“But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Advent celebration, week 2. The candles signify the wait and the pilgrimage leading up to Jesus’ birth and the hope and peace that He brings. He supplies all of our needs.
Come to Me in all your neediness, with defenses down and with the desire to be blessed. As you spend time in My Presence, your deepest longings are fulfilled. Rejoice in your neediness, which enables you to find intimate completion in Me. Learn to look steadily at Me in all your moments and all your circumstances. -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
What set Jesus apart as the Messiah? (Dr. Charles Stanley)
- His birth: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born, as prophesied, in Bethlehem to a virgin. Though angels announced His arrival and He reigns over all creation, Jesus entered our world in a lowly manner so He could be identified with the meek and the poor.
- His wisdom: At age 12, He spent three days with rabbis, asking questions that showed his uncommon understanding.
- His baptism: Though He didn’t need cleansing, Jesus asked John to baptize Him so He could identify with sinners and demonstrate His love to them.
- His temptation: Satan tempted Him relentlessly for 40 days, yet He did not sin.
- His ministry: He challenged man-made religious traditions. And by healing people—regardless of nationality—raising the dead, and forgiving sins, He revealed that God wants to be involved personally in our lives. Leading Pharisees wanted Him dead, but the Father protected His life until the crucifixion.
Consumerism, commercialism, and confusion can change the message of Christmas from celebrating the birth of Christ to the latest and greatest gadgets wrapped in shiny foil. But if we really trust Him to provide all of our needs then we know that all of our needs will be met. Maintaining a lengthy list of wants and fostering fairy tales about a jolly bearded man who delivers from the registry based on behavior and rank on a naughty/nice list takes away from the message that Jesus provides all our needs. Focusing on Christ during Christmas is the gift of a solid foundation of faith.
If you’re looking for some fun family Christmas traditions to incorporate into the Advent celebration here are a few to consider: a weekly family craft like some of the pictures I’ve shared on the blog of the nativity crafts (check out Pinterest). Head over to the Christian book store and select some new books, wrap them and have children open one a week or one a night during the last week leading to Christmas and read together (or write the verses of the Christmas story on a decoration and have kids find it on the tree and then read the verses together from a children’s bible (click here for on-line version). As a family consider writing your own Christmas book and have kids contribute art work and content- it will be a family treasure for years to come.
Cultivate your own celebratory traditions by including new music, reading, and crafts into the season. If you have not read Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs treat yourself and meet the women who played pivotal roles in Christ’s birth! Elizabeth is barren, yet trusts God’s promise. Mary is a virgin, but says yes when God asks her to bear his Son. And prophetess Anna proclaims the Messiah’s arrival. Unpacking each verse from the Gospel of Luke, Higgs illuminates their love, faithfulness, and obedience to God. Share a copy with a friend or two and read together, share together, and grow together- share a copy at a senior living facility, or a hospital, or with someone in need.
If you missed Women of the Bible you can watch it on line by clicking here . This special provides a fresh look at the sacred text from the perspective of its heroines. Revealing little known facts about some of the most impactful women in biblical history. Kay Warren’s commentary in the film has become one of my favorite quotes for the season: “What is so beautiful about Mary is that she didn’t wait until everything was crystal clear to surrender herself to God.”