Christmas Advent Day 24: Preparing for a Savior
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33, ESV)
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?Mark Lowry
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20, ESV)
Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you are soaking in the moments and have, hopefully, finished all your Christmas shopping and baking (I hope I’m done by then too). Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year; there’s such anticipation building up to Christmas day and many last-minute preparations. Every year on Christmas Eve, we, on one side of our family, all go to my grandparents’ house. We’re a pretty loud crowd, but that makes it so much more fun when we’re all in one house together. We spend time talking, eating way too much food, opening presents, and listening to some solid Christmas music. We tend to go a little overboard on the food, and someone (whom I will not name) is pretty famous for putting together an over-the-top charcuterie board (not that I’m complaining!). Before I go to bed that night, I like to read the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2 to reflect on the importance of what we celebrate.
Though we aren’t exactly sure if Jesus was born on Christmas, for this devotional I want to imagine that it’s the night before Mary would give birth to Jesus. The entire journey of His birth was miraculous and so different from any other birth in history: He was born to a virgin; He was born in a manger because they had no room for Him elsewhere; this child was promised to be “great” and have a “kingdom with no end” (Luke 1). Just imagine with me the different thoughts and feelings Mary may have been experiencing that night. I’m sure there was much anticipation but also apprehension.
Mary had undoubtedly endured gossip from the time of her announcement that she was pregnant. She knew that she truly was a virgin, and the Lord knew the truth, but other people had their doubts. Even Joseph initially doubted until he received a visit from an angel to reassure him. I imagine Mary repeating over and over again the promises the angel made to her as she approached the day of the birth. She was awaiting the day her Son would be born—and His birth would change this world forever. I love listening to the song “Mary, Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry (if you want my favorite version, feel free to comment!) and thinking of all the things that the Lord would do. I doubt Mary could’ve dreamed how much He would change the world for all eternity. Our eternal hope rests on what He accomplished here on earth. I included one of the verses from the song at the top, because it’s touching to think that her own Son would be the one to deliver her from her sins, as well as ours.
As Christians, we, like Mary, are also preparing for the coming of our Savior. I’m referring not specifically to His birth at Christmastime but to the time when He returns to call His people home to be with Him in Heaven (Phil. 3:20). We anticipate that day because we will no longer be a part of this broken world but will finally be with Him in Heaven. I pray that you have accepted the salvation that He freely offers so that you, too, may look forward with excitement to His coming again.