With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, crowned with materialism and want lists, the idea of a time of reflection and Bible study feels like a healing balm. These Advent Scriptures are perfect for preparing your heart for the coming of the king.
Join me this holiday season as we embrace a much-needed calming of the spirit through the peace and hope we find in scripture.
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What is Advent in the Bible?
You won’t find the word advent in the Bible, nor the practice of lighting candles and counting down to the celebration of Christ’s birth. This practice began in the 5th century with an emphasis on fasting and penitence.
Advent refers to an arrival or coming. As we prepare for the advent season and celebrate Christ’s first coming, may we look continually forward to his second coming.
It seems as if different denominations celebrate advent in slightly different ways. The most common today is special Bible reading and traditions on each of the four Sundays leading up to December 25th.
What are the 4 Themes of Advent?
As I just mentioned, different churches have slightly different ways of celebrating Advent but most agree on these two sets of themes.
The four themes of Advent are:
- Hope and faith
The second set of Advent themes are:
- God’s people
- The Old Testament prophets
- John the Baptist
What are the Four Candles of Advent?
As far as we know, the advent wreath began in Germany in the 15th century, but they were different than our modern day wreaths. The wreaths we are familiar with today stem from Johann Hinrich Wichern who had started a school for the impoverished boys of Hamburg.
The year is 1839 and the story goes that the boys repeatedly asked the pastor when it would be Christmas. Wichern creates a wreath in which he places 4 white candles with red candles in between. The boys were allowed to light a new red candle each day during the week and the white candles on Sundays. When the entire wreath was lit, it would be Christmas.
In many churches today, three of the candles are purple signifying a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.
- The first purple candle symbolizes hope and is often referred to as the “prophecy candle”.
- The second purple candle symbolizes faith and is often referred to as the “Bethlehem candle”.
- The third candle is pink and represents joy. It is often called the “shepherd’s candle”.
- The final candle is purple and symbolized peace. It is often called the “angel’s candle”.
I’m giving Advent scriptures for the first set of themes mentioned above. Hope and faith, peace, love, and joy. Calling them advent scriptures seems strange to me because these are themes we should be studying all year round. However, when seen in the light of Jesus, and especially his second coming for which we are all awaiting, there is no better time than the present!
Advent Scriptures on Hope: Week 1
Matthew Henry says it well:
“Faith always has been the mark of God’s servants, from the beginning of the world. Where the principle is planted by the regenerating Spirit of God, it will cause the truth to be received, concerning justification by the sufferings and merits of Christ. And the same things that are the object of our hope, are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ. This persuasion gives the soul to enjoy those things now; it gives them a subsistence or reality in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them. Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good.”
With this in mind, we begin with our week with the hope of a redeemer and end with our faith in eternal life. The Advent hope scriptures to read this week are:
- Day 1: Genesis 3:14-15
- Day 2: Isaiah 9:1-2
- Day 3: Isaiah 61:1-3
- Day 4: Psalm 61:1-2
- Day 5: Hebrews 10:19-23
- Day 6: Hebrews 9:23-28
- Day 7: John 14:1-3
Advent Scriptures on Joy: Week 2
Someone once said, “joy is untouched by circumstances” and wise they were. We often mistake the feeling of happiness for true joy. True joy comes from a heart surrendered to Christ whereas happiness is a strong feeling which comes and goes.
As you study these Advent joy scriptures this week, may you seek the priceless gift of true joy.
- Day 1: Zephaniah 3:14-17
- Day 2: Isaiah 61:1-3
- Day 3: Habakkuk 3: 17-19
- Day 4: 1 Peter 1:3-9
- Day 5: Isaiah 12:1-6
- Day 6: Psalm 33:13-22
- Day 7: Psalm 30:1-5
Advent Scriptures on Love: Week 3
If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. If we have the idea that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we have missed the true meaning. This may describe affection and it may bring us a warm feeling, but it is not a true and accurate description of love.
Related: Jesus as Wonderful Counselor
Have you ever been driven to do something for God not because you felt that it was useful or your duty to do so, or that there was anything in it for you, but simply because you love Him? Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of His redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for Him?
I’m not referring to works that could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things— things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to Him. Have you ever created what Mary of Bethany created in the heart of the Lord Jesus? “She has done a good work for Me.” – Oswald Chambers
God is love, right? There is a whole chapter devoted to the theme of love. What greater way to celebrate God's love for us than with these Advent love scriptures!
- Day 1: John 3:16-17
- Day 2: John 15:9-13
- Day 3: 1 John 4:7-11
- Day 4: 1 John 4:17-21
- Day 5: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
- Day 6: 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
- Day 7: Ephesians 2:4-7
Advent Scriptures on Peace: Week 4
Goodness knows we need peace in our homes now more than ever!
“There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. It can never be made safe. Peace is the opposite of security … peace means to give oneself altogether to the law of God. … Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won where the way leads to the cross.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Day 1: Isaiah 9:6-7
- Day 2: Isaiah 53:4-6
- Day 3: Number 6:24-26
- Day 4: Luke 2:8-20
- Day 5: John 16:19-22, 33
- Day 6: Romans 5:1-5
- Day 7: Philippians 4:6-7
What Advent traditions do you celebrate? Which of these themes do you need most in your life right now? I’d love for you to share which of these Advent Bible verses speaks to your heart today in the comments below!
Also, be sure to check out these other wonderful readings about the Advent Season: