As a child, one of the earliest signs that Christmas was approaching was the arrival of the Sears Christmas Catalog. My two brothers and I spent happy times thumbing the pages, dog-eared from looking at the colorful pictures of new toys and classics. These days, the internet and online shopping have replaced those practices.
It may be a function of age, but lately it seems to me there are signs of Christmas earlier and earlier every year. Christmas displays mingle with Halloween costumes right after Labor Day. There is much discussion on social media about how early is too early to put up the family Christmas tree and decorate. There is much to do to be ready but we must prepare our hearts as well. Will you be ready?
Isaiah 7:14 NIRV “The Lord will give you a sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.”
This prophecy is fulfilled with the birth of the Christ child, which we celebrate at Christmas. So how can we prepare for Immanuel, God with us? Along with the decorating and party going, we can attend worship, pray, and give. The act of reading this devotional is one step toward seeking to be present with God, and God present with us. Giving is another aspect of acknowledging the greatest gift ever, Christ the Lord, Immanuel, who gave His life that all that believe on Him will have eternal life. Giving of yourself, your offering, talents, and time to others brings glory to God and presents an opportunity to share God’s love, thus seeking God’s
presence. Prepare your hearts as we seek Jesus this Advent season.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks that you sent your one and only son, Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem on Christmas morn. Prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Our King during this holiest season.
-Robert Garrett 2019