I’m normally a wait-until-Thanksgiving-to-break-out-all-things-Christmas kinda girl, but this year, I CANNOT WAIT. I’ve been playing Christmas music since November 1st (Indie Holiday station on Pandora, you have my heart), planned out where our tree will go, put a trip on the calendar for Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, and I am READY. (P.S. Someone remind me that I said “I’m ready” on December 22nd when I still have a million gifts to buy and holiday family parties to put on the calendar.)
In a month that’s full of things – events and gift-giving and baking and to-do’s – I wanted to pause and carve out time each morning to remember the “why,” the beauty not only of Jesus’s birth but everything his birth represented: Defeat over sin. Freedom. Grace. Hope.
Lately, I’ve felt a pull back to the simplicity and beauty of the liturgical church calendar, and I couldn’t let this season go unmarked. Advent means “coming” or “arrival”; it’s a period of waiting, of expectation for the Greatest Arrival the world has ever seen – our King of Kings, our Prince of Peace, our God with us. The moment Jesus arrived, the world was never the same.
For our final study of the year, we’ll prepare for his birth by studying his life, as told by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. To align with the Advent season, this study will be set up a bit differently – it’ll start on Sunday, December 3rd and finish on Sunday, December 24th. We’ll read one chapter of John each day (including weekends) and finish with Luke’s account of Jesus’s birth.
Over the next three weeks, we will see Jesus as healer, as friend, as Son. We’ll see the rejection he faced, the life he lived, and the death he died – all for us. We’ll see the hurt he endured and the compassion he displayed. We’ll see him choose the rejects, the outcasts, the poor, the hurting, the ones who least deserve it. We’ll see him die so that we could live.
Want to join us? You can subscribe below or check back here each morning -- there's a new devotional posted at 5 a.m. And if you enjoy studying the Bible through these "SOAP" studies, invite a friend to join you! I love hearing how some of you are doing these studies together and there's always room for more. (PS -- I've thought about creating a Facebook group so we can encourage and support each other as we read each day. If you're interested in a Facebook group for us to connect, let me know in the comments below!)
See you Sunday!