The Word of God is rich with comforting and encouraging Bible verses and I hope and pray you have been as blessed reading some of them these past few months as I have been in sharing them. Today is the first Sunday in Advent. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and continues until Christmas Day. It can be a wonderful time to help us prepare our hearts, our homes, and our Sandwich Generation families for Christmas and a great way to keep the Christmas season focus on Jesus, Who is the wonderful Reason for the Season. Many churches and homes will have one of the many types of Advent wreath, often with nativity sets beside them, to help keep count through the month. This can be very ornate and fancy
or just a simple set of four candles in a circle (we have done this but then added a fifth candle in the middle).
The colors vary depending on your church, your customs, and sometimes even iffy memories. 🙂 I, personally, use four red candles for the four Sundays with a fifth white candle for Christmas Day.
I wondered if I could incorporate an Advent and Christmas flavor into this comforting Bible verses series and was delighted to find I could. I started with one of the best known Old Testament verses that predicted the Messiah, our Savior:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore . The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Many know this verse well. I love the portion of Handel's Messiah where these words are sung. What I find especially comforting during this season of my life are the words "wonderful counselor" and "prince of peace." As we in the Sandwich Generation know too well, peace can be a rare commodity. There is often so much to do as we juggle the issues of caring for the elderly parents and relatives in the family, all the while still raising our own children and/or helping with our grandkids. It's so easy to let day to day problems, activities, and duties consume us. But, when we stop for a second, take time to be still before God, and rest in His Word, we can be reminded that HE is our peace. And that He is not only praying for us, HE is our counselor.
He may use His Word, His presence, and for many of us, encouraging praise and worship music. This can include so many of the lovely Christmas praise and worship songs – whether old familiar songs, brand new ones, or those that are old but redone in a fresh new way, like this lovely rendition by MercyMe of I Heard The Bells. The words are such a delightful reminder that Christ is, indeed, our only real peace in any season of life, including our Sandwich Generation season. I coupled it in this Smilebox eCard with Unto Us a Child Is Born from Handel's Messiah, which is played first. Just click on PLAY to enjoy it. 🙂
Weren't those sweetly encouraging sounds for the season! I LOVED it when MercyMe sang:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on Earth, good will to men
Both were so perfect and comforting for this Advent season. As we head into the busy weeks ahead, often squished full of additional activities in addition to our normal caregiving duties, I pray we will all be able to spend time in the Word of God along with enjoying plenty of uplifting Christmas carols and praise and worship hymn songs and music.