Advent Week 1: Advent Begins in a Garden

Aaron Lentz News

Advent Week one:

Advent Begins in a garden

November 29, 2015


Excerpt taken from “Athens Church Advent Guide”

Contrary to popular belief, the advent story does not begin in a stable. The advent story begins in a garden.

God created a perfect world. He created the Garden of Eden, where man and woman walked in perfect harmony with Him, knowing and enjoying His presence and being known and enjoyed by Him. This perfect harmony was disrupted, however, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s good instruction. The moment they took the fruit that the snake offered them and ate it, sin entered the world. The human heart was introduced to shame, fear, and selfishness. Adam and Eve found themselves broken and separated from their Creator and stuck in a situation that seemed hopeless.

But God did not leave His people without hope. In the midst of their sin, He gave them a promise, a promise that He would send a Savior to come and destroy sin, death, and Satan. One day, their deliverer would come to rescue them.

“Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve, ‘It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake. I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I’m coming back for you!’

And He would. One day, God Himself would come.” –The Jesus Storybook Bible

We see in the Old Testament how God used the prophets to tell His people of their coming Messiah, the promised Deliverer who would overcome darkness (Isaiah 9:2). Hints of Him are whispered throughout every book. God encouraged His people not to lose heart, even when His timing was so different from what they would have chosen. So they waited. Sometimes in desperation, sometimes joyfully— through times of war, bondage, and rebellion, through times of peace and renewal— they waited.

Waiting on God can be one of the most difficult things for us humans. This is especially true when we are waiting for God’s restoration in our lives or in the lives of others, restoration from sin and depravity. But, take heart! While the story of advent may start with man’s rebellion, it ends with man’s redemption.

BIBLE PASSAGES

Isaiah 9:1-7
Isaiah 11:1-5
Genesis 3:15


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do you think it felt like for God’s people to wait for their promised Messiah?

Have you ever experienced this kind of waiting?

Did it cultivate hope or despair?What can we learn about God’s character from this teaching?


Pray

Thank God for the grace and love He showed us by sending Jesus to rescue and redeem us. Ask Him for the clarity and focus to slow down and learn what He is trying to teach you during this Advent season. Ask for patience as you wait for what He is doing in your life, and ultimately, as you await His return.


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The Advent Season

Advent is from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival,” and it refers to the coming of Christ. It is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s first advent, and our anticipation of His second. Our waiting isn’t simply a moment in between moments, but it is a time that God uses to grow and shape us into the people He has created us to be. We have provided a Advent page full of resources as we consider this Advent season.


About the Author

Aaron Lentz

Aaron Lentz is the Lead Pastor of Athens Church in Columbus, IN. He is the Husband to Cora and Father to Everett. He counts it as a joy to be able to pastor this church in his home town.