Come and Worship the Newborn King

December 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Psalm 95:67 says, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

There are many traditions families celebrate during Advent and Christmas. What traditions do you celebrate? Do you know what’s behind them? This month’s TLO Disciple focuses on Advent and the coming of the Christ child, born in Bethlehem. The term Advent is from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming.” Advent is the season of the Church Year that focuses our hearts on preparing to worship the Lord Jesus at Christmas and to prepare for His second coming. For Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has come into the world sinners.

Through Christ Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, God has brought salvation from sin, death and the devil. Advent is a season of anticipation and a season to turn away from unbelief and believe in the coming of the Christ child. For through Jesus, God gives forgiveness of all your sin, a new and transformed life here, and eternal life in heaven with all who believe.

Come and Worship the Newborn King

Pastor James Kroonblawd
What is Advent?
Advent marks the beginning of the Church Year. Advent is made up of the four Sundays that come right before Christmas. In other words, the deeper into Advent you go, the closer you get to Christmas Day. For Christians, the First Sunday in Advent is kind of like the “New Year’s Day” of the Church Year calendar. 
The Advent Calendar
The Advent calendar is an ever-present part of the Christmas season. Rooted in a tradition that spans centuries of church history, the modern version of the Advent calendar has been around since the nineteenth century. Emerging from a Protestant Christian context, Advent calendars carry an underlying spiritual message of anticipation and hope. By helping us remember and reflect on the coming of Jesus Christ, Advent calendars can be a valuable aid for Christian families.

From God's Word
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. –Isaiah 40:9-11
From Martin Luther
“This is what is meant by ‘Thy king cometh.’ You do not seek him, but he seeks you. You do not find him, he finds you”
–Martin Luther
Lutheran Advent Traditions
by Dcs. Betsy Karkan
At a time when much of the world is frantically gift shopping, putting up Christmas lawn decorations and anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, Christians around the world are observing the liturgical season of Advent. From the Latin word for “coming”, Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for the coming of Christ both in the past in His incarnation as the baby Jesus, but also in the future with His promised second coming as Christ Triumphant. Read more
From God's Word
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel –Isaiah 7:14
Why does the church year begin at Advent, what is the history of Advent, and what is the history behind the Advent candles and wreath?
The word “advent" is from the Latin word for “coming,” and as such, describes the “coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ into the flesh.
The traditional use of Advent candles (sometimes held in a wreath) originated in eastern Germany even prior to the Reformation. As this tradition came down to us by the beginning of this century, it involved three purple candles and one pink candle.  Read full article
From God's Word
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace –Isaiah 9:6
Referred to as the “O Antiphons” because the title of each begins with “O”, each antiphon is a name of Christ,decsribing one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture.
They are used in the last seven days of Advent. They are:
O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations), and O Emmanuel (O With Us is God).
From God's Word
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
–Isaiah 52:7
Advent is not a drag
by Rosie Adle
Advent is a time when believers show the world that there’s oil in our flasks and that our faith isn’t pointless. We may we do this by putting candles in our windows, nativities on our lawns, wreaths on our family altars or stars on our trees. We may also bear the welcome weight of those flasks in less ornamental ways. We might give to the needy without letting our left hand know what our right hand is up to. We might sit with a friend who is missing her dad on this first Christmas without him. We might even set aside some of our own favorite holiday traditions to accommodate the preferences of others.
Above all, in Advent we join Mary in pondering all of these things in our hearts. We meditate on the humility of Christ’s first coming, and we look forward in hope to the glory of His second. We trust that the Word Made Flesh, come down from heaven, will come again for us.

Read more of this meaningful article.
From God's Word
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” –Micah 5:2
Family Devotions during Advent and Christmas
Celebrate your festivals’ (Nahum 1:15)
Obviously, the festivals of the Christian church year provide a wealth of starting points for family devotions.
At Christmastime, we used a variety of children’s Christmas stories, poems and songs to go along with the traditional Advent Scriptures. During one Advent season, we created what we called a “Jesse tree” using the bare arms of a dogwood seedling. After reading the appropriate Scripture, we made and hung symbols of the members of the line of Jesse on the limbs.
Using an Advent wreath gave me the idea of bringing candles to our everyday devotion time. Read more
The Advent Weath pictured above was designed by retired LCMS Pastor Philip Bohlken. There are countless videos and web sites with ideas for making Advent wreaths. Here are just a few
What Makes for a Spiritually Vibrant Household?
Good things happen when those who share a home also share everyday liturgies with one another. Good things happen when those who share a home habitually share their lives with others. And all of these good things—a support system, shared regimens, recreational and creative time, spiritual discipline—are amplified when both Christian devotion and hospitality become part of the ethos of a household.
 Resources for your Family at Christmas
Resources such as children’s books and activities can be found on the Concordia Publishing House web site. Here are some suggestions:
CPH Christmas Gift Guide
Find the perfect gift this Christmas. Pick up a new Bible for the new year. Gift seasonal decor and faith-based apparel. Share a moment centered on Christ with illustrated children's books. No matter where your gifts go, rejoice in knowing that each one celebrates the true spirit of Christmas: Christ. 
From God's Word
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 
 –Isaiah 9:2
Advent: Wanting, Waiting and Welcoming
by Rev. Gregory Alms
Advent is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Church Year seasons. It gets no respect. In the mad rush to Christmas, the season of Advent can get pushed aside like hapless shoppers in the way of a bargain at Wal-Mart.
Wanting. We want so much when the season of gifts rolls around. But Advent says that this world’s treasures are temporary. 
Waiting. Living by faith means waiting for what is not yet here.
Welcoming. Advent also directs us to Jesus presence among us now.

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121