I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.
Redeemed. Bought back. In the busy-ness and business of this mad dash toward Christmas, we easily lose sight of the promise of redemption woven deep into the manger and stable. Caught up in the messiness of our lives, the promise of something better than rules, SOMEONE called Redeemer, can get lost in the piles of gift lists and menus and more events than time.
But there it is, this plan sprinkled throughout Scripture, this hope of something more, this promise of a love that redeems all things, all people, for all time. In Isaiah 9, we read:
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light . . . For a child is born to us, a son is given to us . . . And he will be called:
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:2, 6 NLT
There it is, thousands of years before a census was decreed. Generations before a teenage girl encountered the messenger of God. Long before a couple found travelers’ rest in a barn. The promise appears. And throughout Scripture it is repeated, the hope of our redemption.
And so, from the captivity of the Israelites while Isaiah prophesied to the lips of the old priest Zechariah when his miracle son John was born, we find this redemptive song:
Praise to the Lord because He has come and has redeemed His people. Luke 1:68
The whisper of hope in Eden has found a resting place in the straw of Bethlehem’s manger. And we are invited in to the eternal plan. When God draws near, redemption is ours.
For God loved the world, so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT emphasis added
From the word speaking creation to the Word-Made-Flesh, redemption has always been God’s plan. As we get closer and closer to the season of celebrating Christ’s birth, I invite you to join me in slowing down and treasuring the season when God drew near in a whole new way. Here are a few ideas:
- Set aside a moment or two each day to be still. No to do lists or Bible study, just you and God. It doesn’t have to be a long time, even just 90 seconds of quieting yourself and leaning into Him.
- Make a “pondering play list.” Just as Mary pondered “all these things” in her heart, we need to ponder the character and person of Jesus Christ. Later this week I’ll share some ideas for songs you could include.
- As you begin decorating your house for the holidays, choose prayer reminders to keep your heart and mind stayed on Him. For example, let the lights on the tree remind you that we are called to be light in the darkness.
- Consider using the Gospel of Luke for your Advent reading. With 24 chapters, you can read one chapter per day beginning on December 1 and ending with the promise of His return as you read chapter 24 on Christmas Eve.
- Speaking of Advent, my friend Amanda has created an incredible resource for focusing on Scripture with your younger (preschool through elementary-age) children. Truth in the Tinsel is packed with Scripture readings, ornament crafts, and more!
- Determine to give meaningful gifts. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some ideas for gifts that offer opportunity to bless those you love while meeting needs around the world.
How do you intentionally plan to spend time with Lord during the busy seasons of your life?
This post contains affiliate links. Should you purchase through them, I will receive a small commission.