Season of Longing

A series of readings for Advent 2014, focussing on the Old Testament prophecies of the king, the restoration of Israel’s fortune, the ingathering of the nations, and the new creation.

As Christmas creeps further forward each year, the season of Advent is increasingly easy to overlook. In the church’s calendar, Advent isn’t merely a time of preparation for the celebrations of Christmas, rather it is a time of longing and anticipation for Christ’s return. So the focus of Advent is on future promises rather than past events. As Christians, we have wonderful promises of the future, and as Paul tells the Corinthians, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Why not join me in taking the opportunity to reorient ourselves to that future focus of our faith?. This year, I’m going to mark the Advent season by reading through a series of texts from the OT prophets which tell us some of what we have to look forward to. If you’d like to do the same, the readings are listed here and there’s also a handy downloadable list and bookmark at the bottom of the page. As you read each passage, ask yourself: (i) is there anything in these promises you are already experiencing as a Christian? and (ii) how much more is there still to look forward to?

Week 1: Longing for the king
Nov 30: Isaiah 9:1-7
Dec 1: Isaiah 11:1-16
Dec 2: Jeremiah 23:1-8
Dec 3: Jeremiah 30:8-11
Dec 4: Ezekiel 34:11-24
Dec 5: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Dec 6: Zephaniah 3:9-20

Week 2: Longing for Israel’s fortunes to be restored
Dec 7: Ezekiel 39:21-29
Dec 8: Jeremiah 31:1-14
Dec 9: Jeremiah 31:23-40
Dec 10: Jeremiah 33:6-16
Dec 11: Zechariah 14:1-11
Dec 12: Hosea 14:1-9
Dec 13: Amos 9:11-15

Week 3: Longing for the ingathering of the nations
Dec 14: Isaiah 2:1-5
Dec 15: Micah 4:1-8
Dec 16: Isaiah 42:1-9
Dec 17: Isaiah 49:1-7
Dec 18: Jeremiah 3:14-19
Dec 19: Isaiah 25:6-12
Dec 20: Isaiah 35:1-10

Week 4: Longing for the new creation
Dec 21: Isaiah 61:1-11, Revelation 21:1-8
Dec 22: Isaiah 62:1-12, Revelation 21:9-21
Dec 23: Isaiah 65:17-25, Revelation 21:22-27
Dec 24: Isaiah 66:1-13, Revelation 22:1-11
Dec 25: Isaiah 66:14-24, Revelation 22:12-21

Download the list of advent readings.

Download pdf of the readings with a template to form a bookmark.

To make the bookmark:
1. Cut along dotted line.
2. Fold along solid lines.
3. Slip the printed tab over the back, then stick into place.
The bookmark can now be slid onto the corner of a page to keep its place.