Good News of Great Joy Devotional
This Christmas Season we want to pursue the king...his name is Jesus.
Below is the preface taking from the Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper.
Advent is for adoring Jesus. At least that’s our angle on it at Desiring God. Advent is an annual season of patiently waiting, hopeful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching marked by many churches, Christian families, and individual followers of Jesus. There’s no biblical mandate to observe Advent. It’s an optional thing—a tradition that developed over the course of the church’s history as a time of preparation for Christmas Day. Many of us find observing Advent to be personally enjoyable and spiritually profitable. The English word “Advent” is from the Latin advent us, which means “coming.” The advent primarily in view each December is the first coming of Jesus two millennia ago. But Jesus’s second coming gets drawn in as well.
Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends Christmas Eve. This means the earliest it begins, depending on where that Sunday falls, is November 27, and the latest it starts is December 3. Whereas Lent (the season of preparation for Easter) is 40 days, Advent ranges in length from 22 to 29 days. Christians throughout the world have their different ways of celebrating Advent. Some light candles. Some sing songs. Some eat candies. Some give gifts. Some hang wreaths. Many of us do all of the above.
Christians have developed many good ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond merely the short 24 hours of December 25. The incarnation of the Son of God, “for us and for our salvation,” as the old creed says it, is too big a thing to appreciate in just one day. Indeed, it’s something the Christian will celebrate for all eternity. Our prayer is that this little devotional might help you keep Jesus as the center and greatest treasure of your Advent season. The candles and candies have their place, but we want to make sure that in all the December rush and hubbub we adore Jesus above all. So, “O Come, Let Us Adore Him” is perhaps the theme song of these Advent readings. These meditations are all about adoring Christ, the Lord. In spots, you’ll hear strands of “O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” and in others, “Hark! Te Heralds Angels Sing.” And, of course, we’ll have a cameo from the magi. But the figure at the center is Jesus—the baby born in Bethlehem, the God-man in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, destined for Calvary, sent by his Father to die and rise again for his people.