He couldn’t stop Christ from building his church. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to fulfill the Mosaic Law by offering their firstborn son, Jesus, up to God. Should the things or people you love and care about be afraid of you? We read her response to God in Luke 1:46–55, “Mary’s Song,” also known as the Magnificat. In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus so profoundly transformed them that they were willing to abandon everything to suffer and even die for Jesus. But here, in Matthew 2:16–18, we have the brutal and blunt reminder of why Jesus came into the world in the first place. We gape at—but expect—a whole army of angels to burst into praise. Though each of them was on the brink of death—their sagging skin brandishing age spots, their bodies stooped, their movement slower and more measured—God showed up fresh-faced, as alive as could be, with twinkling eyes and ever-so-soft skin, as a newborn baby. Share on email. Contact Us. But there’s also more than enough tension, pain and stress to go around during the season. His name we’ll know in many ways— He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace. Like the bells to the author. It was night because the world was surrounded in spiritual and moral gloom. Monday: Joy of Our Desires. He breaks in, bringing unimaginable joy to our ordinary days. $5 Million Match! Dear Jesus: Christmas is getting closer! Week Four focuses on what love really is — Christ coming to earth because of His love for us. How would Joseph react? And looking at the world at large in the news, it’s easy to say “Let there by peace on earth!”, but maybe not so easy to feel it. Week One- Hope, 4 Faith Takeaways from Netflix’s The Messiah, 3 Faith Lessons from Classic Movies: Forbidden Planet, A New Christmas Musical- Jingle Jangle Parent Review, Through the Looking Glass and Onto Neverland: Come Away Review, New Christmas Children’s Books Not to Miss + 15 Other Favorite Christmas Read Alouds, Instant Karma Review and Discussion Questions. But Christmas came anyway. It has been celebrated by Christians for at least 1500 years. So, as we enter the final few days before Christmas, She submitted to His authority and called out to Him, shouting and rejoicing. Pushed to the margins. Why didn’t their theological expertise rouse a readiness in them like we see in the watchful Magi?   •   Topics: Christmas. How did Tiny Tim spread peace and hope despite his circumstances? As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional It meant giving up the thing she treasured most. 1:7, ESV). 4:16). Today, there seems to be a moral night that has settled over our world—sexual immorality, pleasure-mad people, lusting for money and power—the same as it was in the days when Jesus came 2,000 years ago. Billy Graham’s Advent Devotion, Week 4: Christ Comes in Our Darkest Hour. Cell phone location data indicated religious gatherings appeared to be a top transmission spot when the pandemic took off. Sarah writes as the Elf and is the main moderator. Contact Us. Anthony Carter is lead pastor of East Point Church in East Point, Georgia. Photo by … It might look like taking a breather to meditate on Scripture, listening to some extra Christmas music.        to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”. We, too, should sing praises to God this Advent season. He chose the least of these to be the mother of the King of kings. Will It Help Couples? Was it embarrassing for these Messiah specialists not to recognize his advent before these pagans did? This is our strange and otherworldly hope: The Word who was born as a helpless infant is the Savior who came to die a criminal’s death—for us. Home CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week. We want to help you do just that. Despite what the skeptics say, Christ will come again. She would be a disgrace to her family. Yes, I will give families hope this Christmas! 1 Chronicles 16:34 One of the things that should distinguish a Christ follower is a love that reaches out to the marginalized and the forgotten. The irony here almost provokes laughter, until we notice the chief priests and scribes’ seeming indifference to Christ’s birth. For this week heading into Christmas, read Luke 2:11, 13-14. Start the free five-part video course called, “Cherish Your Spouse”, and gain a deeper level of connection with your spouse. We rejoice in the Good News of grace for which Jesus came, died, and rose again. 19:11; John 14:6). His name? Maybe each morning we wake with great expectations, only to be continually disappointed. Image: Photos courtesy of contributors; Quina Aragon photo by Savannah Lauren. 2 Samuel 22:2–4 They’d eaten with him, traveled with him, fished with him, laughed with him, grieved with him—with God, face to face. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Pinterest  We can, and should, enter into places of darkness, where hope seems lost, bringing with us the light of our Savior. We are sorry that this was not useful for you!        in remembrance of his mercy, The Bible includes false prophets and true prophets whose words turn out to be false. Isn’t this the soil where hope blooms? Illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea are two of the leading killers of children living in poverty. And we also remember that there is another Christmas coming. Today’s Reading: Luke 2:22–38 It was in the twilight of Simeon’s and … Advent Devotional (Week 4): Love. And God — who is love — knows more than anyone the cost of great love. For those who do not believe, the coming of Christ will be frightful. This allows us to keep writing discussion questions and telling Image: Illustration by Jared Boggess. 16:22). In this passage, we are faced with a disturbing and stark reality: There are evil and wickedness in this world. Come, Lord Jesus. And our posts about family stuff Della knew her hair was more beautiful than any queen’s jewels and gifts.” In a flash, she made up her mind. For behold, from now on all generations “The James Dillingham Youngs were very proud of two things which they owned.   •   Topics: Christmas. Permissions But for those who trust in Christ, the Lord’s coming is delightful. We are so happy that You chose to come to live on earth. Jesus himself makes this plain: “‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. It’s a hard thing to do and this season is a good time to explore that together with an Advent devotional. I don’t know what it looks like for you exactly- but I hope that you feel long moments of peace deeply in your soul this week. Quina Aragon, Anthony Carter, and Marlena Graves, ctdirect-html,ctweekly-html,todayschristianwoman,booksandculture-html. It wasn’t night because the sun had gone down. Home How lonely she must have felt, and how scared she must have been to face the next day. only link products we think you’ll like and you are never charged extra for Read Advent Bible verses at BibleStudyTools.com - The 28 Scriptures can be broken into 4 weeks with a passage for each day! From a human perspective, Jesus’ birth is quite shocking. 5) Dog Man Parent Book Review Do you ever think about how Mary must have felt after the angel Gabriel appeared to her? He chose a poor, young girl to be the mother of His Son, the Messiah. You'll see lots of book and movie reviews with discussion questions from us! Peace has taken many forms in my life, as I’m sure it has in yours. The fullness of time had come. Your email address will not be published. There is the terror of sin that rules and reigns in the hearts of men and women. Streaming Suggestions- Where to Watch Movies, Technology Awareness: A Key Interaction Not To Miss, 5 Things We Can Learn from The Patron Saint of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, Hope is Coming: Advent Devotionals with Movies and Music. We are a family of writers who are passionate about inspiring conversations around flicks, fiction, faith and family! This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. What would people do to her? advertisements. them. Let’s make this Christmas meaningful and share the hope this world so desperately needs. Advent Family Devotional: Week 4 – Love (Light the first and second purple candles, the rose-colored candle, and then the final purple candle.) HBO Max, © Down The Hobbit Hole Blog, 2020 Week 3: Understanding Who Jesus Is. A Classic Christmas Movie: A Christmas CarolDickens is famous for highlighting how the poor are mistreated and there’s a great deal of sadness but also a very hopeful ending. November 20, 2020 With everything we’ve got, we sing, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”. Isn’t that how we began with Christ? He has shown strength with his arm; He couldn’t stop Christ from being born. Contrast Jesus’ advent with first-century Roman generals arriving in town with fanfare and flourish after a military victory.