Advent Adventures Week 1: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
As the calendar turns to December, we enter the season of Advent. Four Sundays in the month of December traditionally focus on waiting for Jesus’ arrival. And even though the music, the parties, the decorations, and our own cultural traditions scream that Christmas is already here, Advent invites us to slow down and wait for it.
Throughout the four weeks of Advent, you will find weekly blogs right here that help us learn about the season, challenge us to adventure into it with our families, and help us to focus our worship on the coming of Emmanuel (God with us.)
Now ask God to help prepare your heart for Advent. HOW CAN WE ENTER IN?
- Slow down, and expect Jesus to meet you in your areas of greatest need.
- Now pause, look around, and ask Jesus to break into the lives of those we know who are far from Him.
- And anticipate the reality that one day Jesus is going to return, every knee will bow, and every tongue confess Him to be Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11)
Imagine a December more focused on the quiet waiting for Christ than the hectic must-do’s.
Imagine a Christmas month where we place ourselves into the expectant Christmas narrative, in a desolate world that needs Messiah.
Then imagine the increased sense of REJOICING that will wake up with at the dawn of December 25th, as we celebrate His birth.
How? How can we live in this busy holiday culture, but still capture the expectancy of waiting? Over the next four weeks, let’s adventure together!
Advent Adventure 1
Learn: When the original text of O Come, O Come Emmanuel was written around 800 AD, it was written in a unique style called an “O Antiphon”. Each verse begins with “O”. But the next lyric of each verse contributes to a reverse acrostic. Now, if the “O” at the beginning of each of verse is removed, and the beginning letters reversed, it translates to a Latin phrase meaning, “I shall be with you tomorrow.”
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
The writer of O Come, O Come Emmanuel hid a promise in his Advent hymn. “I shall be with you tomorrow.” What a beautiful promise from the Lord that Emmanuel would come! Because our God promises to answer our prayers of longing for Him in our lives.
Step 1: Together with family or friends, talk together about areas of your lives where you need to see God break in. What prayers do you need answered?
Step 2: Choose a familiar word of the season (like ADVENT, HOPE, or EMMANUEL).
Step 3: Using your chosen word, create an acrostic together that prays your own prayer of longing for God.
Step 4: Make this prayer a centerpiece in your home throughout the month. Then create opportunities to pray it together regularly as you anticipate God answering, “I shall be with you tomorrow.”
So, here’s an example to get you started on your own Advent Adventure!
See you next week for another Advent Adventure!