Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on December 22, 2013.
Prayer: Jesus, you are the reason for this season. Amen.
Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: What do you do during Christmas to symbolize Jesus’ birth? Often it seems that Christ is taken out of Christmas, as some forget what this season is all about. Growing up, my parents saw to it that my sister and I were reminded time and time again about what we celebrating.
Two things stand out in my mind particularly. First, my mom always bakes a birthday cake for the baby Jesus. As is tradition, we usually had angel food cake (we wouldn’t want to have devil’s food cake, after all). On Christmas we cut the cake and remember that it is Christ’s birthday. Second, each one of us gets three gifts in our stockings to represent the three gifts the Wiseman brought to the Christ child.
My parents made sure their children did not forget why we celebrate Christmas. My hope is that you don’t let your family forget either. –Chad Hershberger
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