Advent is for adoring Jesus. At least that’s our angle on it at Desiring God.
Advent is an annual season of patient waiting, hopeful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching marked by many churches, Christian families, and individual followers of Jesus.
Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends Christmas Eve. Christians throughout the world have their different ways of celebrating Advent. Some light candles. Some sing songs. Some eat candies. Some give gifts. Some hang wreaths. Many of us do all of the above.
Our prayer is that this devotional might help you keep Jesus as the center and greatest treasure of your Advent season. The candles and candies have their place, but we want to make sure that in all the December rush and hubbub we adore Jesus above all.
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• Also: Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent with John Piper
• Dec. 1: Prepare the Way (Luke 1:16-17)
• Dec. 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (Luke 1:46-55)
• Dec. 3: The Long-Awaited Visitation (Luke 1:68-71)
• Dec. 4: For God’s Little People (Luke 2:1-5)
• Dec. 5: No Detour from Calvary (Luke 2:6-7)
• Dec. 6: Peace to Those with Whom He’s Pleased (Luke 2:12-14)
• Dec. 7: Messiah for the Magi (Matthew 2:1-2)
• Dec. 8: Bethlehem’s Supernatural Star (Matthew 2:2)
• Dec. 9: Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus (Matthew 2:3)
• Dec. 10: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh (Matthew 2:10-11)
• Dec. 11: Why Jesus Came (Hebrews 2:14-15)
• Dec. 12: Replacing the Shadows (Hebrews 8:1-2)
• Dec. 13: The Final Reality Is Here (Hebrews 8:1-2)
• Dec. 14: Making It Real for His People (Hebrews 8:6)
• Dec. 15: Life and Death at Christmas (John 10:10)
• Dec. 16: God’s Most Successful Setback (John 17:18)
• Dec. 17: The Greatest Salvation Imaginable (Jeremiah 31:31)
• Dec. 18: The Christmas Model for Missions (John 17:18)
• Dec. 19: Christmas is for Freedom (Hebrews 2:14-15)
• Dec. 20: Christmas Solidarity (John 3:8)
• Dec. 21: The Birth of the Ancient of Days (John 18:37)
• Dec. 22: That You May Believe (John 20:30-31)
• Dec. 23: God’s Indescribable Gift (Romans 5:10-11)
• Dec. 24: The Son of God Appeared (1 John 3:7-8)
• Dec. 25: Three Christmas Presents (1 John 3:7-8)
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” — John 17:24
What does Jesus want this Christmas?
We can see the answer in his prayers. What does he ask God for? His longest prayer is John 17. The climax of his desire is in verse 24.
Among all the undeserving sinners in the world, there are those whom God has “given to Jesus.” These are those whom God has drawn to the Son (John 6:44, 65). These are Christians — people who have “received” Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives (John 1:12; 3:17; 6:35; 10:11, 17–18; 20:28). Jesus says he wants them to be with him.
Sometimes we hear people say that God created man because he was lonely. So they say, “God created us so that we would be with him.” Does Jesus agree with this? Well, he does say that he really wants us to be with him! Yes, but why? Consider the rest of the verse. Why does Jesus want us to be with him?
... to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Jesus’s longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son — that we love the Son with the love of the Father for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.
What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most — to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son.
What I want most for Christmas this year is to join you (and many others) in seeing Christ in all his fullness and that we together be able to love what we see with a love far beyond our own half-hearted human capacities. This is our goal in these Advent devotionals. We want together to see and savor this Jesus whose first “advent” (coming) we celebrate, and whose second advent we anticipate.
This is what Jesus prays for us this Christmas: “Father, show them my glory and give them the very delight in me that you have in me.” Oh, may we see Christ with the eyes of God and savor Christ with the heart of God. That is the essence of heaven. That is the gift Christ came to purchase for sinners at the cost of his death in our place.BACK