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Christmas Advent 13: Preparing Our Minds

Christmas Advent Day 13: Preparing Our Minds

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24, ESV)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2, ESV)

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, ESV)

As you read this, I don’t doubt that in the back of your mind you are running through a list of things you still need to do before December 25. Bring the boxes down from the attic, set up the tree, decorate the house, put up the lights, bake cookies, buy presents, wrap presents, clean the house, make food, make sure no one was left off the list, hide the Elf on a Shelf, fill up stockings, put out cookies and milk, make room for all your extended family to stay over, watch Christmas movies, play Christmas music, go watch the tree lighting in town, go shopping, watch all the college football bowl games—and the list goes on and on. With the busyness of the Christmas season, it’s easy to see how our focus can be taken off the Savior.

If there was anyone who understood on whom his focus should be, it was John the Baptist. He was a relative of the Lord Jesus (possibly an older cousin), and his purpose was to go before the Lord Jesus and prepare the way for Him. Luke 1 records the words of John’s father, Zechariah, who, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways” (Luke 1:76). John the Baptist wasn’t here to make a name for himself, but his purpose was to prepare the way of the Lord. He was even willing to give up his own disciples, pointing them to the Lord Jesus and encouraging them follow Him (John 1:35-37). John could have easily gloried in himself and in the number of followers he amassed, but instead he completed the work he was chosen to do. 

In preparing our minds for this Christmas season, we need to ensure that we are focused on the purpose of this holiday. Presents, get-togethers, time with family—these are all great things, but Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus. There are many things to be thankful for and many gifts that are exciting to get, but the greatest gift ever given was the Son of God who was sent into the world to become a man and ultimately die for our sins. My prayer is that, just like John the Baptist faithfully prepared the way for the Lord Jesus, we would prepare our minds for Christmas by thinking about our Savior. There are plenty of activities to fill our calendars and distract our minds this Christmas season, but let us never forget the true reason for the season: the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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