Find today’s Family Advent Activity at the bottom of today’s reading.
Thanksgiving is behind us, and we’ve officially started the Christmas season. Christmas music is playing on every single radio station throughout the entire country (maybe a slight exaggeration). We’ve already made several trips to Target (not mentioned in the Bible, but you have to wonder where the wise men got their gifts!). Can you remember this time last year? How do those memories compare to this year? Well, for most of us, this Christmas is shaping up to be like no other.
Even though so much in our world has changed, one thing has not! We are still preparing to celebrate the birth of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The truth and power of Christmas remains unchanged. And as Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said over the weekend, “You prepare for what you care for.” So, how will you prepare for this most unusual Christmas?
Since it is so unusual, we have opportunities to prepare differently, to experience the power and the truth of Christmas in ways that perhaps we have never done before. In this Advent season, we need to prepare our hearts for the arrival of the most notable person in all of history—Jesus of Nazareth—and step into the belief that he will come again! Will you be ready?
“We prepare for what we care for.” Ask yourself:
- Have I made the focus of my life the one true God, creator of all that is and ever was?
- Do I worship him alone, or are there false idols in my life that consume my time and attention?
- Can I set my focus to turn away from the things I need to leave behind, turn around, and anticipate what God will do in my life if I yield to him wholeheartedly?
This Christmas season offers a unique opportunity to refocus and reframe what Christmas is to us as followers of Jesus. It is a gift. It is an invitation. It is anticipation of the one who was sent as a baby to relate to us and to communicate God’s love to us in a language we can understand, his word in human flesh.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
The crazy circumstances of this year will most likely not end at the ringing in of 2021. But our confidence is not in this world, which is steeped in sin and ruled by Satan. Our confidence is in Jesus, who gave up heaven to come to Earth as a baby to communicate God’s overwhelming love to us. Jesus still comes and he brings his peace to those who accept it.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
How will you prepare your heart for Jesus this Christmas?
Have you made room for him?
Is there something you need to let go of in order to receive him?
Once you have determined what needs to go, be sure to share your decision with a trusted Christian friend who loves you, will celebrate your decision with you, and will help you through your struggles. Invite the Holy Spirit to bring you the strength you need to put Jesus first in your life.
My sweet Jesus, in this Advent season, my heart longs for you. I want you to be the one and only focus of my heart. “Holy Spirit, love divine, dwell within this heart of mine. Tear down every idol throne. Reign supreme. Reign alone.*” This is my prayer. Amen.
*From Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman.
Family Advent Activity:
Family Connection – Use the following prompt to have some meaningful family conversations.
Read: Isaiah 9:6
Long before Jesus, God promised that a special child would be born. Think about the last promise you made. Did you keep it? You can have hope because God always keeps his promises.
For more family fun, check out the monthly advent calendar full of seasonal activities.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.
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