Isaiah 40:3-5 Listen! It's the voice of someone shouting, "Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!"

The second Sunday, and second candle, of Advent represents faith and is called the Bethlehem candle. This week we focus on preparing our hearts in faithful waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and ready ourselves for his second coming. Micah foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David. The prophecy, written sometime between 750-686 BC, eliminates all other possibilities and narrows the Messiah's birthplace down to one tiny city near Jerusalem. Matthew and Luke confirm in the gospels that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Christ’s birth on earth fulfilled many prophecies, leaving a rock-solid trail of ultimate and unshakeable truth.

Advent candles shine brightly in the midst of darkness, symbolizing and reminding us that Jesus came as Light into our dark world. Jesus gives us the vision to see who we are in Him. Only the light of the world can show us who we are and guide us responsibly through life.

As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity, let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. May God’s spirit transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time of holy anticipation; preparing our hearts as we faithfully await the chance to celebrate the arrival of our king.

2 Peter 3:9-10 The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.


Father, prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth joyfully! We thank you for faithfully doing what you promised long ago when you sent your Son to earth so that we might have the chance to become part of your family. Let the promise of your second coming inspire us to live with hope and purpose. As we wait for your plan to unfold, give us the patience we need. Remind us of the peace we can access when we take time to still ourselves before you and remember that you are God. We thank you that you are both sovereign and gracious.



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