Advent Study Series:  Prepare Ye

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Contemplate the many ways we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas, taking cues from the psalms of old and from those whom God chose to play a part in the story of our Lord’s birth. As we draw near to the manger bed of our Savior from sin and death, we prepare our hearts for his everlasting love.
 
Week 1: Ponder (Psalm 48:9):

We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. (NIV)

 

We consider ways in which we can ponder the meaning of the birth of our Savior through the reading of Scripture and through reflection. Mary serves as a model for us in this pondering in the Annunciation.

Week 2: Pray (Psalm 69:13):

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. (NIV)

We think about ways in which we can take more time during this season to communicate to our God through prayer as we wait for Christ. Zechariah, who went to the temple to pray, serves as an example for us of how hard that waiting in prayer can be.

Week 3: Praise (Psalm 30:4):

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. (NIV)

 

We celebrate the upcoming arrival of our Savior through songs and shouts of praise as we prepare for him. Elizabeth, in her greeting of Mary, provides a benchmark for rejoicing with others over the good news of salvation in Jesus, even as we wait.

Week 4: Proclaim (Psalm 145:6):

The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness. (N

We contemplate how we can prepare ourselves and others for the arrival of Jesus through our proclaiming. John the Baptist stands as the forerunner of all future proclaimers of Christ and gives us the courage to use our own voices to proclaim our devotion to the One who is born to save.