It’s a little hard to believe that it’s the day before Christmas Eve. These Holy days have gone by so quickly but I’m finally enjoying them. This week I made myself slow down and find a rhythm in God’s grace. Some things just aren’t going to get done, and that’s ok. Some things will get done but won’t be things I planned to do but I have a feeling it’s because God is getting me ready for more than Christmas.
Yesterday morning I was praying for my boys. Both have been asking really great but also challenging questions about the Bible. Joshua wants to be able to answer questions from friends and family who don’t believe. He wants to know more than Bible stories; he wants to know facts that prove Jesus’ claims are true.
Sometimes I don’t feel equipped with answers, or I don’t know where to start. Should I teach him about intelligent design? Should I have him read “More than a Carpenter” or “The Case for Christ”? God showed me yesterday that all I have to do is ask Him. So, I opened my Bible to Psalm 119 which focuses on the richness of God’s precepts and principles. My eyes landed on verse 125 that was underlined from another day. There I found words to describe my heart’s desire and hopefully the quest my children’s hearts: “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.”
Then my eyes glanced across to the other page where I read v. 73, “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.”
I was so excited that I took my Bible to Josh and Andrew to read these verses to them. I shared with them how David recognized the power of God’s Word, but asked God to give him deeper understanding. Since God had formed him, He knew what David needed to find the answers to his questions. I explained that because God formed us too, He knows us inside and out. So He is the One who can help us understand His Word and His ways. We were about to run errands together so I suggested this be our prayer and focus for the day – that God would help us understand Him better.
Hours later…towards the evening….we gathered around our Advent wreath to lighting two candles and talk about what they symbolize. (We’re being a little creative this year – doing Advent the four nights before Christmas.) The devotion we’re reading suggested we talk about what “prophecy” means and how Jesus was God’s promise kept. Then we read prophesies written long before Jesus’ birth and then stories of how they were fulfilled.
This time, it seemed our boys were more interested than years past about the details behind what God did leading up to Jesus. Andrew heard something for the first time – although we’ve shared it before – when we talked about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. I told them how the word Bethlehem means “house of bread,” and explained how Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life. How cool it is that God would name the town of Christ birth to match one of the claims He made about Who He is? I saw light bulbs going off and a bright smile on Andrew’s face when it clicked. Joshua leaned forward and asked how many prophesies were fulfilled to prove Jesus is God and to prove that He came.
Advent for the kids used to be mostly about lighting candles, which I loved! But today God answered my prayers for a Christ-centered Christmas in a whole new way by “giving discernment” into His precepts and His greatest promise – fulfilled through Christ. Our times around the Advent wreath have changed. I have a feeling this night was preparing us for the coming of Christmas, but also for the coming years. We’re entering a new season of life in many ways. I wonder how God will give us more and more understanding of His heart and His purposes in our family and in our lives in 2009?
We finished our time together praying and thanking God for the extent of details He went through to send His Son and to prove His love to us. Then we shared another favorite tradition – drinking hot chocolate and driving around looking at Christmas lights. I went to bed last night with a heart full – knowing I had spent some very special time with my favorites in the whole wide world – Jesus and my guys!