“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 12
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
The angel’s announcement of the birth of Jesus was the first time the Good News was proclaimed. “Proclaim” means to announce something publicly. To make it stick, proclaim your daily activities: “We will now eat our breakfast”, “It is now time to brush your teeth”, etc. Sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” with your family and talk about how the song matches up to today’s reading in Luke. Continue lighting two of the purple candles in the Advent wreath this week.
Submit to Christ’s Lordship | Shiree King
My Bible notes on this verse: “At His birth, Jesus is called ‘a Savior.’ As Savior, He has come to deliver us from sin, Satan’s dominion, the ungodly world, fear, death, and the condemnation of our transgressions. The Savior is also ‘Christ the Lord.’ He has been anointed as the Messiah of God and the Lord who rules over His people. No person can have Jesus as Savior while not submitting to His lordship.”
As I read this commentary, I immediately thought of Natalie Grant’s song, “More than Anything.” She sings, “Help me want the Savior more than the saving.” In today’s Christian world, we focus on what God can do for us more than who He is. I notice it in many newer praise and worship songs. The lyrics can be good and heartfelt, crying out to God, but they are also a reflection of modern culture: “What’s in it for me?” With Jesus as my Savior AND Lord, I need to be grateful for the salvation He brings and at the same time submit to His lordship…to His will.
Dear God, Please help me to see You and praise You for who You are and not just what You can do for me. I submit to Your lordship and what You desire to do in and through me. Help me want the Healer more than the healing, the Savior more than the saving, and the Giver more than the giving. In Jesus’ name, 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.