Advent Week 1 Reading
Advent candles are commonly lit immediately before or after dinner and burn for approximately one hour. This is a wonderful time to read Scripture as a family and discuss the reason for the holiday season — the coming of Jesus.
Though a variety of meanings have been attached to each candle, two common traditions are (1) hope, peace, joy and love and (2) promise, prophecy, proclamation and presence. The selection of verses below incorporates these various meanings on their respective week of Advent.
Light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent (the fourth Sunday before Christmas). For the following six days, light this same candle. Consider allowing children to earn the honor of lighting the candle each day. The first candle is said to represent hope and the promises of a coming Savior. Discuss how this week’s verses apply to the concept of hope.
(1.1) Promise to Abraham: God promised Abraham that all people on earth would be blessed through him. In Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, this promise was fulfilled.“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).
(1.2) Promise to Isaac: God promised an everlasting covenant with Isaac (Abraham’s son). In Jesus, a descendant of Isaac, this promise was fulfilled. God said to Abraham,“‘Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:19).
(1.3) Promise to Jacob (also called Israel): God promised Jacob that all people on earth would be blessed through him. In Jesus, a descendant of Jacob, this promise was fulfilled.“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” (Genesis 28:14).
(1.4) Promise to Judah: The Bible reveals that a descendant of Judah would be ruler over all the nations. Jesus, a descendant of Judah, is this ruler.“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Genesis 49:10).
(1.5) Promise to the people of Israel: God promised that a Righteous One would be born out of the line of David. Jesus, a descendant of David, fulfilled this promise. “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land’” (Jeremiah 33:14-15).
(1.6) Promise Fulfilled: Jesus descended from the exact lineage that God promised. “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham . . . there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ” (Matthew 1:1 and 1:17).
(1.7) Promise for All: The promise of Jesus is for all people; he offers hope! “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6).
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