O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

-Philip Brooks, from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”


Written, edited, and passed around centuries before Jesus’ birth in a feed trough in the village of Bethlehem two millennia ago, the book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Scriptures shaped the praying, preaching, serving, and loving of the early Christian movement in a vital way. Its influence looms so large that early generations of Christians called the book of Isaiah the “5th Gospel” alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  

This Advent & Christmas, we’re going to be listening to the ancient sermons, prayers, and poetry of Isaiah that fired the imaginations of the first Christians as they reflected on Christ’s birth.  Whether you’re only beginning to pay attention to spiritual realities, or you’re a lifelong follower of Jesus, join us this December as we experience how all of our deep longings- “the hopes and fears of all the years”- cohere in God’s arrival among us through Jesus of Nazareth.

Out of town?  Miss a week?  Want to listen in online?  Click here for sermons in this series.


RECOMMENDED  RESOURCES

Liberti Advent & Christmas Prayerbook- Advent and Christmas are ripe seasons to begin or renew a life of Christian spiritual practices, and so we put together this e-prayerbook featuring reflections and meditations, poetry and hymns, and a daily rhythm of Scripture meditation and prayer to help you anticipate and celebrate the birth of Christ.  You can download our prayerbook in a variety of formats here.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas -This anthology of reflections by Christian pastors, poets, preachers, and mystics from around the world, and around the Christian family will guide you from Advent longing for God through Christmas celebration of the birth of Christ.

Christmas Poems- Poetry wakes us up, opens our eyes, puts us in contact with mystery; and this collection of Christmas poems, hymns, and carols from the Everyman Pocket Poets Library pictures vividly the beauty, irony, and mystery of the birth of Christ.