Advent is observed for four weeks before Christmas. Traditionally it is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of King Jesus, as well as awaiting the second coming of Christ. Before you dig into the blog post for today, watch this three-minute video to learn about the Advent season and how to use the blogs this month with your friends, your family, and on your own!
Week One Advent: Silence
An Opening Prayer:
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! – Psalm 14:7
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 2:1-11
New Testament Reading: Luke 20:19-26
Oswald Chambers said, “The root of all sin is the suspicion that God is not good.”
The religious people of Jesus’ day were masters in the art of suspicion. On the surface, they appeared squeaky clean. A band of brothers with high standards and moral values, men who felt responsible for keeping awareness of God front and center. They were suspicious men on high-alert, worried about losing their place of prominence at the temple table. “Trust no one and always verify” would have made for a catchy statement on their church marquee.
If I’m honest, there are still weeds of suspicions in me that pop up when I think that something is too simple, too kind or too good to be true.
A baby in a manger? Born to a virgin? A baby that is God? God that came as a flesh and blood baby, not a Zeus-like figure carrying lightning and thunder? This all seems a little crazy, right? It doesn’t seem right to me.
I say I believe, but when things don’t go the way I think they should, suspicion shows up to turn my wonder into worry and my child-like faith into fear.
What suspicious thought about God are you tempted to believe today?
For these religious leaders, the knowledge of God’s word had become more about safety for themselves than salvation for the world. Their relationship with God had become professional more than personal. They had turned God’s temple into a business – a way of securing their place of importance on the earth. And after four hundred years of not hearing God’s voice, it’s no wonder God’s voice started to sound a lot like their own. These people with dry bones were desperately in need of a fresh word from God. The problem was they weren’t ready for the kind of words that would disrupt the comfortable system their suspicious hearts had formed.
When’s the last time you dug deep into God’s Word and recognized His voice?
Hoping to confirm their suspicions, the hard-hearted asked their question, and Jesus spoke.
With all wisdom, Jesus answered their question by telling them to give. Give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to Him. It was a simple answer that cut straight to the heart.
And then silence fell.
“…..but marveling at his answer they became silent” (Luke 20:26).
Silence puts a stop to the flowing faucet of our words, leaving more space for God to speak.
As we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord, let us be filled with awe and wonder that God, the Creator of all the universe, loves to speak to us! In the beginning, without suspicion, God spoke. And without a doubt, God put on flesh, walked among us, and came to show us The Way back home to himself.
The words of Jesus are marvelous. When the weeds of suspicion get pulled from our hearts, it’s appropriate to be left with no words at all. Silence puts a stop to our words, leaving more space for Immanuel, God with us, to speak. In that space, awe and wonder can return and our childlike faith once again has a chance to blossom into worship.
“O come let us adore Him.”
How will you practice silence this Christmas season?
A time for spontaneous prayer. Or allow everyone to answer the question: What do you notice from the Bible reading?
A Closing Prayer:
Thank you for never condemning our hearts. Thank you for knowing what we need. Thank you for sending your beautiful son, Jesus, to save us. While we were still sinners who were terminally soul-sick, with suspicious hearts, you sent your son to set us free. We turn to you now to lay down our worried hearts and pick up the gift of receiving more of you. We quiet our hearts to hear from you. We still our minds to be set on you. Your words to us always bless us. With you, Immanuel, we are healthy, whole and eternally free.
Rev Tip: Clean a room (or two) of your house!
When you invite a guest over, you prepare your home in order to foster an evening of joy, connection, and friendship. You may tidy up the living room, light a sweet candle (or diffuse a fancy oil), and set out your nice dishes. Just as we prepare our homes for a guest, consider preparing your home for Christ this season.
This week, pick one room (or one closet) and organize it, clean it, and prepare it for the coming Christ. You are invited to invite others to this practice! Invite your children to clean by playing a creative game. Crank up worship music with your roommates or spouse as you clean out forgotten corners. You are preparing your home for Christ! Rejoice!
In the comments below, share how you make cleaning fun, or how you felt preparing your home for Christ.
Scripture Reflection and Closing Prayer written by Alisa Keeton.
Alisa is the founder of Revelation Wellness and the author of The Wellness Revelation. She was born for the battle of freedom! She is an ordinary woman who spends time with Jesus, and then He causes her to rise up and do extraordinary things. Starting a ministry, writing, teaching, and speaking being some of those things.
Thank you for observing the first week of Advent with us on the Revelation Wellness Blog! Please share your stories about how you use this devotional with your friends and family and your experience doing the RevTip each week!
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Workout with us in this #wednesdayworkout! For more workouts like this, visit RevWellTV!
AMIA’S CARDIO DANCE – “GOD’S WAY REVIVES”
This class is all cardio and all dance. Get ready to move to the beat and shake yourself free! (ALL LEVELS) (PSALMS 19:7-9; NO EQUIPMENT)