Countdown to Christmas

AdventThumbsAdvent Day 1

by John F. Klem

My childhood days were spent in Northeast Pennsylvania in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. Our local newspaper, the Times Leader, was delivered to our home each day. Once Thanksgiving passed, the Times Leader would print a bold number in a small box on the front page. The number marked the countdown of shopping days from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. I loved getting the paper each day to watch the shopping days tick down from double to single digits.

According to my calculations, there are 24 days left in this holiday season to shop. Now, as much as I enjoy all the festive events leading up to Christmas Day, I do want to live out this 24-day period with the right attitude and focus.

But how?

The only way to “out-worship” the commercialism of our day is to stay focused on the joy of Christmas as detailed in the Word of God. I would like to suggest that we do this together. Over the next 24 days I will attempt to direct our attention to a Word-based joy of Christmas.

At the same time, I would like to encourage you to look at the key Christmas texts of the Bible in order to discover the eternal truths that will enable you to “out-worship” the secularism, the commercialism, and the spirit of the next 24 days.

So where do we start? Well, since Christmas is usually characterized by anticipation, let’s try to understand what the Old Testament saints anticipated by reading Luke 1 and 2.

What did Mary (Luke 1:46–55), Zacharias (1:67–79), and Simeon anticipate (2:29–32)?

Their songs and prayers reveal that the anticipation of Christmas is about something bigger than anything they could imagine.

They anticipated the arrival of a Messiah. Simeon said, “My eyes have seen your salvation” (2:30).

They anticipated receiving something needed. According to Mary (1:53), the Lord showed Israel His mercy.

They anticipated being given something promised. According to all three, they awaited the promise of salvation.

They anticipated sharing something precious. According to Zacharias (1:79), it is a light for those who sit in darkness.

They anticipated seeing the impossible made possible. According to the divine messenger, “With God nothing will be impossible” (1:37).

So let’s anticipate the Christ-centered joys that await us over the next 24 days.

John F. Klem is director of Regular Baptist Press.

Regular Baptist Press is committed to providing educational resources that point people of all ages to Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. RBP offers a wide range of curriculum, VBS programs, Bible studies, books, and training seminars that are Biblically sound, cover the entirety of Scripture, and designed for spiritual growth.

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