It’s week two of Advent, and we again invite you to join us as we reflect on Christ’s first and second comings. Last week we looked at several stories that spoke about how Christ is the fulfillment of our hopes. This week’s Advent theme is preparation, so we’ll look at how God prepared his people for the coming Messiah, and still prepares us to be a part of His plan.
Ready to join us? You can see the first week of reflections here, and we’ve posted the second week of the reflections below. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get a daily reminder. We look forward to reflecting with you!
Day 8: Isaiah Predicts a Forerunner
Read Isaiah 40:3-5
Isaiah and Malachi predicted that someone would come before the Messiah to level the ground and make a smooth path for people to reach and see him.
What mountains and valleys in your own life might be blocking you from God?
Day 9: David Prepares the Way for Solomon
Read 2 Samuel 7:12-13
David wanted to build a temple for God, but because David was a man of bloodshed (1 Chron. 28:3), God chose David’s son Solomon to build it. Still, even though David sinned horribly, God promised that his kingdom would be established forever, first through strengthening the kingdom under his direct son Solomon, then by promising an eventual Messiah from his line who would be the King of Kings.
How might God use you to prepare the way for others in spite of (or even because of) your sin?
Day 10: Joseph Stands with Mary
Read Matthew 1:24-25
A simple construction worker finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, and not by him. Sounds like daytime television. But Joseph’s response was anything but dramatic. He planned to divorce her quietly to avoid scandal. When he was told to marry her anyway, he did, and adopted Jesus as his own, preparing him to protect Mary and Jesus when Herod threatened to kill them. In spite of disgrace—and rumors flew even after Jesus was an adult—Joseph believed and stayed.
Where might God be calling you to believe in him and stay put in spite of shame?
Day 11: No Room Prepared
Read Luke 2:4-7
The normally-quiet Bethlehem was packed when Joseph and Mary arrived for the census—so packed that a heavily-pregnant woman had to give birth among the animals. And yet even those difficult circumstances prepared the way for worshipful shepherds to find the newborn Messiah.
What parts of your life are you hesitant to let Jesus enter? How might Jesus be using your reluctance for His glory?
Day 12: John Baptizes the People
Read John 1:29-31
Baptism developed from Jewish rites of ritual purification, and at the time of Christ was used primarily on converts to Judaism. It represents a change of status: impure to pure, Gentile to Jew. John’s baptisms prepared the hearts of the Jews to identify with a baptism of the Holy Spirit and a new covenant that Jesus would create with his blood.
What part of your life needs a change of status and a baptism of the Spirit?
Day 13: Jesus Prepares a Place for Us
Read John 14:1-4
The Israelites spent thousands of years waiting for the promised Messiah, but God was waiting for the proper time. Now, we too are waiting for his second coming. Meanwhile, like a bridegroom preparing a home for his bride, Jesus has spent the last 2,000 years preparing an eternal home for us. One day he will return for us, taking us away from these momentary temptations and afflictions.
How does knowing about our eternal home change how you live your live today?
Day 14: God Prepared Us to Do Good Work
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
While we remember Christ’s first advent and wait with eager anticipation for his second advent, God has saved us and has actually prepared us to do good works. No matter what temptations we may face, God may be using those temptations to prepare us to help others struggling, or keep us humble in our own work, or to simply help us help others find Jesus.
What works do you think God may be preparing you to do?