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Advent Devotionals

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Advent is the season of expectation and hope for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. During the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, the Christian Church observes Advent as a time of preparation—waiting for the light of Jesus to enter the darkness of the fallen world.

Even though the infant King, Savior of the world made His entrance over 2000 years ago, we prepare for His coming each year recognizing that His arrival was the beginning of our story—Christ’s birth set a whole new world in motion, and each year we eagerly await the celebration of His birth and we await and prepare for the fulfillment of all that is promised because of His coming. It is a time to think about our part in the Christian story and to open our hearts and minds to new ways of making the hope of Christ known in the world.

The devotions that are assembled here represent the thoughts of Salem’s pastors and some staff and lay people as they considered Scriptures associated with the Advent season. We hope that as you read the daily entries, it will help you to focus on the coming light of Christ and encourage you to grow deeper in your faith in Him. If we each move even a little closer to Christ, perhaps God will use us to help the powers of hope, peace, joy, and love to prevail in our world.

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Incarnation

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the...

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The Reign of Peace

In the days to come the mountain of the Lord's house will be the highest of the mountains. It will be lifted above the hills; peoples will stream to it. Many nations will go and say, "Come, let's go up to the Lord's mountain, to the house of Jacob's God so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in God's paths." Instruction will come from Zion; the Lord's word from J...

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The End of the Search

"This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light, and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death." - Matthew 4:14-16 (CEB) It's almost here. It's almost Christmas day. We've spent so much...

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The Christmas Pageant

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born t...

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Eagerly Waiting

"Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call him, Emmanuel. (Emmanuel means "God with us.") When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he didn't have sexual relations with her until she g...

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In Our Midst

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies.The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more.On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:"Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.The Lord y...

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O Come, O Come Emmanuel

"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 Do you know why Christmas hymns are so great? Even the folks who prefer modern worship style over traditional still want to hear all the classics: "O Holy Night," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Joy to the World," and of course, "S...

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Glimpses of Glory

In the fifteenth year of the rule of the emperor Tiberiuswhen Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea and Herod was ruler over Galilee, his brother Philip was ruler over Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was ruler over Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and CaiaphasGod's word came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. John went throughout the region of t...

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Turn on the Light

"As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. Jesus' disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?" Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God's mighty works might be displayed in him. While it's daytime, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. Whil...

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New Life

Isaiah 11:1-3a (NIV) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lordand he will delight in the fear of the Lord. When we first moved into our house, our front walkwa...

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