Advent has been defined as a time for expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of the Messiah. It is often celebrated in churches by engaging in certain traditions like the lighting of candles, singing of hymns and engaging with a story. I like stories. They sometimes help me understand complex ideas in a personal way. I think we could even consider the story of Jesus' birth as a story within a story.
The story of Jesus' birth is centrally located within a much larger story that encompasses the entire bible. Genesis commences the impressive story with an unprecedented grand display of creative genius. It includes the most awe-inspiring claim. The creator God called everything good. The piece de resistance of the creation event was humanity. Man and woman were authorized by God to have dominion. Chapter three of the story describes a decision that had implications not only for the man and woman in particular but for all creation in general for eternity.
The bible is a comprehensive story. It describes how the cosmos came from nothing and ends with the revelation of God's hopeful destination - a great holy city. The story is unparalleled in its scope, depth, beauty, and truth as it unfolds page after page, chapter after chapter. God remains consistent as the story's central character. His story includes relationships with people from every strata of humanity.
The story we will tell during Advent includes four kings: David, Solomon, Hezekiah and Josiah. Jesus is a direct descendent of these kings and is often referred to as the Son of David. Jesus fulfills God's primary role as ruler is the big idea for the series. God chose to establish his kingdom on earth by working through the people of Israel. His promise to Abraham was that his offspring would be a great nation. A great nation must have leaders. The Israelites asked for a king. These great kings foreshadowed the coming of the King of Kings we celebrate this season.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV