Devotional

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David  for all eternity..” – Isaiah 9:6-7. 

In our fast-paced, materialistic, “do more” culture, it’s all too easy to always be moving to the next thing on our to-do list, especially during the holidays. We have to put up the tree. We have to bake the cookies. We have to buy presents and then wrap them…beautifully. Gift wrapping has to be quick because we have to finish the family Christmas letter and then mail it along with the Christmas cards. And then there are all the holiday get togethers. 

That’s an awful lot of to-dos that take up too much of our focus. It is all about focus. Advent, is the time when we should slow down and focus or refocus on Jesus. Christmas can be an enormous distraction. But it can also be collectively inspirational because God is with us. What if we didn’t spend all of our time on shopping and wrapping and going to parties and focused on the reason for the season?  Luke 2:7 reminds of that reason, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

Think about that verse for second. The Son of God did not arrive in some glorious or earth shattering event, but instead God chose to come into the world in the most humble way possible. Here we have the Son of God become the son of a virgin. God with us. This is such a mind bending, heart altering truth. This season of the year should remind us more than anything, that God made a way, to be right here “with us.” Don’t ever doubt or fear that He’s not with you. He hasn’t lost control. He hasn’t forgotten you. We simply need to draw closer to Him. 

Most Christians alternately approach and retreat from God. Even with the best intentions we see this reflected in our prayer life, regular Bible reading, and in being the hands and feet of Jesus. James 8:4 promises that if we come near to God, he will come near to us.

Drawing close to God enriches all other aspects of the Christmas celebration—fellowship, gift giving, gift receiving…even shopping. Focusing on Jesus can help to put everything else in its proper light.

Advent is a time to draw near to God. It is a season set aside to prepare for the celebration of the coming of God’s son. God is with us. Draw near to Him this Advent season.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does Advent mean to you?   
  2. How can we focus or refocus on God this week?