The Weekly Word Advent Series - A Devotion for the First Week of Advent
During the busy month of December, we are offering this special Weekly Word Advent Series as an invitation to turn away for a few moments from the holiday hustle and turn toward the One who came to save us.
This week’s Scripture is from Ephesians 1:3-6 (The Message):
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Most of us probably can’t imagine celebrating Christmas any day other than December 25, but the fact is, historians don’t know the exact date Jesus was born. In fact, for the first three centuries of Christianity, Jesus’ birth was not celebrated at all; the two major Christian holidays of the time were January 6 – Epiphany (when the Magi visited the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem) – and Easter.
The truth, though, is that the exact date of Christmas Day doesn’t matter so much in the big picture, because God’s idea of Christmas encompasses far more than a single day each year. As Paul explains in his letter to the Ephesians, God’s love transcends our human-made understanding of time.
What matters more than any particular date is that Immanuel – God with us – was born both human and divine on earth for one purpose: so that He could be with us in heart, mind, body and soul. God invites us to enter into the celebration of this gift – the greatest Gift – each and every day.
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me to set aside some of the busyness and distractions of this season to focus more fully on Your Son. Thank You for inviting me to enter into the celebration of Jesus Christ, the greatest Gift we will ever receive. Amen.