12 Days of Christmas
Christmas is a hectic time of year. So to help us focus on what’s important during this season, we developed this 12 Days of Christmas Calendar.
Using the calendar below, we’ll provide one passage of scripture and one “challenge” each day to help make this Christmas the most meaningful one yet.
As we kick off our 12 days of Christmas, we have been thinking a lot about why we need Christmas in the first place. Why do we need God with us? Why do we need a savior? To better understand mankind’s main problem, read Genesis 3:1-10. A simple choice to choose our preference over God’s command leads to a long-term separation.
The comparison trap didn’t start at Christmas time but it definitely rears its ugly head during the Christmas season. Instead of choosing gratefulness, we choose to be jealous. Instead of celebrating what we received and the good times we have, we choose to focus on what we didn’t get and what others have. As we prepare ourselves for Christmas, take a look at the first case of jealousy in Genesis 4:1-7.
How can you prepare yourself to celebrate instead of compare?
Christmas is such a fun and exciting season. All the parties, the decorations, the presents to buy – there’s so much to do and so much to celebrate. But, if we’re not careful, we can get all caught up in the busyness and hurry of it all. We forget to be present, to think about the beauty of God coming down as a baby just to be with His people.
Author Ann Voskamp says, “In all humanity’s religions, man reaches after God. But in all His relationships, God reaches for man.” He wanted to know us – know you. So He gave up everything He had just so He could hang out with humanity. He wanted to experience your hurt, your joy, your messiness. He was present with people so He could grow closer to you.
He is so tender and near to you. He’s Immanuel – God with us. Do you see Jesus’ presence in your life as a true gift? As you read Matthew 1:23 ask yourself, “How can I spend time with Him during this Christmas season?”
We’ve heard many mothers say, “Once the baby comes your motherly instincts just kick in”. The reason that statement is said to so many expecting mothers is because there is always a firstborn child, there is always a time when you have no idea how to give birth or raise a child because you are inexperienced. Despite inexperience, it is possible to raise a child for the first time, just like it is possible to start a job for the first time or make a tough decision for the first time. In our lives, there will always be a dream God has given us that we’ve never accomplished before but that’s not a reason to not step out in faith to do it. Will it be challenging? Will you hit bumps in the road? Will it look like nothing you expected? Yes, but just as God equipped Mary to brave the unknown as the virgin mother of Jesus (Luke 2:6-7), He has equipped each of us to do something we’ve never done before.
As we reflect on the miraculous birth of Jesus, that shifted all of eternity for the world, prepare to birth a dream of your own that can and will impact the lives of those around you.
What fills your time during the holidays? Baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house, shopping for gifts, school activities for the kids—and the list goes on.
This time of year it’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the business of activities. But it’s important for us to take time and remember why we celebrate.
Luke 1:46-47 says “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Jesus came to give us a hope that goes beyond all others. It’s more than just a feeling or wishful thinking. It’s an awareness that God is actually expecting, looking, and longing to show us His goodness.
Spend 5 minutes today reflecting on the hope that Jesus has given us and let yourself rejoice in knowing that he is pursuing a relationship with you.
“You’re the God of greatness even in a manger. For all I know of seasons is that You take Your time. You could have saved us in a second instead You sent a child.” – Hillsong Worship
We often skip the fact that Jesus came to us as a baby. He had to grow up, He had to deal with puberty, He had to gain respect in His community before He could be listened to. We don’t know much about Jesus’ life before He entered into His ministry at the age of 30, but that brings up so many questions. How did He stay humble knowing that He was going to save the world? Did He ever get impatient waiting on God’s timing? When did He find out how His life would end?
It’s astounding that God is as big as the universe, but as small as a baby in a manger. He came in the most humble and small way, when He had all the power in the world. He cares for everything He has made, and yet still loves and cares for us individually in the unique ways we need.
Do you tend to view God as crazy holy and powerful, or as a friend that’s intimate and quiet? How can you shift your perspective to see Him as both? Read Philippians 2:6-8 as you reflect on these questions.
The Christmas season can be filled with joy, time with family, and laughter. But sometimes it’s filled with stress, anxiety, and loneliness. We might find ourselves struggling to find happiness when everyone else around us seems to bubbling with holiday cheer.
If this is where you are at, Jesus gives us profound hope exactly for this moment. He says “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)
You may feel like you are having a hard time “getting in the Christmas spirit” but Jesus has come to bring light and hope in your moments of brokenness and struggle.
Remember this verse as you go through your day and focus on Jesus’s promise to us.
Can you imagine an ethereal figure walking up to you and saying: “You _______ are highly favored of the Most High God and He is with you. I am going to give you the task of carrying out a plan to save the entire world. Do you accept?” It sounds like a superhero mission but this was the assignment Mary was given by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26 -33). God trusted one woman to conceive and give birth to the Savior of the World, Jesus. We often overlook the magnitude of the assignment, weight and responsibilities Mary carried as the mother of Jesus but she accepted and accomplished her task. It wasn’t impossible because God was with her (Luke 1:37).
During this Christmas season, take a moment to grasp the concept that Mary is not the only one God trusts on this earth with the Savior of the World. He trusts you and me to tell all about the one who sacrificed His life so that we could have life everlasting. Will you accept your task just as Mary did? (Luke 1:38).