Advent is proud to present a range of electronic resources for individual study, general fellowship and spiritual growth. Check here regularly for the latest content from Advent Lutheran Church.  Also, please make a donation if you’d like to see more of this type of content supported by Advent.

Sermons & Bible Studies

Advent records sermon and bible study content from Pastor Marcus Mackay and guest pastors through SoundCloud. Access and download content via the SoundCloud app on the App Store and Google Play, or as an iTunes podcast.

Year of the Bible – Mark 13:1-14:26

Epiphany - Mark 13
She broke the jar and poured
the perfume on his head.
Mark 14:3b
Mark 13:1-14:26 (14:1-9)

Mark sets before our eyes the marks, signs and promises of the New Covenant. As ancient Israel had been set apart by circumcision and gathered around the meal, the Passover feast, so now the New Israel, the Israel of faith, the true sons of Abraham throughout the Gentile world, are marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit in the waters of baptism and gathered together into a perfect communion with God in the sacramental meal of the Lord’s Supper. The disciples followed the directives of Christ and made preparations for the meal. Jesus gathered His twelve disciples (twelve tribes of Israel in contrast to the twelve disciples) and prepared them for His betrayal. Judas would betray his Lord. Always, always, within the church there are hypocrites and unbelievers, but these can only take the supper of Christ to their own judgment, for God brings into judgment all who would bring harm to His Son and the Gospel of His Grace. Marking Judas, therefore, Jesus consecrates the bread and wine and gives to His disciples the real body and blood of the Savior of the world. To those who come to Him and covenant in faith, God protects, defends and saves them from sin, death and the devil—thankfully and often in spite of their own human failings and weaknesses.


Questions – Mark 13

  1. What were the symbols of the old covenant and what are the sacraments of the New Covenant?
  2. Who are the true sons of Abraham?
  3. What are we to expect as an unwanted but necessary fact within the Christian Church, as evidenced by Judas?
  4. Why is the covenant/sacrament so comforting to us as Christians?
  5. In what way is the Lord’s Supper an “epiphany” of Christ?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Friday | Mark 13 – © John W. Fiene

Year of the Bible – Luke 4:1-13

“. . . If you are the Son of God,
tell this stone to become
Luke 4:3

Luke 4:1-13

Trust in the Word

Epiphany starts with the baptism of Jesus. Jesus was baptized that he might take upon Himself our sins, and so that, through our baptism into Christ, we might receive from Him His perfect righteousness. God, therefore, is at peace with those who have been baptized into Christ. The righteousness of Christ has become our righteousness. We are holy because we have the holiness of Christ, not because we live sinless lives. We do not see our righteousness because it is RECKONED TO US. Therefore, we can only see and receive it by faith. When we have trials and tribulations in life, we always question if God has forgotten us, or has failed to protect us, or is punishing us. Only those who are perfectly righteous and know it can resist such temptation, for God cannot forget the righteous, God will not punish the righteous, God will always protect the righteous. To show us the power of faith and righteousness over Satan and temptation, the Holy Spirit took Jesus into the wilderness. Tempted for forty days, Jesus showed His perfect faith in operation. He trusted in God’s Word to sustain Him, even when God gave Him no bread to eat. Thus, He resisted the power of Satan and remained free from Satan’s destructive powers (in contrast to Adam – cf. Romans 6). He was very much LIKE Abraham, but He was far MORE than Abraham. Jesus never doubted, thus He was freed from the power of evil. This is the power and blessing given to the righteous by God. In baptism, God gives and seals to us all the same rights Christ had throughout His wilderness temptation. Christians are permitted to use their baptism and faith in God’s Word in the same way.


Luke Questions:

  1. What is the great exchange in baptism? We get Jesus’ ____________ and He gets our ___________.
  2. Is the baptized Christian holy?
  3. Explain the word “reckoned.”
  4. Where did Jesus go after He was baptized?
  5. What do we mean when we say that Jesus’ faith overcame Satan’s temptation?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Thursday | Luke 4 – © John W. Fiene

Year of the Bible – Isaiah 14:1-17-14

Epiphany - Isaiah 14



How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!

Isaiah 14:12

Isaiah 14:1-17:14 (14:1-2)

The Fallen Morning Star

God’s people were often taken into captivity because of their unbelief. They were dispossessed of the same land that God gave them through Abram. Why God got angry was not often clear to the Israelites. Israel often turned away from God. They did not know Him or His Word and promise. They had refused to listen to His Word. When He spoke to them through the prophets, they simply denied His commands and promises and mistreated the prophets. This does not mean that they were not religious. They prayed and worshipped someone called “God.” But they did not study His Word, they did not care about His Word and covenants. So, to wake them up, God sent them into captivity. God used their neighboring enemies to teach them a lesson, and though it was severe, it was also a lesson of love. Isaiah spoke God’s Word to the Israelites – a word of warning AND peace. Israel would be destroyed because she had broken faith and covenant with God. The destroyers of the Israelites, however, would themselves, in time, be destroyed and the people of God set free. The King of Babylon (the morning star) would be destroyed and forgotten. The Philistines and Moabites and Arabs would also get their day of judgment. In the future, Israel would be restored. God would turn away His anger, be reconciled to Israel and have compassion on His children. An unbelievable miracle, the miracles of all miracles, Isaiah predicted. But it could hardly be grasped because their hearts were not turned in faith to the Word. The day was coming when even the enemies of God’s people would join Israel in the worship and praise of the true and living God. Even the Gentiles would become righteous through faith. That is one of the great joys of the Epiphany season. The Gentiles will see and believe!



Questions – Isaiah 14

  1. What was the main reason for God sending His people into captivity?
  2. What commandment do we violate when we refuse to hear God’s Word?
  3. Explain how a person can be religious without really being a Christian.
  4. Describe Isaiah’s message of warning and peace?
  5. What happened to Israel’s enemies?
  6. What great event did Isaiah predict?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Wednesday | Isaiah 14 – © John W. Fiene

Year of the Bible – Genesis 15:1-16:35

Epiphany - Week One - Genesis 15



“. . . but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”

                        Genesis 15:4

Genesis 15:1-16:35 (15:1-6)

Abram and Sarai – (Trust/Justification)

Abram was afraid that he would not become a father. His fear was based upon two things. He wanted an heir from his own household. He also wanted to be the father (progenitor) of the Messiah. He had gotten very old. He seemed to have been filled with doubts. But God gave Him a promise. Abram would have descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram believed God and it was “reckoned to him” for righteousness. God “imputes” – declaring something to be what it is, so that through the power of His Word it becomes what God says it will be. That is how we become righteous before God. To help us understand imputation, God connects Abram’s righteousness to the ownership of Israel, the promised land. He “gave” the land to Abram. Notice how it became Abram’s land – even though he did not take it, even though no one else thought it was Abram’s, even though he would never fully experience it as his land. But it was his because God said it – His Word made it so!

Hagar and Ishmael: One wonders why Abram, at first very certain of God’s promise, started to “backslide”. He and Sarai became impatient and took matters into their own hands. Sarai’s Egyptian maid, Hagar, tried to have a “surrogate” child for Sarai, but she soon began to despise her mistress. Problems, huge and very long lasting problems (multi-generational – now reflected in Islam vs. Christianity, and between the Arab worlds and the west), came about because Abram and Sarai refused to rely on and trust in God’s Word. Today we are so often afraid to rely upon God’s promises because our reason and common sense get in the way. We need to remind ourselves daily that God’s Word and promise will never be taken from us, that as we walk in His paths, He will always shield and defend us.

Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Tuesday | Genesis 15 – © John W. Fiene

Year of the Bible – Psalm 34

Epiphany - Week One - Psalm 34
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

Psalm 34 (34:11-22)

As Epiphany comes near and we now turn our thoughts away from that sweet and glorious birth of Christ to the Lord’s first appearance at the River Jordan, the beginning of His ministry, we begin by meditating upon a series of comforting Psalms (34-41). Psalm 34 was written by David during the time that he was being pursued by King Saul. He fled to the city of the Philistines, but when his reputation as a great warrior became known, his life was in danger. In order to make himself seem harmless to the Philistines, David pretended to be insane. He drooled down his beard and made marks on the door whenever he was in their presence, so they let him go. After God delivered him from this danger, David wrote this psalm. It contains praise to God (Glorify the Lord with me v. 3) and his angel (v. 7); exhortations to Christian action based upon a trust in God (taste, see, fear, come). He calls the reader to turn away from a sinful life and to change (to repent). No matter how difficult life might be, David shows us, the Lord is always close and near to His beloved children and He hears their prayers. Just because a person is a child of God does not mean that he or she will not have trouble. Trouble comes even to the righteous. But God always hears, delivers, protects and redeems the “righteous” (v.17). 


Psalm Questions:

  1. In what way does the focus of Christmas change at Epiphany?
  2. What action was the beginning of the ministry of Jesus?
  3. Where had David been before he wrote this psalm?
  4. What got David out of trouble?
  5. Who got David out of trouble?
  6. What do you find most comforting about David’s psalm?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Monday | Psalm 34 – © John W. Fiene

Now Available – Year of the Bible

Year of the Bible

Get Year of the Bible Now

You can now access Year of the Bible content as blog posts on this site. Readings and study material are posted daily Monday through Saturday, in accordance with the Liturgical Calendar.  Study materials include a selected bible reading, educational study response and several questions about the reading and study.
Study materials have been developed in conjunction with Confirmation classes. As such, some weeks will only have selected readings and not full study materials.
Explore this study material today!

Year of the Bible – Christmas – Week 2


Year of the Bible – Christmas 2

Since the full Year-of-the-Bible handouts conform with general confirmation instruction, daily devotionals are not available over Christmas. We encourage you to read the following passages in your daily studies.
Monday | Psalm 33
Tuesday | Genesis 8:13-14:24 (5:32-6:8)
Wednesday | Isaiah 13:6-22 (13:9-13)
Thursday | Mark 10:46-12:44 (12:35-44)
Friday | Luke 3:1-38 (3:1-18)
Saturday | Romans 3:1-4:25 (4:16-25)