FREE Advent Devotional: For Christ, We Wait
From the introduction...
What is Advent?
Advent means “coming.” The season of Advent is an annual season of anticipation of the celebration of Christmas. Historically, Christians have used this season to reflect on what is most important about Christmas: the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Typically, the four weeks of Advent have focused on different themes related to God’s work at Christmas. The Advent in view is primarily Jesus’ first coming; however, we also look forward to the Second Advent when Christ comes again. Many believers have found an intentional centering of the mind and heart around Christ during Advent to be both spiritually enriching and deeply worshipful. Consider how you might take time amidst the busyness of Christmas planning and holiday events to slow down, consider Christ, and remember what he has done.
What are the Songs of Ascent?
In the midst of the Psalms come a collection of songs starting in Psalm 120 and going through Psalm 134, all joined by this idea of “ascending.” These songs come in the midst of Israel’s rebellion and captivity and look forward to when the Messiah will come, rescue them from their captivity, and restore them to glory and peace. There is a tension between what is and what should be. There is sorrow over what currently is happening but hope in what will come to be. Many Jews would recite these songs step by step as they walked up to the temple in Jerusalem. The songs are meant to give a voice to our suffering while also pulling us into the light of God’s promises. We see many of these promises fulfilled in the coming of Christ and some yet to be consummated when he comes again.
Why meditate on these songs during Advent?
There is anticipation and hope within the Songs of Ascent that do well to prepare our hearts for the good news of Christmas. We need to feel the tension as we await the coming of Jesus. Will God keep his promises as we hope in him? In a similar way to the psalmist, we are still waiting. We await the return of Jesus Christ and long to see him restore all things, save us from the darkness of this fallen world, and bring us into glory. The beautiful hope we can feel through these songs is that as sure as Jesus came the first time, he will come the second time. We long for his return but we know the New Jerusalem is coming. Home is not far away.
In Advent there are four traditional themes: hope, preparation, joy, and love. In reading the Songs of Ascent, one can quickly find how all four themes permeate all of these psalms. Because of this, it is good meditate on how the psalmist expresses hope, preparation, joy, and love for God. It is also good to reflect on how Christ is the fulfillment of what the psalmist is longing for. Christ is the answer!
How should I use this devotional?
Churches typically begin celebrating the season of Advent four Sundays before Christmas, with its culmination at Christmas Eve. Accordingly, this devotional is structured around the “four weeks” of Advent; however, there are 24 devotionals so that one can easily follow along daily with the calendar month of December.
Each meditation includes a passage, a devotional, and a prayer. Each week there is also a practical devotional, meant to spur thoughtfulness and conversation around putting into practice the theme for that week. Consider meditating on these devotionals as a supplement to your quiet time or read them with your family or small group. Read carefully. Meditate thoughtfully. Pray vulnerably.
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“I’m thankful for this Advent devotional, which takes us by the hand and gently guides us through the Psalms of Ascent toward Christmas, showing us the beauty and excellence of Jesus Christ. Read it and grow in your love for Jesus this Christmas.”
Lead Pastor, Pepperell Christian Fellowship; Author of A Big Gospel in Small Places and Eternity Changes Everything
“Micah has done a wonderful job conveying to his readers the Scriptural precedent of hoping, preparing, rejoicing in, and adoring our Savior, Jesus, during the Advent season. Drawing truths from the Psalms of Ascent, Micah very practically and graciously points the Christian’s eyes upward to God and away from sin and self. We will all do well to make For Christ We Wait a part of our efforts to glory in God as we anticipate Christmas, and his glorious return one day soon.”
Preaching and planting pastor, New City Church;
Author of Beeline to the Cross
“This is a devotional that will certainly prepare your heart’s focus for Christmas. But to be honest, this book is bigger than Christmas because it carries us through our entire journey until the final coming of the God-Man, Jesus. It’s also a relief to find a devotional that is robust, relational, and accessible for a busy season. May God use this heartfelt book from Micah to bring joy and hope into our lives and the world around us.”
Lead Pastor, South Lewiston Baptist Church