(They begin Sunday, November 27th)
As we come to the 2022 season of Advent, the world continues on an unsettling course. It was this way last year too, come to think of it! We don’t seem to be making progress! There are the relentless tensions in the United States and around the world as people continue to struggle to relate to one another in a civilized manner. In the midst of cultural and moral wars of all kinds, disease, and great division, we have the glorious truth that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever! He is the unchanging Rock of truth and reconciliation. As we read these timeless Scripture passages each day, we gain deeper and greater insights into their timely significance, seeing them through the new lens of 2022-2023. The truth is, time on earth is moving ever closer to the Return of the Lord and the final Advent.
Christmastide, which followed the Nativity of Christ on the 25th, was celebrated not as a single day, but as twelve days with carols, festivities, and gifts being given each of the days. There are any number of theories as to the origin of Christmas Day. Not until the fourth century did December 25 become a broadly accepted date of the Nativity in the Western Church.
Epiphany, like the Nativity, is celebrated on a set day, January 6th, regardless of what day of the week it comes. It is actually older than Christmas Day and marks the revealing of Jesus Christ as Savior to all nations, not just to the Jewish people. Epiphany means “to reveal, to bring to light.”
This year Advent begins on November 27th (the earliest it could begin). We will carry the devotionals on through Epiphany, January 6th. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “One must train the habit of faith. The first step is to recognise the fact that your moods change. The next is to make sure that, if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Our faith must be fed.” (from A Year with C.S. Lewis, p.286. Taken from “Mere Christianity”).
Our purpose is to have a daily encounter with the Lord and to hear his voice. Begin each devotional with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you through his written Word. In addition, our hope is: 1) to help give us a better grasp of the unity of the Bible as one grand story and increase our knowledge of this Library of Books; 2) to assist us in developing a daily pattern of reading Scripture; 3) to provide us with a daily encounter with a wide variety of vocal and choral music of substance to inspire our faith; 4) and to introduce us to the prayers of some of the saints of the past and “sinners” from the present! I can think of no better way to start the day. St. Paul writes, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.”
If you read these as a family, have different members read different parts. It is wonderful if the whole family can all sit down and eat at the same time, at least once during the week! Growing up on the farm in Illinois, we all ate together every night after the milking was done. Our Guernsey cows established suppertime! It was wonderful eating together every night praying and catching up on the day around the table.
If you find these daily excursions into the Scriptures rewarding, I would greatly appreciate your help in passing the word along. As always, subscribing is simple and free. Have the person go to: sharpdevotional.com and put in their email address to subscribe. That’s it. (You can unsubscribe at any time.) Then they will automatically receive the emails in their boxes early each morning EST. Be sure to Whitelist our email to reduce the chance of getting caught in spam filters!
The version I have used is the NLT (The New Living Translation).
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
© Daniel Sharp 2022
Dan’s email at: firstname.lastname@example.org