It seems like Christmas comes earlier every year. The minute the leftover Halloween candy goes on sale the “Christmas machine” is started up and stores are filled with Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and bows, and countless gift ideas. If you think about it; however, the first Christmas was also early, and 700 years before that first Christmas night–long before the birth of Jesus–the Bible described His coming. As we read in Matthew 1:22; “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet…”
A prophecy is a foretelling of the future made under divine inspiration or revelation–it not only predicts, but also proclaims what will be. And deeply embedded in the preaching of the Old Testament prophets–like shining jewels waiting to be uncovered and polished–are countless images that help us understand the One whom God would send and what He would accomplish. Emmanuel, Sun of Righteousness, Branch of Jesse, Seed of Abraham, Star of Jacob & Scepter of Israel, Light of the Gentiles. And of course, that glorious list: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace–were all words spoken by the prophets to describe Jesus long before He was born in Bethlehem. In fact, there are over 365 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah. And the incredible thing is, when you look back over Jesus’ life, He fulfills every one of them!
Spoken over seven centuries before the birth of Jesus, the words of the Old Testament prophets read like a biography of Jesus’ life, pinpointing events ranging from the circumstances of His birth and His preaching and teaching ministry; to His suffering and death. In each case, these ancient seers call us to be alert; to watch and wait; and to prepare and make ready for the One who would be the Saviour of the world.
This Advent sermon series will look at what these prophets saw–and their prophecies foretelling the birth of the Messiah–to help us in our Advent preparation, and to see the deeper meaning and significance of the season.
Sermon: The Righteous Branch
Preacher: The Rev. Christopher Doering
Date: Sunday, December 2, 2019 ~ Advent Sunday
Scripture: Jeremiah 23:1-8
Sermon: Comfort My People
Preacher: The Rt. Rev. Charlie Masters, Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018 ~ The 2nd Sunday of Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11