BEHOLD THE KING
A Study of Matthew 1-2
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
Advent is a season of waiting, expecting and hoping. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming”. For Christians, celebrating Advent helps to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the “coming” of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. The Advent Season begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which means it starts this year on November 29, 2020.
While the focus of Advent is upon the birth of Jesus Christ and the reality of His first coming, the actions and events used in the celebration of our Lord’s birth also remind us and assure us of His promise to return. However, His second coming will not be as a baby boy with no place to lay His head, but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, having been crowned by God the Father with all glory, honor and praise. Every true believer lives each day in the glorious expectation of that second “advent” of our Lord.
Advent is also a spiritual journey for every believer. This year we are going to walk, almost verse by verse through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, under the heading: Behold the King! These daily readings will also coordinate with the Sunday sermons for the next four weeks so that the Holy Spirit can saturate our minds with the truth of God’s Word.
The Advent wreath is a wonderful tool to help parents tell the real Christmas story to their children. The wreath is an evergreen circle with five candles, four around the wreath and one in the center.
The circle of the wreath reminds us of God’s eternity–He has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness of eternal life.
Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
- The Prophecy Candle – (purple) the candle of hope–Romans 15:12-13
- The Bethlehem Candle – (purple) the candle of peace–Luke 3:4-6
- The Shepherd Candle – (pink) the candle of Joy–Luke 2:7-15
- The Angel Candle – (purple) the candle of love–John 3:16-17
- The fifth or center candle (white) is The Christ Candle–John 1:29
As the candles are lighted, over the four-week period, it symbolizes how the demonic darkness of fear, the utter hopelessness of this world, and the guilt and remorse for our sins, recede to the degree that the Light of the Word is allowed to shine in us and through us. The flame of each new candle reminds us that something is happening; God is at work, and more is yet to come.
As we see our world drowning in chaos and confusion, and with wickedness and evil being manifested before us, unashamedly, let us begin this advent season with a sense of repentance and contrition for the unconfessed sins in our own heart, and then for God’s people around the world, that believers would renew their love for the Lord Jesus, and unbelievers would see their need of a Savior; the One whose birth even they will celebrate, albeit in selfishness.
Linda and I join you in this journey, and we pray that God will reveal Himself afresh and anew unto you, as you make room for His Son in your heart! – Pastor Wayne
|This is an Advent symbol of Jesus from Rev 1:8 and 22:13: “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega [the first and the last, the beginning and the end],’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (see also Isaiah 44:6).
|The blue letter is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, and the purple is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega. Not only does this symbolize the One who has come and will come again, it also emphasizes the continuity of God’s work in history throughout both the Old and New Testaments.