I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I'm guessing most of us have already given Christmas a thought or two.
I have already had the thought that I have every year: "This Christmas, I'm going to keep focused on what Christmas is really all about."
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy all the festivity surrounding American Christmases. I like giving those I care about a something that I think they would really enjoy. And Christmas was, hands down, my dad's favorite holiday. He enjoyed every aspect of gift buying, gift giving, party throwing, and party going. Remembering how much he loved it all makes me love it even more.
But, all of that can cause one to look at the manger scenes peppered here and there as just another part of the festivities instead of "the reason for the season."
God became man. The salvation plan of God entered a new phase on that night in Bethlehem. All of life for all time and eternity was affected.
That is not small. That is not a cute "side" to the Christmas tradition. It really is what Christmas is all about.
A few years ago, a friend told me about something she did one Christmas when her three boys were young grammar school age. Every night before bed, they'd all go sit around the Christmas tree and she would read to them from Luke 2. Good conversation was sparked amid wiggly bodies and by December 24 - and as an added bonus - the boys had it memorized!
A couple of years ago, I decided to do something similar. Every day starting on December 1 and ending on December 24, I would read through the first 21 verses of Luke 2 some time during my day, asking God to show me something new from it every time I read it.
It was a powerful, beautiful time and I benefited so much from it that I've decided to do it again this year. And then God started stirring my heart to invite any of you, my readers, who are looking for a little something to help keep you focused this Christmas season, to join me!
Here's what I was envisioning. Every day from December 1 through December 24, we'll set aside a few minutes to read through Luke 2:1-21. I plan on posting a short blog every one of those days. Sometimes there will be suggestions of things to look for or do as you read and sometimes, I'll just share something of what God has shown me.
I putting this out here now just to give you a heads-up. And get you excited.
It will be God, You, and Luke 2. We'll have the creator of the universe as our teacher and our guide. He'll be revealing things about Himself to us.
If you don't have any other Advent plans, I hope you'll join me in December for:
God, You, and Luke 2.