 37, Epiphany [Day of the Three Magi]…
An 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 37 Devotional…
"SAFE — FOR NOW, The Epiphany of Our Lord"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer
December 06, 2012
Read Matthew 2:13-15.
… "Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt" … (Matthew 2:13b)
After the wise men worshiped the Christ Child, God warned them not to report back to Herod. So they avoided Jerusalem and returned to their country by another route. It wouldn’t take long for Herod to realize he had been dupe, and God knew just how furious that would make the old tyrant. So He sent an angel to Joseph in a dream.
The angel warned Joseph of Herod’s murderous intent and told him to get up immediately and flee to Egypt. So in the middle of the night Joseph arose, loaded up His wife and her Child and led them to safety in Egypt.
Jesus escaped death this time, but He would not escape it forever. He had a date with death-actually a battle with death-a battle for all the spoils. About 30 years later, Jesus would go back to Jerusalem to be arrested, tried, condemned and nailed to a cross. And by His death and resurrection on the third day He would swallow up death forever.
But before that day He grew up and preached about God’s Kingdom to the people of Israel. If you go to your local church this Sunday you will see Jesus’ mighty miracles and hear His glorious Words.
Next month, beginning on Wednesday, February 22nd, we will begin a new set of devotions. These will follow Jesus as He boldly makes His way to the cross to set us free from death and hell.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to share our life in this world and winning salvation and eternal life for us by Your life, death and resurrection. Keep us in this faith until You come again to restore Your creation and bring us into eternal glory. Amen.
[ from: Advent Devotions by the Lutheran Hour Ministries web page (see References) ]
Polish Christmas/ Epiphany… (6:49)
Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Wikipedia: Advent Calendar…
Lutheran Hour Ministries: Advent Devotions…
Lutheran Hour Ministries: Daily Devotions: Day 37…
Brainy Quote: Advent Quotes…
Other Posts on related Topics:
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent: Traditions & Meditations…
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Holiday Season: Advent…
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent Traditions…