By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
The second Sunday of Advent in 2023 will be Sunday, December 10th. After a chaotic year, there is comfort to be found when we pause to read, pray, and reflect over the course of the Advent season...a time when believers eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth.
The second Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to prepare our hearts in faithful waiting, celebrate the birth of Jesus, and ready ourselves for his second coming.
Psalm 46:10-11 says:
...Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
During this second week of Advent, we pause to remember who God is and what He has done for us. When our lives are hurried, we only have the chance to focus on our to-do lists. Making space in our schedules for prayer and meditation helps us to better see God at work in our lives and in our world.
As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity, let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. May God’s spirit transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time of holy anticipation; preparing our hearts, as we faithfully await the chance to celebrate the arrival of our king.
Second Sunday of Advent Meaning and Symbolism
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.”
Advent in the 4th and 5th century was a time of preparation for the baptism of new Christians. Christians would spend 40 days in prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration that accompanied the baptism of new believers.
Over time, advent was connected to the coming of Christ. Originally Christians used this term to reference Christ’s second coming, but by the Middle Ages, Advent was connected to Christ’s first coming that we celebrate at Christmas. Today, we celebrate Advent over the four weeks leading up to Christmas each year.
Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off of the crazy hustle of the season and the sadness that could accompany the different ways some of us may be choosing to observe the holiday season this year. Even when things feel chaotic we can find peace in Jesus. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.
The tradition for the second Sunday of Advent includes lighting the second purple candle that is a symbol of faith.
This second Sunday of Advent we read, pray, and reflect on the hope God’s plan gives us (foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by the life and death of Christ), and we meditate on the promise of Christ’s coming glory-filled return.
3 Suggested Scripture Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm, See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
2 Peter 3:8-14
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images bkkm
A Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent
Father, prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth joyfully! We thank you for faithfully doing what you promised long ago when you sent your Son to earth so that we might have the chance to become part of your family. Let the promise of your second coming inspire us to live with hope and purpose.
As we wait for your plan to unfold, give us the patience we need. Remind us of the peace we can access when we take time to still ourselves before you and remember that you are God. We thank you that you are both sovereign and gracious.
Help us to find rest in the midst of what feels like chaos in our world. Amen.
Other Recommended Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—“a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
As you light the second advent candle, may God’s spirit prepare your heart to receive Jesus as your king. May God’s grace abound in your life in this season of holy anticipation.
This article is part of Amanda's series covering the traditions and symbolism of the Advent weeks. For more, visit: First Sunday of Advent, Second Sunday of Advent, Third Sunday of Advent, Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Looking for Advent readings to celebrate this season with family and friends? Download our FREE 25 Advent Readings for Christmas to prepare your heart for the Nativity of Jesus Christ!
Photo Credit: ©SparrowStock
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ!