December 9: Song of Zechariah

Art by Ava Collyar and Mabry Harrison
Art by Ava Collyar and Mabry Harrison

Read: Luke 1:67-80

Do you have a few favorite Christmas songs?  Christmas is certainly a time of year for singing.  We saw two days ago the very first Christmas song (Mary’s song) ever written.  Today, we see the second Christmas song written – the song of Zechariah.  Zechariah sung this song at the birth of his son John the Baptist.  Though the occasion was the birth of John, Zechariah sung about John’s cousin, Jesus, who would soon be born.  John’s role would be to help clear a path in people’s hearts to prepare them to receive Jesus as their Savior (Luke 1:76-77).

Question of the Day:  What are some ways we can help “clear a path” in the hearts of our friends and family to help them know Jesus as their Savior?

December 8: John the Baptist

Art by Zaine C. and Owen Eshelman
Art by Zaine C. and Owen Eshelman

Read:  Luke 1:57-66

While Mary was still pregnant with Jesus, Elizabeth and Zechariah had their baby – a boy they named John.  Many thought that the baby should have been named Zechariah (after his dad), but Elizabeth and Zechariah named him John instead . . . being obedient to the instruction they received from the angel a few verses earlier.  This obedience to God restored Zechariah’s ability to talk, and caused many in the area to see God’s work in the lives of this family.

Question of the Day: In what way can your obedience to God bless others in your family, school, neighborhood, or work?

December 7: Mary’s Song

Art by Rachel L. and Abigail Schuermann
Art by Rachel L. and Abigail Schuermann

Read: Luke 1:39-56

All of us are at least a little bit selfish.  Too much of the time, we talk about, think about, and are concerned about only two letters – “M” “E”.  When God gets a hold of someone’s heart, though, they begin to shift their focus upward towards God.  Their focus is goes from “ME” to “HE” as they lift up the name of Jesus.  In today’s verses, we see Mary sing the very first “Christmas Song” in the bible.  As she sings, notice how many times she mentions “the Lord,” “God,” “His” or “He.” 

Question of the Day:  What are some ways you can live your life this week more focused on God than yourself?

December 6: Joseph

Art by Cayden Mueller
Art by Cayden Mueller

Read: Matthew 1:18-19

God always makes good on His promises.  Always. 100% of the time He always does what He says He is going to do.  When God does what He promised, we should not be surprised.  However, sometimes the WAY God makes good on His promises surprises us very much.  Take Joseph for example.  No doubt he was counting on God to bring the Savior into the world one day.  However, there is almost no way he ever would have guessed that God would bring the Savior into the world through his fiancé Mary!

Question of the Day:  What are some of the things God has promised us?  What are some of the surprising ways He makes good on those promises?

December 5: Angel who Spoke with Mary

Art by Bailee Kanard & Harper Harrison
Art by Bailee Kanard & Harper Harrison

Read: Luke 1:35-38

Many presents at Christmas time require batteries or to be plugged in.  An Xbox is merely a fancy paperweight without being plugged in!  When the Angel spoke to Mary of the very first Christmas gift (the birth of Jesus) he told her that God would power this Christmas gift with His omnipotence.  What would have been impossible for man, was totally possible for God! 

Question of the day:  Is there anything in your life that seems impossible to change?  How does understanding the power of God help you trust in Him in the face of your challenges?

December 4: Mary

Art by Haddee Griffin and Adi Camp
Art by Haddee Griffin and Adi Camp

Read: Luke 1:26-34

In life, who often get the rewards?  The fastest win the race.  The smartest ace the test.  The most beautiful win the pageant.  This is the way the world works.  It is not, however, how God works.  God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus not because she was the fastest, the smartest, or the most beautiful.  He chose her because He wanted to bless her (Luke 1:30).  God makes His choices on the basis of His grace, not our goodness.

Question of the day:  What are some things that God has blessed you with from His grace (things you did not earn but He gave to you anyway)?

December 3: Elizabeth

Art by Mikayla Bradley and Athena Moree
Art by Mikayla Bradley and Athena Moree

Read: Luke 1:24-25

Have you ever said to yourself, “This is just too good to be true!”  I think this must have been what Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth was thinking after she found out that she and Zechariah would finally have a child.  She stayed hidden for 5 months, just to make sure she understood the message right! 

Question of the day:  Is there anything God has promised us in the Bible that almost seems “too good to be true”?  How does the story of Elizabeth help remind us that God can make good on His promises?

December 2: The Angel who spoke to Zechariah

dec-2
Art by Paige Cook and Avery Hollingsworth

Read: Luke 1:13-23

Imagine that you wanted a toy horse or car for Christmas.  However, when you woke up on Christmas morning, what you got was not a TOY horse or car, but a REAL LIFE thoroughbred horse or a 2017 Ford Mustang!  No doubt, that would be a pretty exciting turn of events!  This is what happened to Zechariah.  He had asked God year after year for a baby.  When God finally gives Zechariah his wish, it is more than just a baby . . . his child would be special.  His child would be John the Baptist who would prepare the world to learn about Jesus! 

Question of the day:  In what ways does God often do for us even MORE than we know how to ask for?

December 1: Zechariah

dec-1
Art by Hudson Nutt and Tanner L.

Read: Luke 1:5-12

Christmas is a time of year when many people make “wish lists.”  What if there was something on your wish list that you did not get this year . . . or next year . . . or the year after that?  Every year you asked for it, but you never got it?  How would you feel?  What if that thing that you wanted was something very important?  Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth wanted a baby.  They asked for a child year after year, but they never got one.  In fact, they became old people and still did not have a child. 

Question of the day:  How do you think Zechariah felt when (year after year) he asked God to give him a child, and the answer was always “no”?

November 30: Jesus’ Family Tree

Art by Marian and Rachel Winchell
Art by Marian and Rachel Winchell

Read: Matthew 1:1-17

We all are a part of a family tree.  All of us come from somewhere.  We all have parents, grandparents, and other connections which help us know who we are and where we came from.  Matthew begins his writings about Jesus by describing Jesus’ family tree.  This helps us understand that Jesus was connected to both Abraham and David (Matthew 1:1).  This reminds us that Jesus was the fulfillment of a promise God gave to Abraham long ago (in Genesis 12:1-3) and that Jesus would be David’s descendant who would establish His Kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:4-17). 

Question of the day: Are there any names in Jesus’s family tree that you recognize?