In the season of Advent, we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus, both his coming at Christmas and his second coming at the end of the world. At St. Paul’s this year, we are going to join the Old Testament believers who were waiting for the promised Savior to come. We will see promises made and promises fulfilled.
On the Sundays of Advent, we will be following the Old Testament supplemental pericope readings and focusing on the stories of how God told these individuals to prepare their hearts. These Old Testament readings closely parallel the appointed Gospel readings for the day. The first Sunday of Advent brings us to the time of the flood when God judged the world for failing to watch for the Savior. Jesus also references how swiftly the flood came when the world wasn’t expecting it. We too are called to watch for the return of Jesus. On Advent 2, the Gospel has John the Baptist warning people to repent. The ax is at the tree. In our Old Testament lesson, God calls Nebuchadnezzar to repent using a dream of a tree. On Advent 3, we meet Job and are encouraged to persevere, even through hardship and suffering as we wait for the Redeemer. Finally, in Advent 4, right before Christmas, we meet Isaiah, through whom God promises that the virgin will be with child and give birth to a son. Promises made. Promises fulfilled.
12/1/19 - Advent 1 - Genesis 6:9-22, 7:11-23 - Watch - Noah
12/8- Advent 2- Daniel 4:19-26 - Repent - Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar
12/15 - Advent 3- Job 1:6-22 - Persevere - Job
12/22- Advent 4- Isaiah 7:1-17 - Promises Made - Isaiah
At St. Paul’s we have Wednesday night Advent worship. During these services, we will focus on three important women of the Old Testament to whom God promised the Savior. Sarah, despite all evidence to the contrary, was promised that her descendant would bless the whole world. He did! Rahab was a prostitute living in Jericho who God brought to faith and also included in the line of the Savior. The story of Ruth is a shining jewel during the shadowy time of the judges. She was a foreigner whom God made part of his family. We saw promises made to each of these women during our summer “Bible Stories” series. Now at Advent, we prepare to see all of these promises fulfilled in Christ.
Midweek 12/4 - Sarah - Gen 21:1-7; Heb 11:11
Midweek 12/11 - Rahab - Joshua 6:25; (refer to the story from Joshua 2); Heb 11:31
Midweek 12/18 - Ruth - Ruth 1:16,17; Matt 1:5
Series idea originally came from the following book through NPH: Sermon Texts. We have included Bible references to the stories from the Old Testament and their corresponding New Testament fulfillment. Feel free to expand on these verses to tell the stories of the promise.
-Pastor Marques Nelson