Focal passages: Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:6-7; 11:1-5
As a parent of three children, planning for Christmas can be quite the job. It begins with my wife and me talking with the kids in early October about what they want for Christmas. Then, throughout November and December we begin making arrangements through various channels (grandparents, aunts and uncles, shopping etc.) to secure those items.
However, the real planning begins the night before Christmas morning. Our children never know what we go through to make Christmas morning such a special time.
Sometimes it requires an all-night construction party or a midnight run to the store because we forgot batteries. Interestingly, when the kids wake up the next morning they have no clue what had taken place prior to that special morning. Could you imagine how you would feel if your child came into the room on that Christmas morning and immediately ignored all that was prepared and did not demonstrate any gratitude for all that had been given? I am sure, in a similar way, our heavenly Father feels the same way when we take for granted all that He has done in sending to us the greatest Gift – His Son, Jesus.
As our lesson teaches us, the incarnation of Christ was no mere circumstance, but was planned by God. Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied of His arrival (Isaiah 7:10-14). Talk about planning for Christmas!
Of course, we can go back further than Isaiah to Genesis and see the first prophetic words about the coming Messiah (Genesis 3:15). I am simply stating that in God’s goodness, He planned in advance a way for us to experience the greatest blessing in all of life, namely a relationship with Him through His Son.
When Christmas comes this year, let’s not be like that child who ignores all the sacrificial work that has been put in before time. Instead, we should spend time thanking God for every little detail that was given for us that we could experience life to the fullest in Jesus Christ.