Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 1

www.laurareimer.net

Since I typically write Monday through Friday, it is throwing me off a bit that our Countdown to Christmas 2018 is starting on a Saturday. 

When I have done countdown’s in the past, I have done more of a random daily check in and it was fun. But this year, I wanted to do a more focused and devotional approach to our daily visit. 

I will still be using number photos, but for fun and to include you all…if you find an interesting picture of a number please submit to me by email laura@laurareimer.net and if I use your photo, you will get photo credit…which could be fun if you would play along with me <3

Fair warning…I have already snapped a few so may include mine as well….=0)

But without further ado…here is Day 1 of the journey…

I love all the parts of Christmas.

Love the music…love the parties…

I love the shiny decorations and the rustic decorations.

I love the feel of how generous people are and I love the sweet people in Santa hats ringing a bell outside every store front.

I love the shopping and the wrapping and the stocking stuffing and the the gift giving.

And people let me tell you, I love the getting.

I’m not going to lie.

Gifts may be one of my main love languages and there is no shame in receiving the love expressed by others to me through their gifts. 

Not obligation gifts so much…but just genuine from the heart gifts speak volumes to me.

Although…I never have been one to snub my nose at an obligation gift either…just being real here.

One of my sweet friends knows I love to be “fussed over” … she understands that I love pretty packaging.

She will wrap a package of paper napkins in a beautifully coordinated bow and she knows it makes my day <3 

Gifts mean someone spent time thinking about me…about what I like and what I may have mentioned I need…they express that I mattered to that person enough that they took precious time to shop and wrap and invest in showing me they love me. 

It means they were on vacation or out poking around some shops and saw something that made them think of me and how kind is that, I ask you?

I know this because it is why I gift others. 

It’s why I pray and take time to select things.

It’s why I buy real ribbon and nice paper to make the package that much more special. 

And at Christmas God gave us the most precious gift of all.

The gift of Salvation from ourselves and our sin and the whole sin problem of the world. 

He gave us the gift of being restored back into right relationship with Him as individuals and for the whole creation. 

We celebrate that gift at Christmas by remembering that He packaged it in flesh as tender and soft and vulnerable as our own sweet Caroline was similarly given to us just a mere eighteen months ago. 

Like all the lives that have been born and will be born, the gift of salvation was born on earth as one of us. 

And it makes even people who are not believers get all excited about this season.

Our love for Christ and our remembrance of His first coming as one of us ignites around the globe a sometimes misguided and materialistic and over-the-top celebration that often forgets the source…but indeed…the whole world is kinder at Christmas. 

There are movies and cards and church events and posts galore that will talk about the meaning of Christmas.

It is done well by so many and therefore,  for our time each day here on the Journey, we will be looking at a special portion of Scripture about that blessed Child when He became a full grown man. 

We are going to take a daily walk through the words He prayed just before He finished the work He came to do. 

So let’s open to John 17 today and begin a Christmas journey through the sweetest prayer prayed by our Lord…

The commentary in our Chronological Bible reminds me that this prayer was prayed after Jesus led His disciples through the Kidron Valley…the same valley another king had walked once before as he was driven from Jerusalem. 

Barefoot and weeping, David had fled from the betrayal of Absalom through the Kidron Valley. 

Now Jesus walks the same path to the Garden of Gethsemane and there He prayed for Himself, the eleven men who remained with Him and for us. 

So let’s just read the opening Scripture today…

After Jesus had said this {Jesus had encouraged His men that His peace would never leave them no matter what happened in their existence once He left the earth}, He looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.”  John 17:1 NIV

Things to note:

  1. He looked to heaven and prayed…we often think we must close our eyes and bow our heads and this is an excellent posture. So also, kneeling and even laying flat on our faces are appropriate expressions of worship before God as we communicate with Him through our prayers. But perhaps this season you might try looking heavenward and talking to your Abba Father in a new way. 

2. Jesus mentions “the time has come”…so many times in His ministry He had said it  was not the right time for something. But now…the time had come.

Are you waiting for something that you just know God wants to do, but isn’t seeming to move at all in that direction? How about during this Advent season of waiting, you and I take some of those things that we think are overdue…and release them to God’s perfect timing?

3. Also realize that Jesus was looking to the Cross and all the events of the coming days as a means of bringing glory to God and yes, asking God to then glorify Him. 

What are we doing for Jesus that brings Him glory? It may not be fun, exciting, easy…but if we can pray like Jesus and ask that God be glorified…even as HE glorifies us…perhaps we would not need the praise of men so much if this was our heart’s desire <3 

Some things to ponder today…I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. 

In all you do, may you bring glory to God and may He pour out His glory over you and yours <3