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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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Advent Devotionals

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Living Out Joy

Matthew 2:1-12After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We've seen his star in the east, and we've come to honor him." When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the ch...

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Say Yes!

Matthew 1:18-25This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn't want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him ...

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A Glorious Light

Isaiah 9:1-2 AMPBut there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish for with judgment comes the promise of salvation. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make them honored by the presence of the Messiah, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.The people who ...

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Abundant Living

John 10:14-16"I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that don't belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd. This passage of scripture has always challenged and intrigu...

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Rejoice in the Lord

Habakkuk 3:17-19Though the fig tree doesn't bloom, and there's no produce on the vine;though the olive crop withers, and the fields don't provide food;though the sheep are cut off from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls;I will rejoice in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my deliverance.The Lord God is my strength. He will set my feet like the deer.He will ...

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Grace Brings Life

Romans 5:17-21 NIVFor if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification ...

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Tidings of Great Joy

Luke 2:10-11And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. I love the Christmas season. When I read these verses, I think fondly on my childhood memories and remember the Peanuts Christmas show called A Charlie Brown ...

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Praise in our Hearts

Psalm 96:11-13Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice!Let the sea and everything in it roar!Let the countryside and everything in it celebrate!Then all the trees of the forest toowill shout out joyfully!before the Lord because he is coming!He is coming to establish justice on the earth!He will establish justice in the world rightly.He will establish justice among all p...

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Song of the Chosen

Luke 1:46-55 CEB"With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name.He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as...

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Receiving God’s Message

Luke 1: 26-38When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David's house. The virgin's name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, "Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!" She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting thi...

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