Scripture tells us that all creation worships God, that worship has passed from generation to generation… sometimes as celebration, but more often as a sign of prophetic joy, of the discipline of praise, and of the generational practice of singing to God. Worship and joy are connected, they are both disciplines, and they are both found in anticipation as well as fulfillment.
The people of Israel had been praying and longing for the promised Messiah. The scriptures prophesied that he would be born as a child and would be named Immanuel (God with Us). Romans 8:24 says a hope that is seen is no hope at all, but if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Mary was told that what her people had hoped for was happening, but she still had to wait (pregnancy) to see that hope fulfilled and when that day came she rejoiced.
To behold is to look deeply, to hold something in view and to be attentive to the depth and detail of what you might not, on the surface, see. Advent is a season for followers of Jesus to spend in a posture of deep attention: our focus is on the coming of Christ, and the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. As we explore the nature of who Jesus is this advent, we also become increasingly aware of the darkness that He broke into... a light that shines in the darkness, and that is not overwhelmed by it. We also become increasingly aware that this Jesus – seen truly for who He is – is surprising, unexpected, and revolutionary.
This message teaches us that the ancient’s expectation of warrior king was interrupted by the prince of peace. We will also see the Biblical picture of ‘shalom’ as the gift that Christ is bringing into the world.
To behold is to look deeply, to hold something in view and to be attentive to the depth and detail of what you might not, on the surface, see. Advent is a season for followers of Jesus to spend in a posture of deep attention: our focus is on the coming of Christ, and the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. This message will introduce advent and encourage our church to notice different demonstrations of God’s love including the most prominent demonstration of God’s love, Christ on the cross.