Advent Devotional, Week 4: The Christ Child

Happy Christmas Eve Friends,

This is the last of our Advent Devotional Series:  Hope is Here!  If you missed the first 3 weeks, you can find them here:

Week One:  The Prophets

Week Two:  Bethlehem

Week Three:  The Shepherds.

Have you ever noticed that all great things start small?

A mighty oak stands strong, a shield against the elements, a welcomed source of shade from scorching heat.

It grew from a seed.

A house is built by a concrete slab being poured, simple, plain (certainly not the dream home, image pinned on our pinterest boards.)  The humble beginnings of a home.

A multi billion dollar corporation, employing thousands, began because someone had an idea, and that small idea, was tested and tried and became a source of profit and income for many.

Look at the people standing next to you at the grocery store. They all began as a sperm and embryo meeting, which grew into a baby. After birth, midnight feedings, long school days, and even longer work days… tiny little humans grew into Presidents, Architects, CEO’s, Mothers, Fathers, Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors, Computer programmers, Artists, & Chefs.

Read:  Isaiah 11:1, 10

“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot- Yes, a new branch bearing fruit from the old root.  In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation.  To all the world.  The nations will rally to Him, and the land where He lives will be a glorious place.”

It’s a time of year we all long for a break, a reprise – many people get a few days off work and school is out.  The calendar year is coming to an end and the world take a collective sigh of relief, that maybe all the bad, all the hard, all the tears from 2018, can be turned into laughter, success, love and hope.  So often we find ourselves facing Christmas and we end the day or days of celebration and feel more frazzled, stressed, hopeless than before we entered them.

Why is this?

Maybe it’s a hard travel schedule you endured, maybe it was an unpleasant interaction with a family member, maybe this year’s festivities remind you that someone very special to you is not there.  Maybe you’re grieving, a loss, a break up, a dream you expected to be fulfilled by now, but its not.

Maybe we’re looking for the wrong things.

Wherever you’re at this Christmas Eve morning, lets turn our eyes towards the Christ Child…

I was reflecting this past week before Christmas about a friend of mine who just had a baby boy.  I have only had my kids in spring, summer and fall so I have never experienced Christmas with a newborn.

This Christmas she won’t make a perfectly brined turkey. She’ll probably spend most of Christmas eve night awake nursing and rocking a fussy baby.  She’ll inevitably be peed on and deal with an explosive diaper or two.  Yet in the sleep deprived, chaos of those first days with a baby, she will experience closely what it was like when Jesus was born.

There will be tears from exhaustion, hormonal fluctuations and overwhelming joy.

The collision of sacrifice, stretching and euphoric joy that can make Christmas feel complicated or even hard.

Yet if we will just look at the Christ Child we realize Christmas wasn’t ever intended to be this perfect Hallmark movie mini series of moments.

After all Christmas is just a seed, a small beginning…a messy, loud, difficult and beautiful beginning.

Today you may have been wanting a Christmas miracle, and I hope with my whole heart you receive one.  I have been praying everyday, that every person who reads this devotional would receive a breakthrough.

But today the breakthrough may look like a small seed, an unromantic beginning…and if it does, don’t despair…remember that all great things start small…even the Savior of the World, Jesus, began His life on earth as a helpless baby.

PRAY: Jesus, Prepare my heart as I celebrate Christmas to look for the small seed of what you are beginning to grow!

ASK GOD:  What is the small seed I should look for?

ACTION STEP:   Look for the small seeds today.  When you encounter a situation that feels difficult, overwhelming or hopeless ask God in that moment to reveal to you what the small seed is.

ASK GOD:  How can I be a seed of hope, joy or encouragement to someone that I am going to see at my Christmas celebrations?

SONG:  O Holy Night, Chris Tomlin

As we end I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who have read the blog, followed along on social media, and taken the time to comment and also encourage me.  I am overwhelmingly thankful for each one of you, and I love you more than you know.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.  Rejoice with hope today Friends!  Jesus is alive! He is moving and working even in ways we can’t see or understand.

I will see you back on the blog at the beginning of January, as I will be on a blogging break until then.

  I am praying for you,

 

 

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