Christmas: Days of Preparation

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11, ESV)

Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas) has zoomed by and only four days remain to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls to remember—the Lord has come, and the not yet—his future return. A tension and longing that resides in each human heart.

Are you ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord?

The ancestors of our faith longed for the day when the Messiah would arrive. They lived in a constant state of waiting. In God’s perfect timing, Jesus came. We are not unlike the men and women of the ancient period. While we celebrate that he came, we are waiting for his second coming.

Regardless of what the last several weeks have held, we still have time to intentionally feel and understand what it means to wait on God. Let’s go on a journey together, like a four-day golf tournament if you will, and set our eyes, hears, and heart on being spiritually ready for Christmas morning.

Day 1 – Thursday
The prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah’s prophecy was nearly 700 years before Jesus was born. Today is a good day to remember the longing of God’s people, who waited for and wondered when the Messiah would come. What are you longing for this Christmas?

Day 2 – Friday
The angel Gabriel appeared and revealed to Mary God’s plans for her. Her reply? “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Although feeling troubled, her courageous response defied all reason. As she carried the Son of God in her womb, I wonder what she anticipated upon his arrival. What does living with anticipation mean to you?

Day 3 – Saturday
The apostle Paul encouraged, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). If we make Christmas merely a sentimental celebration of Jesus as a baby, we remain imprisoned in “baby Christianity.” As Jesus grew and filled with wisdom, so are we to become mature men and women of faith. How is your faith growing this Christmas?

Day 4 – Sunday
“And was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4). It’s Christmas Eve and the good news is that we know the rest of the story: his birth, his life, the cross, and his resurrection. Jesus’ birth is important, but not without the resurrection and the hope that he will return. Where has hope been deferred or rebirthed for you during this season?

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Tracy Hanson
December 20, 2017
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