Christmas and Advent | Edgewater Lutheran Church

Christmas and Advent

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Christmas and Advent

Looking for a church home for this Christmas?

First, on November 30th, we will join together to celebrate the season of Advent (the time the church sets aside to get ready for Christmas). This will take place with a soup supper at 6p and a worship service at 7p all at Rondo School of Discovery.

Then, Edgewater will be celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24th at 5p for a candlelight service with hot cocoa and cookies before the service. We will celebrate Christmas the following morning at the Held Home with an acoustic service. In addition, we will have family devotionals available for the other midweeks in Advent posted below!

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Advent at Edgewater

Once a week, traditionally on Wednesday, Christians gather during the season of Advent to prepare themselves for the celebration of Christmas.  The materials that follow are designed to be used with a household gathered together.  If you live on your own, you are encouraged to invite a friend or family member to join you for this experience. This devotional series celebrates Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  In this series, adapted from material by Rev. Sean Baker, we’re going to look at different ways that Jesus fulfilled, completed, and took on aspects of the Messiah, the promised one.

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The First Week of Advent

November 30, 2022

Discuss

Talk about a time when you predicted something, how it felt to wait to see if you were right or wrong, and how it felt when you were proved right or wrong.

Learn

It’s worth remembering that the word Messiah comes with a lot of meaning.  It comes from the Hebrew word משיה that means anointed.  In the Old Testament, the word often referred to the anointed king.  If you were anointed, that meant that you were chosen as the next in line.  In Greek, the word becomes χριστοσ which is pronounced “Christos.”  Sound familiar? The term we use today, Christ, is acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah - the chosen one of God.

Jesus fulfills, completes, and otherwise takes on characteristics that line up with several Old Testament prophecies.  It’s worth noting that prophecy frequently takes on multiple meanings.  Theologians have words for these different layers of meaning.  The Immediate Horizon refers to prophecies that have meaning in the prophet’s own world (in or around their lifetime), the Gospel Horizon refers to prophecies that have meaning for the life and ministry of Jesus, and the Eternal Horizon refers to prophecies that have meaning for the end of the world and the new creation.

Dive In

For the following verses, use your knowledge of the Bible and your phone (if necessary) to figure out what ways the prophecy was fulfilled in each of the horizons described above.  Also, see if you can find where the verses are quoted in the New Testament.  The passages are Isaiah 7:14, Hosea 11:1, and Isaiah 6:9-10.

Application

The prophecies from the Old Testament unavoidably point to Jesus as the Messiah, but there were people in Jesus’ day who missed the signs because they were distracted or looking in the wrong places or expecting the wrong things.  We don’t want to miss out on the things God has to say to us today.  With that in mind, the challenge for today is to devote 10 minutes a day that you would normally spend watching TV or scrolling social media or playing on your phone to spending time in God’s Word.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer together.



The Second Week of Advent

December 7, 2021

Discuss:

Talk about the different titles that people have called you. Which ones do you like being called the most? Are there any titles that you prefer not to go by?

Learn:

There are many names used for Jesus. There are titles that other people use to talk about Him, there are names He uses for Himself, and there are labels that people have put on Him since. One of the most frequently used by Jesus is The Son of Man which has a connotation of identity, authority, suffering, death, and future glory. This title stretches back to the Old Testament book of Daniel. Jesus also uses the phrase “I Am” to identify Himself. This is how God frequently referred to Himself in the Old Testament and identifies Jesus as God. One other title that is frequently used by others to describe Jesus is the Son of God, recognized by God the Father, by evil spirits, and by His earthly enemies.

Dive In:

For the following verses, talk about the following questions. How did the people who heard it react? What does the title reveal about Jesus and His work? How should this affect our view of Jesus today? The passages are John 6:35, 48, and 51; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 10: 7, 9, 11, and 14; John 11:25; John 14:6; and John 15:1.

Application:

Jesus Christ took on all of these different titles. He fulfilled each and every one of them during His earthly ministry, by His death and resurrection, and by His ultimate victory for us. One of the most important titles each of us can carry is “child of God,” even though it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. With that in mind, the challenge for today is to replace a symbol of one of your titles with a symbol of the titles Christ has given you. For example, if you have a Chargers bumper sticker (for your title of Chargers fan), replace it with a Jesus-y one.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer together.

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The Third Week of Advent

December 14, 2021

Discuss:

Talk about how different people in your family tree have impacted your life. How have any of them impacted your faith?

Learn:

Scripture contains two genealogies of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38). There are noticeable differences between the two and many commentators have concluded that Luke traces Mary’s genealogy while Matthew traces Joseph’s genealogy. Matthew uses fewer names than Luke and follows the practice of some ancient genealogies that only included the most important names. Matthew starts with Abraham to highlight Jesus’ kingship and Jewish pedigree, while Luke goes back to Adam to highlight Jesus’ connection to all nations. The individuals included in these lists tell a story of the people who led up to Jesus. Judah is included as someone who God used even though he made mistakes, Rahab is included as an outsider God used, David is included as someone that God built up, Hezekiah and Josiah are included as more typical people God used, and Zerubbabel is included to remind people about God’s consistent promise fulfillment. These genealogies are built with a purpose. They remind us how God has worked throughout history to fulfill the promise of Christ. God uses broken people, includes outsiders, trains the called, reforms those led astray, and rebuilds the lost.

Dive In:

Go back into the genealogies in Matthew and Luke (verses above) and read through the names. Talk about the names that you recognize and why you recognize the names. What does it tell you that those people are included in Jesus’ family tree?

Application:

Jesus’ family influenced who He was and what people thought of Him. In the same way, our families influence our development as people and, more importantly, how our faith grows. With that in mind, the challenge for this week is to set aside time each of the next six days to pray as a family and talk about the faith.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer together.


The Fourth Week of Advent

December 21, 2021

Discuss:

Talk about a time you got bad news that actually turned out to be good news.  Maybe it was a time your perspective changed or you were able to step back and see the big picture.

Learn:

As we close this Advent season, we will take some time to look forward to the ultimate reason for Jesus’ coming at Christmas.  The Day of the Lord is a central theme of Old Testament prophets and refers to the final return and victory of Jesus.  One dimension of the Day of the Lord is the judgment of nations.  This provided hope for Old Testament Israelites that they would be vindicated against their oppressors.  The prophets warned Israel about being too excited; however, because the people of Israel would also be included in punishment and judgment.  This Day of the Lord took place, in a way, when Jesus died on the cross.  All of the punishment and judgment that we deserved was put on Him.  That’s not where the story ends.  Jesus returns with a promise of restoration and glory for all of His people.  As people who have received the grace and mercy of God because of Jesus enacting the Day of the Lord and starting the beginning of the end. We are awaiting full restoration, we are awaiting the eternal perspective to see the full picture. To see with our eyes the full picture of the peace that Christ has for us.

Dive In:

For the following verses, look at the different examples of how prophets talk about the Day of the Lord.  Compare that to the language in the New Testament passages.  What stands out to you?  The passages are Isaiah 34:5-10, Jeremiah 50:26-32, Zephaniah 1:7-18, and Matthew 27:45-56.

Application:

Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, has enacted and set into motion the beginning of the end of the Day of the Lord.  He fulfilled the promised Day of Judgement for Judah, Israel, and the nations by taking God’s wrath on Himself.  He fulfilled the Day of the Lord in a more full way than the prophets could have imagined.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer together.