Day 2 – Hear: Reflection, Questions, and Art During Advent

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Consider

“Long before John the Baptizer ever set foot in the Jordan, even before the days of King David and the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, in the days of Moses not long after the Hebrew peoples’ exodus from Egypt, they began their worship gatherings with this one word: Hear.

“They were to worship the Lord, and they were to understand why they should. The call to worship wasn’t a detached decree to render affection to an unknown deity—the God who called them was anything but detached. This command was a call to remember. They were to rehearse in their minds and hearts and homes this story—their story—the story of how the Maker of heaven and earth had called their people to himself and bound himself to them as their God.

“Though it was a story still unfolding, they knew enough to understand that the Lord their God was one in number and in nature, and that the only proper way to respond to his dealings with them was to love him with everything they had and everything they were.”[1]

 

Examine

It can be easy to practice ceremony without our hearts being in it. Is your celebration of Christmas marked by your worship of Jesus, or is it more along the lines of a cultural routine? What are some ways you can build intentionality into your celebration of Christmas?

What do you think it means to love the Lord with all your heart? With all your soul? With all your might? Are you someone who practices these things? If so, how? If not, why not?

 

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[1] Ramsey, Russ. Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative. Nashville: Rabbit Room Press, 2011. pgs. 7-8.

About the Art: Rembrandt van Rijn, St. John the Baptist Preaching, c. 1634, Oil on canvas laid down on panel, 62 x 80 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Click here to see the full painting.

Russ Ramsey
Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church and the author of Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative (Rabbit Room Press, 2011) and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2015). He is a graduate of Taylor University (1991) and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv – 2000, ThM – 2003). Follow Russ on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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