DAY TWENTY-TWO (22 DEC 2020) - COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.
By the time John the Baptist was prompted by God to begin his ministry the Jewish people had been expecting a Messiah for a very long time. They had been suffering under the occupation of the Roman army for 90 years. They were also paying heavy taxes to Rome. There had been several rebellious uprisings and the nation was divided between pacifists and aggressors. Rome really disliked the aggressors. The religious leaders ran the country according to strict Jewish law while paying lip service to Rome.
John the Baptist burst onto this scene dressed in camel hair and a leather belt boldly declaring that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Most Jews knew from the Tanakh that this signified that the coming of the Messiah was at hand. And most Jews expected their coming king to be a bold warrior, fearless, bent on driving the Romans from their land.
No wonder they turned against Jesus and shouted ‘Crucify him!’ when he spoke of loving the Lord your God and loving your neighbour as yourself. Even more so when Jesus said to those he was about to heal, ‘Your sins are forgiven’. And even more so when he advised them to carry a soldier’s backpack for 2 miles!!! This was not the king they were expecting!
Born as an innocent baby in Bethlehem, Jesus was oblivious of the fate that awaited him. But once he knew, he did not shirk his destiny. Let Christmas remind you that you too have a destiny in Christ. Regardless of what has occurred in your life, God wants you to share the love of Christ(mas) every day of the year.
Dear Lord, teach me to love in the same way that Jesus loved when he gave us the gift of our redemption.
Do this devotional as a family
2. Begin by allowing each person to share what they think the duty of the groom’s friend or the ‘best man’ should be.
3. Explain that just as our best friends have our good interests as their main concern so we should have Jesus as our main concern, sharing his love with them.
4. Finish by praying and blessing each child, then allow them to open their Day 22 Advent Calendar.