Calvary Family Devotion
The Gospel of Matthew and the Advent Season
November 28 – December 24, 2021
(Click here for a PDF version of this blog and reading plan.)
During the Christmas season, we want to continue realign with the ways and words of Jesus. Together, we will seek to connect with the Lord and to hear what God is saying through The Gospel of Matthew. We will also read and reflect upon other verses associated with the First and Second Coming of Christ. Our salvation is rooted in the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and return of the Lord Jesus.
In this Calvary Family Devotion, we will explore God’s Word together through:
- Reading the Bible on a daily basis
- Memorizing Scripture (let the Lord highlight to you a few verses for you to memorize)
- Using questions to help us reflect on what God is saying to us
Doing these activities as a church family allows the Holy Spirit to speak to us corporately. We believe that God speaks to us in many ways. Our part is to make room, to cultivate the capacity to let the seed of God’s Word find good soil in our hearts. The challenge before us is to give God time in our schedules, room in our minds, and access to our hearts through intentionally devoting ourselves to God’s Word. Let’s press into the presence of the Lord by encountering God in his Holy Word.
We will use a daily reading plan that covers The Gospel of Matthew and other verses associated with the Advent of Christ.
Our reading and reflecting upon God’s word together will go from November 28 – December 24, 2021.
The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew “is the story of Jesus of Nazareth, recorded by the apostle Matthew as a compelling witness that Jesus is the long-anticipated Messiah, who brought the kingdom of God to earth and is the prophesied fulfillment of God’s promise of true peace and deliverance for both Jew and Gentile” (ESV Study Bible).
“The story of Jesus doesn’t begin with Jesus. God had been at work for a long time. Salvation, which is the main business of Jesus, is an old business. Jesus is the coming together in final form of themes and energies and movements that had been set in motion before the foundation of the world.
“Matthew opens the New Testament by setting the local story of Jesus in its world historical context. He makes sure that as we read his account of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we see the connections with everything that has gone before. “Fulfilled” is one of Matthew’s characteristic verbs: such and such happened “that it might be fulfilled.” Jesus is unique, but he is not odd.
“Better yet, Matthew tells the story in such a way that not only is everything previous to us completed in Jesus; we are completed in Jesus. Every day we wake up in the middle of something that is already going on, that has been going on for a long time: genealogy and geology, history and culture, the cosmos—God. We are neither accidental nor incidental to the story. We get orientation, briefing, background, reassurance.
“Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives—work, family, friends, memories, dreams—also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth” (Peterson, E. H. The Message).
The Advent Season
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming.” Many churches observe a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus at Christmas. The Latin word adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, which references Christ’s Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder that Christ has come and that he will come again. Advent for 2021 actually begins on Sunday, November 28.
Reflection Questions for Dialogue or Journaling
- Preparation: Come to God’s Word with a listening, attentive, and attuned ear and heart. Ask the Lord to meet with you and speak to you as you spend time with him in his Word.
- As you read the Gospel of Matthew, what is God revealing about himself to you?
- What are you learning or discovering as you spend time reading The Gospel of Matthew?
- What is getting stirred up in you as you read? Share or journal what you are thinking or feeling.
- What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or how are you feeling led to respond as you read?
- Where is your love for Christ manifesting in obedience? Where are you falling short through disobedience? Don’t just think in moral terms. Think, too, in missional terms. What has God asked you to do or say that you are disobeying habitually? Ask God for forgiveness. Identify and make intentional efforts to do what the Lord is asking you to do.
Scripture Reading Plan for the Gospel of Luke and Advent Scriptures
Date Read Additional verses
11/28/21 Matt. 1 Hope: Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 7:10-14; Matthew 1:18-24
11/29/21 Matt. 2
11/30/21 Matt. 3
12/1/19 Matt. 4
12/2/19 Matt. 5
12/3/19 Matt. 6
12/4/19 Matt. 7
12/5/19 Matt. 8 Peace: Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11; Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 3:1-6
12/6/19 Matt. 9
12/7/19 Matt. 10
12/8/19 Matt. 11
12/9/19 Matt. 12
12/10/19 Matt. 13
12/11/19 Matt. 14
12/12/19 Matt. 15 Joy: Isaiah 9:6-7; John 1:19-34; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Philippians 2:1-11
12/13/19 Matt. 16
12/14/19 Matt. 17
12/15/19 Matt. 18
12/16/19 Matt. 19
12/17/19 Matt. 20
12/18/19 Matt. 21
12/19/19 Matt. 22 Love: Malachi 3:1-5; Romans 8:18-25; Isaiah 52:7-10; Revelation 21:1-14
12/20/19 Matt. 23
12/21/19 Matt. 24
12/22/19 Matt. 25
12/23/19 Matt. 26
12/24/19 Matt. 27-28 Light: Isaiah 9:1-6; John 1:1-18; Titus 2:11-14