Weekly Watch Focus: Advent—The Lord is Near
Friday, November 30, 2018— Lowly, humble shepherds keeping watch in the fields outside Bethlehem were the first ones to behold the Glory of the Lord announcing the birth of our Savior.
Luke 2:9-14, “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”
The advent of Christ was accompanied by watching shepherds and the angels worshiping and praising. As believers everywhere prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us welcome the spirit of Advent across our nation. May all our families experience the wonder, favor, and blessing of this beautiful Advent season of hope. May watchmen rise in every city, and nation, and church, worshiping, praising, and interceding in unison, declaring the Glory of the King of Kings. Through our worship and praise, release the might of Jesus as Jehovah Sabaoth—the Captain of the Armies of the Lord. May the angels of God be loosed to protect our nation, our gatherings, and the land of our Savior’s birth – Israel. May His angels keep company with you and your family at this glorious time of the year.
Part 2: Hanukkah Festival
This Sunday marks the first day of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, marking victory over Israel's enemies and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The priests only had one small cruse of oil to fuel the menorah. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days until fresh oil could be sanctified for Temple use.
The miracle of Hanukkah is a prophetic symbol for Jews and Christians across the ages because in the midst of darkness, oppression, and destruction, God has always reserved a remnant of people who are anointed with His Spirit, who will arise as light bearers to bring restoration in their generation. As we light the candles this Hanukkah, let us remember our Jewish brothers and sisters, praying for the peace of Jerusalem as we celebrate the coming of the Light of the World, the One who give us His Spirit without measure for an ongoing supply.
Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name 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, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Isaiah 60:1-2, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”
Luke 1:35, “ And the angel answered and said to her, ’The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
Matthew 4:16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
John 10:22-23, “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem [Hanukkah], and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”