The Old Testament readings or references for all of our services in December will come from the book of the prophet, Isaiah. Isaiah is one of the richest books in the Bible when it comes to prophecies concerning the Christ, the Messiah, Who would be born for us to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. We celebrate that Jesus, born for us, has fulfilled all of these prophecies and makes them true for each of us.
On Sunday, December 4, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 11:1-10. The first half of this passage describes how the Messiah would be a descendant of David. It goes on to describe what He would be like. The second half of the passage gives us illustrations of what the result of the work of the Messiah would be. It describes various pairs of animals who should be out to kill each other, resting together; “…and His resting place shall be glorious.” That works nicely for the theme of this Sunday which is the Peace Jesus comes to bring.
On Wednesday, December 7, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 6:1-8. Our Midweek Advent Series this year is entitled, “The Long Road to Christmas.” This week’s focus will be on The Road of the Angels. This Isaiah passage gives a starting point as the angels in heaven are seen helping with God’s commissioning of Isaiah. One angel cleanses Isaiah from his sin of unclean lips, foreshadowing the work of the Messiah Isaiah would proclaim - to bring forgiveness to us all.
On Sunday, December 11, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 35:1-10. Here we are told about the amazing changes for good that the Messiah will bring. So we can “Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees” (verse 3). Great things are coming. “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (verse 10).
Wednesday, December 14, Isaiah 35:4 is made reference to again. This week’s focus of “The Long Road to Christmas” will be The Road of the Shepherds. The Shepherds are to “Be strong and fear not!”
On Sunday, December 17, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 7:10-17. Here, King Hezekiah is given a sign of what was to come. But the sign wouldn’t be realized until hundreds of years later. It would be a miracle. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
On Wednesday, December 21, this same prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 is referenced as the angel reports to Joseph that it is about to come to pass. The virgin would be Joseph’s espoused wife, Mary. The Son, Who would be Immanuel, God with us, would be Jesus as we focus on The Road of the Holy Family.
On Christmas Eve, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 9:2-7. The Christmas Eve Service will begin at 5:30 PM. This festive service of readings and carols, which will include both adult and hand bell choirs, will feature the Luke 2 reading of the birth of Jesus. The Isaiah 9 passage will serve to identify just Who this Jesus really is. “His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
On Christmas Day, the Old Testament reading is Isaiah 52:7-10. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, this passage reminds us that He is the Savior of the world; “…all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
During this special time of the year it is such a great blessing to focus on the Real Thing that makes it special. We gather together to celebrate and receive the blessings of salvation accomplished by our Savior born for us.
Just a reminder: All Sunday Services are at 10:00 AM. Sunday School and Bible Classes meet on Sundays at 8:45 AM. There will be no Sunday school or Bible Class on Christmas Day. Wednesday Services are at 7:00 PM. Christmas Eve Service is at 5:30 PM.
The LORD richly bless your December.