My Spiritual Walk · Raised in a Barn

First Week of Advent ~ He is Our Hope

One Christmas tradition my family always honored was the advent wreath and devotions every night in December. We had this cardboard nativity set and each night, as part of our devotions, we would add a figure to the nativity. Then, at last, on Christmas Eve, we added the baby JESUS. The devotions helped us stop and slow down to remember. Remember the coming of our LORD. Remember that Christmas is about HIM coming to earth to save us.

A few years back, I learned about the Jesse Tree tradition”. I have wanted to use the Jesse tree for several years and finally, this year I found an amazing devotion to use. Ann Voskamp just released “The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.”

This advent tradition is based on Isaiah 11

Isaiah 11:1-2

New Living Translation (NLT)

A Branch from David’s Line

11 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

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10 In that day the heir to David’s throne
will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him,
and the land where he lives will be a glorious place

The Jesse Tree tradition takes us back to the very beginning to celebrate the coming of Christ. To the Genesis, where God created the world. Already on Day 3, I am learning new things and getting a renewed excitement about the coming of Christ. A renewed Hope for me, Hope for my family, Hope for my church, Hope for my community, Hope for the world!

Last night, we talked about Adam and Eve. The Fall of Man. What I found exciting and new was the question. What was the first question in the Bible? It was God calling out to Adam (man), “Where are you?” God was seeking for us since the beginning of time .. even when there was no Hope. Isn’t that awesome?

Now .. What is the first question in the New Testament? It’s the Wise Men asking, “Where is the King of the Jews?” Wow! This really blew my mind. From the beginning, God has been seeking for us. Finally, in the New Testament, man has a hope and begins to seek for God. This is the new covenant prophesied by the prophets ..

Jeremiah 31:31-40

New International Version (NIV)

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

This is the Hope that has existed since the beginning of the world. It’s the hope that still stands drawing each person to Him. A Hope to a Broken World. This is the Hope we have for the day he returns for us and establishing a New Kingdom.

1 Peter 1:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

Praise to God for a Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Selah means “Stop and consider this”. Consider this with the group Selah .. “Hope For a Broken World”

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