Nooooooo, not yet!! It’s too early! I don’t want to think about it. I don’t have any money.
I’m sure that as soon as you read the title one or more of those thoughts raced to your mind. Christmas seems to bring that initial response out in people. Retailers seem to be setting up right after Labor Day, while Halloween and Christmas share isles, and Thanksgiving’s corner gets moved each year to a single shelf, on an end cap.
At this time, I will challenge each of us to move towards Christmas with a new outlook and focus. We have nine months until Christmas, and within nine months another event is anticipated with joy and excitement. This year won’t you please join me as we await the arrival of a birth! A birth of a baby boy.
Awaiting the arrival of a new born baby can be the most exciting time, and the most worrisome time. Emotions can be all over the place. It’s been a while since my children were born, however just four short years ago my family anxiously awaited the arrival of the youngest of my grandchildren.
During this study we will focus on the meaning of “Christ”mas, and what the birth of Jesus brings to a lost world. What His birth did for us, and Who He is.
“But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter— From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.” Micah 5:2-3 MSG
This is a nine-month focus. The same term as a pregnancy. We will begin in April and go to December. Each month we will focus on one aspect of anticipating the arrival of a baby. There will be an item that I will ask you to place in your house and scripture readings for that item. Each item will lead to the expected arrival of our Lord and Saviors birth. To the true meaning of Christmas and celebration behind the commercialized holiday.
“The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you!” Zech. 2:10NLT
This idea came to me as we just moved through Easter. We celebrated His resurrection from the grave, and how he conquered death. But, it all began with His birth. God becoming a baby, born to a virgin, in a manger, surrounded by animals, and wrapped in swaddling cloths. Notice I said cloths, not clothes. Big difference. There was no fancy hospital, skilled doctors, and blankets.
With that I quickly counted on my fingers and wondered – how many months before Christmas? What do you know – nine months. The number of months a woman carries her child before giving birth.
I then took my thoughts down memory lane. What did I do, prepare for, and start stocking up on? Then took my thoughts on a stroll through Babies R Us. Mary, Jesus mother, did not have the luxury of Babies R Us, or the local store to begin stocking up. There were no registries, or showers, to provide much needed items. However, like any expectant mother I’m confident she did some preparing, and planning. Even if it was only mental preparation.
If you’ve never experienced giving birth to a child, or are expecting a child, you know mental preparation is just as important. Your life is about to CHANGE. And that is exactly what happed to the world when Jesus was born. Life CHANGED. That is what happens to us when we embrace Jesus as our Savior – our life CHANGES.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9 LB
If you’ve not had children of your own that’s ok, because I’m pretty sure you have anticipated the arrival of other babies. Family, or close friends, all welcoming in a new member to the family. You have seen, heard, or been a part of the anticipated arrival.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jer. 23:5 LB
So, what is it we do when we are anticipating the birth of a child.
- Pick out names
- Start to prepare a room – paint, buy furniture
- Begin to purchase necessities – until we know the gender we keep it neutral
- We stock up on diapers, wipes, and all the things we know we will need
- Purchase a few starter toys
We will begin this week with the announcement – the news that a baby is coming! And, based on conception this baby will be born at Christmas! The greatest present we will ever receive.
The announcement has been made! A baby is coming!
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isa. 11:1 LB
Please join me in this nine-month focus as we are Moving towards “Christ”mas.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
*picture thehaystack, littledribble, pinterest