Advent begins on Sunday, December 2nd.  It is a season that includes the 4 Sundays before Christmas.  Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Emmanuel – “God with us.”  The Christian season of Christmas doesn’t begin until Christmas Day, December 25th, when we proclaim “Christ is born!”  Christmas lasts for 12 days (you’ve heard the song) until January 6th which is Epiphany.  This year, Epiphany falls on a Sunday – the first Sunday in January.  The story for Epiphany is of the magi who follow the star seeking the one who is a “light to all people” – the one we call Jesus Christ.

This year, we will embark on a “Journey to Jesus” in the footsteps of those magi of old.  We will follow the “birth narratives” found in Matthew and Luke to help guide our journey.  In preparation, please feel free to read Matthew 1 and 2, and Luke 1 and 2.  And, we’ll hear the voice of Isaiah whose voice foretells of the coming Messiah who will reign in justice and peace.  We will begin our journey with Joseph’s dream and end with the magi arriving at the home of Jesus and kneeling before him in humble praise.  Here are the scriptures and the focus word for each Sunday:

Advent 1, Dec. 2                DREAM                     Matthew 1:18-25      Is. 11:1-9

Advent 2, Dec. 9                BELIEVE                   Luke 1:5-25               Is. 43:8-10a

Advent 3, Dec. 16             WELCOME               Luke 1:26-56             Is. 51:4-5

Advent 4, Dec. 23             TELL                           Luke 1:57-80             Is. 42:6-9

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24   SEE                            Luke 2:1-20               Is. 40:3-5

Christmas 1,  Dec. 30       BLESS                       Luke 2:21-40             Is. 44:1-3

Ephiphany, Jan.6              CELEBRATE                        Matthew 2:1-12         Is. 60