Advent 2017: Joy to the World

Day 2: The First Promise of the Messiah

Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Hebrews 2:14-16

A good song tells a story. It takes you someplace. The old hymns were written to do just this—unfold biblical truth, with each verse building on the one that came before.

The Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” is one such song. Based on Psalm 98, the hymn starts with the simple acknowledgement that the Lord has come, calling us to joyfully receive our King and make room for Him in our hearts. The next verse takes us deeper, saying that our King has not only come, but He reigns. This should draw from us a song of praise. The verse after that describes His reign as a blessing: He breaks the power of sin “far as the curse is found.”

Let’s talk about that curse. How far flung is it anyway? Today’s scriptures take us into that part of the story. They show us that everything is touched by the fall of man—every corner of creation, every human relationship, every act of worship. These scriptures read like smoldering coals marking the ruins of where a glorious home once stood. When we read them, they make us want to say, “No more let sin or sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground.”

This Advent reading plan walks through Scripture focused on our need for Christ and the story of His coming. We start in the darkness of the curse. Today’s scriptures remind us of why we needed Jesus to come in the flesh. We needed Him here “to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.” And this is exactly what He has done. This is why He was born, why He came to us.

Find time to sit with Scripture this Advent season. Read along with us. In this Advent study, we will read key Old Testament stories which predict Christ’s birth. We’ll sit with verses that explain the impact of His ministry. And we’ll walk through the nativity story—filled with miraculous pregnancies, angelic visits, political posturing, and a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

Let these scriptures unfold like a song. Read the story. Let your imagination wander into the true account of the birth of the One who “rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.” And may we all come to know Christ better as a result.

Written by Russ Ramsey