Advent comes from the Latin word that means ‘arrival.’
Every year, our family come together once a week to journey through the story of the first Christmas to refresh our memory and remind us the purpose God had in sending His only Son into the world.
We invited some of the singles from church. For some of them, it was the
first time they’ve experienced something like that. We sang a couple of songs, Janina read a portion of the Christmas story, particularly the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and then the moment when Jesus was born.
Then we talked about a few of the insights we got from reading the Christmas story. It was interesting to hear the things that spoke to us. We’ve heard the story and read it so many times but we still are able to get new revelations from it.
I shared about the prophecy made by Micah hundreds of years before Jesus was to be born, that from the town of Bethlehem, the Messiah was to come. God prompted Caesar Augustus to issue a decree for a census to be taken. It was pretty amazing how God orchestrated the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. His birth became to pinnacle of human history and calendar, dividing B.C. from A.D.
If God is able to orchestrate the events of the most important event in history (HIS STORY), then wouldn’t you think it would be so easy for God to orchestrate events in your life and thereby leaving no room for us to worry?
When we think of Christmas, we usually think of a baby born in a manger.
But that wasn’t the goal. It started in a manger but ended on a cross.
And THAT reminds me of how much LOVE was shown as a result.
It reminds me of the story of Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer and statesman. He lived Norway between 1861-1930.
He tried to measure an extremely deep part of the Arctic Ocean. The first day he used his longest measuring line but couldn’t reach the bottom.
He wrote in his log book. “The ocean is deeper than that!”
The next day he added more line but again had to record, “Deeper than that!”
After several days of adding more and more line; He gave up without learning its actual depth.
All he knew was that it was beyond his ability to measure it. How ever hard he tried, his conclusion was “Deeper than that!”
You may have an idea of how great His love is… but it’s deeper than that.
You may have experienced a moment of His love… but it’s deeper than that.
You may have heard of how awesome His love is … IT’S DEEPER THAN THAT.
I pray that you will all the more experience the love of Christ this Christmas season.
Eph. 3:18, NLT. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
A story is told about the Wright brothers after they successfully got their ‘flying machine’ off the ground…
In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground.
Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine:
“We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.”
Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news–man had flown!
It will be silly for us to go to a birthday party and miss greeting the celebrant much less not gift him a gift.
Just a tip for parents – we can get a birthday cake and sing a happy birthday song for Jesus to bring back to focus to who is the center of this celebration.
Because of the many parties, sometimes the last people we get to spend time with is our kids. I know I’ve fallen into that trap. But we have to be deliberate for this thing not to happen.
My wife is so good with this. She prints out a December calendar and gets us all in a meeting to plan the whole month. Remember if you don’t fill your calendar, someone else will.
For this month’s plans…
Our own family Christmas dinner – this is a time when we usually spend Christmas dinner just for us. We go to a restaurant we’ve gone back every December 23 for the past several years – Outback in C5. We have our little celebration and do our gift giving there. It’s always a highlight in our Christmas celebration.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul…” Ps. 19:7
Christmas time is the busiest time of the year. And because of all that goes on, one of the things that usually takes the back seat is our time in the word.
This is something we need to deliberately fight for in our daily planner. Why?
1. It’s perfect.
His Word is perfect. Perfect to comfort. Perfect to encourage. Perfect to correct. Perfect to rebuke. Perfect to inspire.
It’s perfect to revive.
2. It revives the soul.
The heart defibrillator has saved thousands if not millions of lives. Think of His word as a spiritual defibrillator. Yes, it is spiritual daily bread but at the same breath, when one feels ‘dead’ in His walk with God, the word is perfect to revive.
Just a reminder for all of us (includes me!) during this very busy season.