For the first week of Advent we focused on the HOPE in JESUS that this Advent season brings. Our reading is below, and we did this alongside the lighting of our first candle on the advent wreath.

All readings have been adapted from an Advent Devotional that The Village Church put out in 2015. It has been a tremendous resource for me during this Advent season.

The Advent season officially begins today. Advent means “coming” or “arrival”, and during this season we celebrate by proclaiming the first advent or coming of Jesus. We have an advent wreath with 5 candles. Each week we will light a candle in anticipation of Christmas Eve when we will light the “Christ Candle” to represent the coming of Jesus.The light of the candles represents the emphasis throughout scripture of Christ being the Light of the World. Through this theme of ever-increasing light penetrating the darkness, we see a picture of the gospel.

The first candle represents Hope, and as we are lighting this candle, we will read from Isaiah 9 verses 2, 6 & 7.

[a] The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[b]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.