Advent is a time we can refresh our amazement in the prophecy and arrival of Jesus the Messiah, growing closer to Him as we proclaim our longing for His coming again. We pray this devotional will challenge and remind you of the hope, joy, preparation, and love that we experience as we anticipate Christ’s birth.
The events that led to the birth of our Savior weren’t splashy and seemed insignificant. They weren’t all separating seas and burning bushes. In fact, most of the chapters and books of God’s story are filled with the simple and seemingly small obedient acts of God’s people. Israel’s history is largely one of a people waiting for something significant that they never saw accomplished.
Read Matthew 1:1-17
Ask God to use this simple genealogy to prepare your heart for Christmas. Ask Him to use this family tree to speak to you today. In verse 1, what does it say about Jesus?
Read 2 Samuel 7:12-16
In his genealogy, what point was Matthew trying to make by saying that Jesus is the son of David?
Think about this past year and even the past few years. Is there something you’ve been waiting for God to do? Is there some promise He seems slow in keeping? Consider for a second the weight of waiting in this genealogy. All these names, all these souls who lived and died never getting to see God’s promise fulfilled.
Read Hebrews 11:39-40
Why did all these faith-filled children of God not receive what was promised? For whom had He prepared something better?
Look at Matthew’s genealogy again. So many generations represented. People who suffered, people who were born and died in slavery, and people who wandered their whole lives in the wilderness wondering, ‘Where is God taking us?’
All these people didn’t receive what God had promised them. They lived out their seemingly small lives in faithfulness, and they waited. Not one year, not ten years, but their whole lives, they waited and still they never saw the promise fulfilled. Christmas is the day we celebrate the culmination of all of the generations lived in waiting. We celebrate God making meaning out of all the simple small steps of obedience taken by the people of God. We celebrate the great gift of living in a time when the Messiah has a name and a face, a time when you and I wake up and get to breathe in His completed work and walk in His Spirit.
Read 1 Peter 1:13
And still, we wait for more. Abraham banked everything on a promise he never saw fulfilled. What would look different in your life today if you banked everything on the grace to be brought to you on the day Jesus comes again? How would it change your dreams, your relationships, the things that matter to you? How would it change your perspective on the small things if you believed they held an eternal weight of significance?
This Jumpstart Advent series was written and produced by Park Community Church in Chicago, IL.