Adent Calendar: December 23

December 23

Read: Isaiah 52:7, 53:5
Thoughts for Parents:

Everyone is longing for a message of peace, of good news, and of happiness. We’re longing to know that we’ve been saved and that salvation is more than something hoped for at Christmas, but is actually ours. What do I want for Christmas? I want to know that God is no longer angry with me and that I’ve been saved by His grace.

But how can this happen? How can salvation be ours? It is only ours only because God is in charge. If it were up to us to procure our own salvation, if we had to save up enough good works to finally merit it, we would be lost. It is only through the good news of peace between God and man proclaimed, “Your God reigns!”

Why is that such good news? It’s good news because it means that the God who created us, who saw our fall, who knows our sin, unbelief, and idolatry implicitly and yet loves us, is in charge. He’s in charge of our salvation and that, my friends, is really great news. It is only through one glad declaration, “Your God reigns!” that we find ultimate assurance knowing that He is completely at peace with us.

But this end of hostilities between God and man didn’t happen without great cost to Him. Someone needed to bear the “chastisement” due us. Someone needed to be pierced and crushed and wounded so that we could be called sons and daughters rather than enemies and rebels. Someone had to bring both God and man together into one … and that One is nursing at His mother’s breast, wrapped in rags.

God is at peace with us and that’s the happiest news we’ve ever been given. What are you hoping for this Christmas? For a new something, or for the family to get together and enjoy one another, or that you’ll have just enough of everything that no one will feel left out or disappointed? Are you hoping that a particular relative will finally stop fussing with you?

All those lesser blessings are fine, but the one blessing we all need is this: God is in charge and He’s done everything necessary for us to be completely reconciled to Him. Happy news!
Thoughts for Children:

What are you hoping for this week? Are you hoping for lots of fun parties and yummy food and awesome presents? Those things are all good gifts from God and they all cost something. Someone had to pay for the food, and for the presents, and for the gas to get to the party, and for the car that you rode in to the party, and for the clothes you will wear to the party, and … well, you understand what I’m saying. Most good things cost something. Our best thing cost Jesus everything. Peace with God—knowing that God isn’t mad at us—cost Jesus and God their hearts. God loved Jesus with everything and He had to give Him up so that Jesus could die for our sins. Jesus had to give His life. Jesus had to take all the punishment for our sins so that we could know for sure God wasn’t mad at us.

So, while you open your gifts, and have fun at your parties, and eat your yummy food, remember the cost. Remember that Jesus loved you with His whole life. Remember that nothing will ever be able to make Him stop loving you. Remember that it cost Him everything to make you and God have a relationship. Remember that the relationship with God is a forever gift; no one can take it away. What good news that makes us smile!