Season of Longing


NOW UPDATED FOR 2017!!

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?

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

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

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

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

Pdf download of the 2017 readings