We are going to light candle number two this week and celebrate the glorious meaning of Christmas. This candle is called the "Bethlehem Candle," and it symbolizes faith.
Seven hundred years before Christ was born the prophet Isaiah proclaimed these words. Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
This time of year, I reflect upon what it must have felt like for the scared young woman—Mary to be pregnant out of wedlock, and for a man of integrity—Joseph (no more than a boy himself) who married her despite the unusual circumstances. All this, so the fulfillment of prophecy could come true in Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call Him Immanuel—which is translated, "God with us."
Mathematically speaking, what are the odds that one baby would have prophetic words spoken over Him proclaiming He would come out of Bethlehem, Egypt and be called a Nazarene and yet it all came true. Just the fulfillment of those three prophecies by three different prophets would create staggering odds. However, there are far more than just these three prophecies that came to fruition.
-Micah 5:2 Says the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
Matt. 2:1-6 Fulfillment (The place Jesus was born.)
-Hosea 11:1 says the Messiah will come out of Egypt
Matt. 2:13-18 Fulfillment. Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt for Jesus' safety. He came out of Egypt as prophesied.
-Is. 11:1 Refers to the Messiah as a Rod or a Branch which are messianic terms. (Same word as Nazarene)
Matt. 2:23 Fulfilled. "And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets that he would be called a Nazarene.
It took faith for those prophets of old to proclaim something that would take hundreds of years to materialize, and it takes faith today to live in a world where Santa Claus, and commercialism have usurped the true meaning of Christmas. It takes faith to say Merry Christmas with heart in a world where it is no longer politically correct to say the word Christmas. It takes faith to embrace the true meaning of the season—Jesus Christ, a tiny babe in a manger, a risen Saviour and a Coming King. The candle of faith is aptly named, we need faith to believe and to celebrate Christmas with the true meaning at the forefront.
Here are your daily readings for this second week of advent.
- Monday—Isaiah 11: 1-10
Foretelling the arrival of our beautiful Jesus
- Tuesday—Micah 5:2-5
Prophesying of the coming Messiah
- Wednesday—Zechariah 6:12-13
A conversation between the pre-incarnated Jesus (Angel of the Lord) and God the Father (Lord of Hosts), showing Jesus' role as an Intercessor (Heb. 7:25) not only for Israel, but for all who believe.
- Thursday—Malachi 3:1-6
There are three persons in this passage. The Father (the Lord) speaks of sending a messenger (John the Baptist) who will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord (Jesus).
- Friday—John 1:1-8
The deity of Christ and the fulfillment of the passage you read yesterday.
- Saturday—John 1:9-18
The right to become children of God and the incarnation of Christ (the Son of God comes from eternity to became human.)
- Sunday—Mark 1:1-3
John the Baptist comes, the fulfillment of the passage you read on Thursday.
Now light your second candle—the candle of faith as you listen to this beautiful song … O come, O come Emmanuel by King and Country. May God bless this your second week of advent as you prepare a sweet fragrance of soul and spirit in readiness for the celebration of the birth of our beloved Jesus.