December 20 – Advent Study Day 21
“Advent is one of the hardest seasons of the church year to celebrate in today’s culture. As soon as Thanksgiving arrives, we are bombarded by Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas everything. We are so saturated by Christmas that we often skip over one of the most important parts: the preparation. You wouldn’t throw a party without preparing the food and drinks; you wouldn’t visit a friend without getting dressed and ready. We are about to remember the most awe-inspiring thing that happened in the whole of history: God becoming man in the glory and mystery of the incarnation. We need to set aside time to prepare ourselves for this – internally and externally” (excerpt from Rachel Telander’s “Let Us Keep the Feast”)
Join us as we prepare for Christmas with an Advent Study based on Selah Woody’s “A Traditional Advent Calendar: 28 Days of Devotions and Activities”. Each day of the study, we will post the scripture to focus on, ideas for discussion and activities with your family, and an example SOAP from our team based on the day’s scripture. If you’d like to see the full daily devotion from Selah Woody’s study, you can get the free download through Focus on the Family HERE.
Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Then, read and discuss the verse with your family around the dinner table, in the car, before bed, or another time when you can be in intentional devotion to Jesus. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts on the verse, discussion with your family, or your favorite Christmas traditions. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Advent Study Day 21
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Look up images of the Nativity scene. Discuss how it is normally depicted. The Bible says Jesus was laid in a manger which is a feeding trough for animals, and though the Bible does not say Jesus was born in a stable, we often imagine a barn or cave as the setting for Jesus coming into the world. The Bible says Jesus is King. Usually a king is born in a palace with many servants. Why do you think God planned this humble birth among the animals instead? Continue lighting two purple candles and the pink candle this third week of Advent.
Humble Obedience | Marianne Toovey
I must have the same attitude Jesus had: He wasn’t proud. He gave up his power for the position of a lowly servant. He was humble, he was obedient. And as a result, he was lifted to the highest honor.
Despite what this culture might think, Christmas is not about being the biggest and the best. It’s about a humble baby born to humble parents in a humble stable in a humble town, who came to serve and died a gruesome death out of obedience. Jesus set the example, it’s my job to follow it. I should use this season as a reminder to humble myself and be obedient. Serve others. Love everyone. Stop being focused on status and grandeur, and instead focus on what will never fade.
Jesus, I do want Your attitude. Help me to put myself aside in favor of those around me. Show me where I can serve. I want to be obedient, give me the courage. In Your name I pray, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.