“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 13
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The story of the shepherds being the first to hear the Good News is a beautiful example of God’s love for everyone. At this time, shepherds were not highly regarded and were looked down upon. God’s choice to share this joyous announcement with the shepherds is a great example of God not showing preference. Jesus came to save everyone, not just the rich or famous. As you talk about the shepherds today, act the story out using figures from a Nativity set, make shepherds and sheep to use, or dress-up and act it out. Continue lighting two purple candles on your Advent wreath this week.
Go Tell Others About Jesus | Rebecca Hoyt
My Bible notes: “Shepherds were despised in the first century for their lifestyles; some had the reputation of being thieves. But it was to them that the angels announced the birth of God’s Son. These very humble and ordinary men became the first evangelists to proclaim the Savior’s birth.”
I love that most of the residents where I work have worn Bibles that look like they’ve been used a lot. There are several different kinds — Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and so on, but they all are not afraid to talk about Jesus. I’ve gotten to talk to several people about different things in the Bible because they brought it up first. I hope I can be like the people at my work and just start talking about Jesus. Christmas is the perfect time to go and proclaim the Savior’s birth.
Dear Father, I love that You use all kinds of people to tell about You; for example You used humble shepherds and rich wise men. It takes all kinds to reach different people. Please Help me to reach others for You.
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.