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Advent -Hope

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Advent: Week 1 – Hope
Romans 8:24-25

1.       Romans 8:24-25 – The hope of Advent is Jesus Christ

2.       Advent

a.       Advent means coming. Our Lord Jesus coming to earth was a history-changing, life-changing event. Had He not come on that night long ago as a babe in the manger, we would not have had the man Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.

b.      Significance of the candles

                                                               i.      First week is purple, representing the hope found in the coming Savior

                                                             ii.      Second week is purple, representing the peace found in the coming Savior

                                                            iii.      Third week is purple, representing the joy found in the coming Savior

                                                           iv.      Fourth week is pink, representing the love found in the coming Savior

                                                             v.      Fifth candle is large white candle representing the Christ candle, or the arrival of our pure and Holy Savior

*c.       Significance of the colors

*                                                               i.      Purple has always been a color of the kings

*                                                             ii.      Pink is the rose of Sharon, or the love that God has for us in sending His Son, as well as the love we should have for Him

*                                                            iii.      White represents the purity in Christ

*3.       Early Jews were looking for the Savior

*a.       Many prophecies about the Savior’s birth

*b.      Genesis 49:10 “Tribe of Judah”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Luke 3:33

*c.       Isaiah 11:1 “Family line of Christ”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Luke 3:32 (son of Jesse)

*d.      Jeremiah 31:15 “Herod kills children”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Matthew 2:16

*e.      Micah 5:2 “Born at Bethlehem”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Matthew 2:1

*f.        Hosea 11:1 “Escape to Egypt”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Matthew 2:14-15

*g.       Isaiah 7:14 “His name will be Immanuel”

*                                                               i.      Fulfilled Matthew 1:23

*4.       Hope of salvation and forgiveness found in Jesus

*a.       Romans 8:24-25


*5.     Christmas today

a.     Many traditions come with our Christmas today

                                          i.    December 25th probably not Jesus’ birth date

1.     Most early inhabitants were sun worshipers

2.     Prepared feasts at winter solstice, and made bonfires to give power back to sun god

3.     In attempt to add Christian elements to pagan ritual, early church in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth on the 25th

4.     Doesn’t matter what day so long as we give it to God

                                         ii.    Origin of gifts

1.     Idea of gifts probably came from Roman traditions in December marked by the Festival of Saturnalia – common practice to give gifts to each other

                                        iii.    Christmas Tree

1.     Missionary Boniface replaced sacrifices to the god Odin’s sacred of with a fir tree in tribute to Christ

2.     Martin Luther introduced the Christmas tree lighted with candles

                                        iv.    It is not the origin of these traditions that is the problem; it is what we do with them.  Christ must be the center of our Christmas celebration, or there is no reason to celebrate

                                         v.    Doesn’t mean not to celebrate on the 25th, or to give and receive gifts, or to have a Christmas tree; but if Christ is not the center, there is no reason for the tradition because the meaning behind the celebration is gone.

*b.      Today, we, yes, even Christians, often miss the point of Christmas

*c.       Become so occupied with other things that we miss the birth of Christ and the reason for this season

*                                                               i.      Preoccupied with work, school, friends, family, chores, shopping, ourselves

*d.      Luke 2:7 example [read Ignorant Preoccupation]

*6.       Finish in Hope (invitation verse)

*a.       As we do our shopping, make sure you say Merry Christmas to those that you talk to.  Don’t let the true focus of Christmas get lost in the coming generations.

b.      Paul says that we are to be in hope, and to finish in his words,   [Eph 1:18-19]

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