We don’t often think in terms of “taking” but we do think about Jesus giving. Taking is nothing more than accepting and receiving that which Jesus gives. So learn to take this Advent season.
The Season of Advent
The word advent means, a coming or arrival, especially of something very important or someone of great importance.
In biblical terms, Advent is a season. It refers to the four weeks leading up to Christmas day. It is a time of preparing the heart to celebrate the arrival of our Lord.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
In many churches, the four Sundays of Advent are celebrated by lighting candles, illustrating the Light that came into our world on that first Christmas day. The four weeks are intended to be a time to reflect on God’s ancient promises and prophecies and remember those that have already been fulfilled.
Let’s begin this Advent season by reflecting on an ancient greeting from Fra Giovanni, a 16th-century Italian architect, who wrote about “taking.”
I salute You. There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
But there is much that, while I cannot give you, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven …
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present.
Take peace …
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy.
Take joy …
And so at this Christmastime, I greet you with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away. (1)
Take from Jesus
Let us slow down and “take” as Fra Giovanni exhorted. Take Heaven. Take peace. And take Joy. In our day, we should also add, TAKE TIME. The world seems to be moving at warp speed, and we must slow down and take time to reflect on God’s love, joy, peace, and grace, given to us that first Christmas.
Reflect on Love:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Reflect on joy:
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Reflect on peace:
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you
Reflect on grace:
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Take Hope in Why Jesus Came
Jesus told why He had come to earth when He stood in the synegogue and read:
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Hearing the gospel, healing of our hearts, sight in a dark world, and freedom are promises of hope. Take those promises and you will find rest.
Mat 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Light the First Advent Candle
The first Sunday in Advent, we light the candle of Hope. God’s prophecies give us hope. Take a minute and watch as God’s purpose and plan is unfolded through His prophecies. Advent Candle 1-HOPE: Prophecy Reveals Hope
(1) Christian Century Pulpit, December, 1957, “Greeting at Christmas,” by Fra Giovanni, AD 1513, p. 22.
The Season of Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas)
What is Advent?
HOPE Advent Candle 1 – Prophecy Gives Hope (video)
LOVE Advent Candle 2 – Promise Reveals Love (video)
JOY Advent Candle 3 – Jesus Is Our Joy (video)
PEACE Advent Candle 4 – Pause to Find Peace (video)
Christmas Day: When Love Was Born — Light the CHRIST Candle
What is the Prophetic Symbolism of Advent Candles?
How Do We “Take” Advent and Find Rest?
Download a Daily Devotional for Advent
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- Songs of Christmas Series: Away in a Manger; Mary, Did You Know? The Rose of Bethlehem; Good Christian Men Rejoice; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; I Wonder As I Wander; What Child Is This? The First Noel; In the Bleak Midwinter (a golden oldie)
Have You Heard About This Baby Boy? A most beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, with a Christmas message to touch your heart and give joy to your soul.
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