Session 5

The importance of preparation

From A Celebration of Advent: A 25-Day Devotional

‘Tis the season for family gatherings and work parties. If you’ve ever hosted a holiday party, you know preparation takes time.

Party prep isn’t glamorous. But when people start laughing, singing, and enjoying themselves, the shopping, cleaning, and rearranging is worth it. Our preparation makes some of our favorite holiday memories possible.

Luke 1:57-80 describes the birth of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son, John. God had a special purpose for John’s life. John was filled with the Holy Spirit so he could preach repentance and help prepare people’s hearts to hear from Jesus, the Messiah who was coming soon. 

“And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, ‘What then will this child be?’ For the hand of the Lord was with him.” - Luke 1:65-66

John’s role wasn’t always the most glamorous. (Matthew 3:4 records John wearing animal skins and eating bugs.) But without John’s preparation, the world wouldn’t have been ready for the message Jesus came to share.

The same way John prepared people to hear Jesus’ message, Advent — the season we’re in now — prepares our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Advent is a time to slow down and shift our focus from the hustle and bustle to the One this season is all about. 

When we take the time to prepare our hearts, Christmas can go from being another stressful event to the most wonderful time of the year. May this Christmas be different as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ arrival on earth. 

Reflect:
  • How has Jesus changed your life? Where would you be without Him? When you are running low on holiday cheer, remember your answers to these two questions.
  • What do you need to do to make sure you’re getting time alone with Jesus throughout the Christmas season?

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