Uncle Pastor Ray Minniecon reflects on the celebration, welcome, Joy and Hope we have in the coming of the Light of the World.
On the ninth day of Advent, 2022, Beck Stanton shares a special devotion to be read, reflected on and enjoyed with children - to open pathways of conversation and discovery for you and the children in your lives this Advent.
Jesus is Coming
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious
Have you ever heard people grumble and groan about how early Christmas decorations are put up in shops?
I can’t believe it! It’s only October! What are they thinking?
I have to tell you, I LOVE it! I love all the twinkly lights that remind me of the nighttime stars the Shepherds would have seen. I love all the carols in the shops that share the feeling of Joy at the coming of Jesus. I love all the trees that are put up with their big star on the top which reminds me of the star the wise men followed. I love the way we all prepare for this one good day where we celebrate the arrival of Jesus on earth. And I love that it starts all the way in October because I get to live, looking forward to Jesus, to Christmas, for so much of the year. When I see these things I whisper to myself Jesus is coming!
Isaiah was a prophet who also looked forward to the arrival of Jesus. He didn’t just start in October though. He started 700 years before Jesus was born. One of the things that prophets did was they shared pictures of what God was doing. In the book of Isaiah in chapter 11, he shares one of these pictures and it is about Jesus. He describes what Jesus will be like and what the effect Jesus’ arrival will have on the whole world.
A few years ago I was standing at the arrivals lounge at the Sydney international airport. I wonder if you have been there? I was picking up a friend who I hadn’t seen for a very long time. As I watched people start to come through the gates I began to wonder if I would recognise my friend. Had they changed? Would they recognise me? Would we still have fun together? I wonder what they are like now?
The people who were waiting for the arrival of Jesus also asked these questions. What will He be like? How will we recognise Him? What will it be like when He has arrived? Isaiah’s prophecy answers some of those questions. So what does it tell us? Perhaps you would like to talk about this together first.
Isaiah tells us that He will come from the family line of King David. He will be wise because God’s spirit will be in Him. He will Love God and love talking about Him. He won’t care what anyone looks like and He won’t listen to the unkind things people say about one another. He is all about fairness and He will help people who need help. The words He speaks will be powerful. He will be GOOD. His arrival will be GOOD.
What effect will His arrival have on the whole world?
Isaiah tells us about this too and it is the stuff from your wildest imagination. Truly. Impossible things happen. Things that are extremely dangerous become safe. Things that should hurt you, like snakes and lions become tame and gentle. Have a read together about them in verses 6-9. I wonder if you can draw a picture of that type of harmony.
So this Christmas as you walk through your school, visit the shops, make gingerbread and sing carols, every time there is something Christmassy near you it is a reminder of the joy we now have in the gift of Jesus and the news He brings that is so so GOOD.
Perhaps you can join me in the whisper - Jesus is coming.
Beck Stanton is the Community Pastor at H3O Baptist Church. She lives in Sydney with her husband, Matt, and their four young children Bonnie, Boston, Miller and Sully. Beck is a best-selling children’s author. Her titles include This Is a Ball, Did You Take the B from My _ook?, The Red Book, Wait! and The Book That Never Ends.