This post is the second in a series adapted from Anticipating His Arrival, a family Advent devotional by Rick Brannan. We will be posting one devotional a day through Christmas.
Isaiah 64:1–4, 8–11
Would that you would tear the heavens and come down;
the mountains would quake before you,
as fire kindles brushwood,
the fire causes water to boil,
to make your name known to your adversaries,
that the nations might tremble from your presence.
When you did terrible deeds which we did not expect, you came down;
the mountains quaked because of your presence.
And since ancient times they have not heard,
have not listened,
no eye has seen a God except you;
he acts for the one who waits for him…
Yet now Yahweh, you are our father;
we are the clay and you are our potter,
and we all are the work of your hand.
You must not be exceedingly angry, Yahweh,
and you must not remember iniquity forever!
Look! Behold, now! We all are your people!
Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful temple, where our ancestors praised you has been burned by fire,
and all our precious objects have become ruins.
What is the relationship between the Lord (Yahweh) and the people?
Response: The people claim the Lord (Yahweh) as father (v. 8). The image of clay (the people) and a potter (Yahweh) is used to reinforce this.
Why would Yahweh be angry?
Response: Because the land is in shambles (vv. 10–11). The holy cities are empty. Jerusalem is desolate. And the temple, the very house of the Lord, has been destroyed.
How does this relate to joy during the Advent season?
Response: The people expect the Lord to return and bring salvation to the land. They call upon him to rebuild the temple, to annihilate their enemies, and to exalt his people to their proper place. Though the situation is dire, they rejoice at the thought of his return, which will restore the world to how it should be. We should exhibit the same joy at the thought of his second coming.
For more Bible study resources, browse the Logos Christmas sale.
This post is the first in a series adapted from Anticipating His Arrival, a family Advent devotional by Rick Brannan. We will be posting one devotional a day through Christmas.
As Christ’s arrival draws closer, a natural consequence is joy. When the thing we have been waiting for gets closer and closer, joy increases. [Read more…]
Everybody has heard of the 12 Days of Christmas. In fact, we’ve all probably sung about them.
But what are the 12 Days of Christmas, and who actually celebrates them?
Christmas is just a few weeks away, and that means it’s the season for carols and Christmas hymns.
Here are 20 ideas for Christmas songs and hymns. We compiled this list by identifying the most-used songs in Proclaim last December, plus a few more that thematically fit well (covering themes of the Incarnation, hope, and salvation).
Here are some family-friendly movies, shows, and series you can stream free all week long—all available with a free 30-day trial of Faithlife TV Plus.
God Came Near
Let Max Lucado prepare your family’s heart for Christmas in these six messages based on his bestselling book God Came Near. Filmed at a beautiful church in Blockley, England, it features engaging stories about Simeon, Joseph and Mary, the real Saint Nicholas, and more.
Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? How did Saint Nicholas become Santa Claus? Why do we have Christmas trees? Charting Christmas provides answers to these questions and many more as it explores the history of the holiday.
The Birth of Jesus
Draw your children into the biblical story of Jesus’ birth. Based on J. L. Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible, this short film features lovely animation and engaging storytelling that will capture the heart and imagination of any child.
It’s Christmas Eve in the suburbs of Chicago, and a tired taxi driver reluctantly accepts one more passenger. He soon suspects that the man has dangerous plans to harm himself. As he intervenes to help, grace intervenes in the life of both men in this Dallas Jenkins film.
When his father is arrested for printing a forbidden letter written by controversial reformer Martin Luther, 12-year-old Storm escapes with the original. On the run from authorities, Storm finds unexpected help in his bold fight for freedom.
Get these movies and hundreds more with a free 30-day trial of Faithlife TV Plus—a premier Christian video library for students, families, and Bible enthusiasts.
It’s that time of year when churches kick things up a notch.
We’re celebrating God’s greatest act of mercy: sending his Son to redeem the world.
And since a multitude of angels sang at his appearing, it’s right that churches celebrate with at least a little extravagance. Plus, with an uptick in visitors, it’s an excellent season for outreach.
That said, celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to drain the bank (or calendar). [Read more…]
Christmas is just a few days away. For many, this is the time for last minute shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Also a time full of stress, sweat, and tears as we prepare for festive holiday celebrations with family and friends.
It doesn’t have to be this way—in fact, Christmas should not be a time of busyness.
At the Faithlife office, December means Christmas decorating contests. This year, in addition to our usual inter-office decorating competition, employees teamed up to come up with the most creative gingerbread houses around. For those of you with annual decorating traditions of your own—take notes.
The prize? Two extra tickets for the raffle at Faithlife’s annual Christmas party.
Faithfulness to God can disrupt your life and defame your reputation. That’s our Christmas story today.
Heaven’s chosen virgin told the announcing angel: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). But Mary’s legendary submission to God’s will for her life did not spare her the pain or shame associated with radical faithfulness.