Summary: In this first message of Advent, Pastor Terry will share what the anticipation is all about. Do we have to wait to experience the Splendor of Christ? Strick the match and light the candle, it’s time to find out!

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Text: Hosea 13:14

It’s the first Sunday of Advent!! Today opens the celebration of the Christmas season here at Christ Fellowship. The house is decorated, the wreath is in place, but what’s it all about? Tonight we will gather for a great time of fellowship and worship as we light the first candle of Advent together, but what does it all mean?

The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". In the Church Advent is the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the coming of Jesus. The Latin word finds its roots in the original Greek word “parousia” (PAR-oozia) which referred to, in the ancient world, the official visit by royalty.

Psalm 24:7-10

7 Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah

So Advent has a dual meaning for us. It serves as a reminder of God’s divine plan of redemption made possible through the first coming of Christ as a baby in a manger and it serves as a reminder that, as He promised, Christ will come again, in all of His glory, as the King of Kings to once and for all destroy the works of the evil one and establish His throne on the earth with us, the Church, by His side.

Advent further reminds you and I of four key gifts Christ has given every believer through the power of His resurrection life; Gifts that speak of the very heart of God the Father, Love, Joy, Peace and Hope.

The first coming of Christ put an end of our fear of death and His second coming will put an eternal end to death itself!

From Israel’s earliest bondage in Egypt, God’s people had lamented for a deliverer. One who would liberate them from the tyranny of slavery. Their wait for a redeemer was met by promise after promise from Holy God that He would send a Messiah. Their outcry of “O come, O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel” was silenced by the Chorus of the Heavenly Host who declared to lowly shepherds tidings of great joy, that in the city of David the Savior had been born.

Advent reminds us that the long awaited Messiah has indeed come. That through Him the light of Love, Joy, Peace and Love can dispel the darkest of despair.

It reminds us that we no longer have to look for Him, for now, He seeks us.

He came to save us from humanities sinful self destruction.

Since the fall we have been clearly reminded that the wages of sin is death and mankind, through the millennia, has been spending those wages with no regard for tomorrow.

In our text this morning Hosea tells us of God’s plan for redemption and deliverance.

1. “I will ransom them from the power of the grave”

Ransom = to redeem or rescue by paying a price

= transfer ownership by means of purchase

= to sever the terms of an old account

Power of the Grave “Strong hand of Hell”

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