Hey, so I’m a little late to the party. I’ve been very busy lately; and frankly, when I get overwhelmed I tend to procrastinate. Okay, something to work on. I’m not perfect by a long shot!

So this Advent and Christmas season, I wanted to be intentional about keeping Christ in Christmas. That’s why my family and I have started lighting our advent wreath and reading Scriptures. It’s also why I started my Advent and Christmas devotional series. You can get a glimpse here by trying out the first couple of devotionals. Click here for Day 1 and here for Day 2.

I used the Scriptures from the Book of Common Prayer Lectionary A. This is a great source for Bible reading. I love it because it basically helps you read through the Bible in a year and includes the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament, and a Gospel passage.

It’s a full meal! Jesus said we live by the Word of God so here you go:

Psalm 122

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Does it not remind you of the angels proclaiming to the shepherds, “Peace on Earth?”

What is peace anyway?

Peace is dwelling in the house of the Lord. Standing within His gates. Giving thanks to the name of the Lord. Secure because HE loves us!

On a day like December 7 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, that is Good News indeed!

Isaiah 2:1-5

More detail is given in Isaiah about this peace in the Last Days. Swords beaten into plowshares, spears made into fishing hooks. God ruling the nations from His holy mountain. No more war. He teaches us His ways. That seems very real today as we remember Pearl Harbor, doesn’t it?

And what is our response? Adoration.

This is the day that we eagerly wait. And yet, we live in the now so how can we live heaven on earth as it says in the Lord’s Prayer?

Walking in His light. Yes, we seem to be living in dark times, but light and dark are alike to God. The nation and indeed the world went through hard times during World War II. He can guide us step by step. Moment by moment. The question is, do we really believe it?

Romans 13:8-14

So how can we walk in His light? Paul gives us some insight. Walking properly means living in purity. Not in quarreling or jealousy. It means putting on the Lord Jesus and “making no provision for the flesh.”

It means living by the first and second commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” Owe nothing to anyone to except to love each other.

Okay, so let’s get real here. During the holidays it’s really easy to fall into quarreling and jealousy. What is our motivation behind wanting the “perfect” Christmas. Is it love? Or are you trying to prove something to someone? To yourself perhaps?

Maybe you need to learn to nurture YOURSELF during the holidays. After all, you can’t help anyone or bless anyone if you’re depleted. As the saying goes, put on your oxygen mask first before you put it on another.

Matthew 24:37-44

No one knows the day or our of the Second Coming except God the Father.

That is part of the tension of waiting. It’s hard. So how then to live?

Be ready. Make the most of this time.

This passage reminds me of an elderly gentleman I knew 29 or so years ago in a church I attended. Every Sunday he would ask with a huge smile, “Are you ready?”

“Yes!” I’d reply. Then the day happened. He passed on to be with the Lord. He was ready and waiting for that day!

Are you? None of us knows what will happen tomorrow or even the next hour.

Think about those who died at Pearl Harbor. Did they know that they would be bombed and many die? Certainly not!

Sadly, it often takes a serious illness or tragedy to understand how precious life is. A tragedy like Pearl Harbor.

So what are you going to do to be ready?

Would you like to continue these advent and Christmas studies daily? Then join my free devotional series! It’s 30 days packed with Scripture that will help you keep Christ in Christmas!

Pictures by Victoria Zetterstone

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