Reading I: Isaiah 11:1-10 (the rule of Emmanuel)
Reading II: Romans 15:4-9 (prayer of encouragement)
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12 (John the Baptist)
Key Passage: This is the one [John the Baptist] of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Matthew 3:3)
Adults: What do you need to change so that others can learn from watching you that Christ Jesus walks among us?
Child: What good thing have you done so far during Advent to be like Jesus?
The meaning of the number “Eight” in the Bible is “New Beginnings”
- The eighth day was new after God rested.
- There are 7 days in a week and the 8th day is a new beginning.
- Christ rose on the 8th day which was a new beginning for the world.
In Hebrew the number eight is Sh’moneh from the root Shah’meyn, “to make fat,” “cover with fat,” “to super-abound.” As a participle it means “one who abounds in strength,” etc. As a noun it is “superabundant fertility,” “oil,” etc. So that as a numeral it is the superabundant number. As seven was so called because the seventh day was the day of completion and rest, so eight, as the eighth day, was over and above this perfect completion, and was indeed the first of a new series, as well as being the eighth.
Eight BY ITSELF
It is 7 plus 1. Hence it is the number specially associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order.
When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah “the eighth person” (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. “Eight souls” (1 Peter 3:20) passed through it with him to the new or regenerated world.
Hence, too, circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day (Gen 17:12), because it was the foreshadowing of the true circumcision of the heart, that which was to be “made without hands,” even “the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Col 2:11). This is connected with the new creation.