Isaiah During Advent

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Tomorrow will be First Advent Sunday which is celebrated by many Christian communities worldwide and even though Advent is not part of our tradition in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you may find it a nice addition to how you “Light the World” this holiday season.

The term advent is Latin in origin and means “coming.” Bible verses that detail the coming of Jesus can prepare our hearts to receive Christ. Verses from Isaiah are some of the best to read with your family usher in the birth of Jesus!

Here is just one example:

  1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots:
  2. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord…
  3. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
  4. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. — Isaiah 11: 1–2; 4–5
During December, beginning four Sundays before Christmas, Christians who celebrate Advent light a candle each of the Sunday. Together they read from the Bible to help prepare them for Christmas.

I first experienced the celebration while serving as a missionary in Northern Germany.  It helped to make the Christmas season more Christ-centric, at least more than what I had known at home in Salt Lake City.

Advent Wreath

Traditionally this was a Catholic celebration, but living in Northern Germany, I came to see that it had become a Lutheran tradition too.

It was a tradition I brought home. Each Christmas we made an advent wreath and lit a candle for each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Then, on Christmas Eve, we lit all four to usher in the Christkindl. I loved it connecting back to that great tradition.

During Advent, formal readings are taken from Jeremiah, Baruch, Zephaniah, and Micah, but it is Isaiah’s voice that rings out over all the others. It is his prophetic voice that is the voice of Advent.

Suggested Verses for Family Reading

 
 
 
Chapter and Verse New Revised Standard Version
40: 1-3
1 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord ’s hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord , make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
7: 14
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
40: 9  

9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

60: 1

1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

60: 2-3

2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

9: 2

2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

9: 6

6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

35: 5-6; 10

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert…
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

40: 11

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

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