Grow Deep - The Excellent Encounter Edition Week 4

Week 4: December 22 – 28

An Excellent Advent and Christmas

Memory Verse: “But the angel said to them (the shepherds), ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11

In some respects, the history of this world can be summed up in three different events. The first one is the creation of this world. The third one is that time in the future when this creation comes to its completion and a new creation emerges. The second one, the one that falls between the other two, is the event that we observe this week—that of God’s sending His Son into this world wearing human flesh and blood, being born of Mary.

This week during the days immediately before and following Christmas, we take time to reflect upon the observance of an excellent Advent and Christmas. So, how do we do that? First, we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ to hear of and prepare for this second of God’s great events. Then, we hear the actual account of this second great event. We hear the promises of God. We hear that well-known and loved story. And we respond with faith, with rejoicing and song, and with anticipation of what this child means for us.

An excellent Advent leads to an excellent Christmas. You observe an excellent Christmas as you reflect upon God’s gift of a Savior in worship and what that gift means for you and your household. God gives you an excellent Christmas as you reflect on what this child did to become your Savior and what that means for the living of your life. You have an excellent Christmas when your observance of the birth of Jesus leads to a life of faith and of service to others.

God is giving you an excellent Christmas this year. May your observance of this great event lead to a life of love toward God and neighbor. God’s peace be yours in Jesus.

Sunday, December 22
Read: Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph shows an excellent faith by believing God’s messenger and caring for Mary as his wife and Jesus as his son.
Reflect: How can you care for your family as a gift from God?

Monday, December 23
Read: Matthew 1:1-17
God prepared the way for His Son by working through Jesus’ ancestors.
Reflect: In your life, who has had a significant impact on your faith life? How can you thank them for this gift this week?

Tuesday, December 24
Read: Isaiah 9:6-7
An excellent Christmas involves recognizing Jesus for who He is.
Reflect: As you read Isaiah’s words, which of them speak to you? Why do those words impact you?

Wednesday, December 25
Read: Luke 1:26-38
Mary responded to the angel’s message with questions and with faith.
Reflect: When have you expressed faith despite having questions? How would you help someone who had questions about the Christian faith?

Thursday, December 26
Read: John 1:1-14
Jesus is at the heart of everything in creation, including you.
Reflect: What does it mean to you to be a child of God?

Friday, December 27
Read: Luke 2:1-7
Though born in a manger, Jesus’ rightful place is within every Christian.
Reflect: As you reflect on His birth this year, what comfort do you find in His presence with you at all times?

Saturday, December 28
Read: Luke 2:8-21
The angels proclaimed Jesus, and the shepherds responded in faith.
Reflect: Where is God giving you opportunities to proclaim Jesus? How can you encourage a response in faith when you proclaim Jesus?