Christmas doesn’t just happen. I imagine you put in much preparation. There are cookies to bake, presents to buy, parties to plan, and more. Likewise, God didn’t just design Christmas because there was nothing left on the “to do” list. God prepared for this wondrous, miraculous gift of grace. Here are some Old Testament passages that indicate God was setting the table for Christmas.
Come to my heart, Lord Jesus, and prepare my heart for your birth this year. Amen.
Monday – Micah 5:1-6
When the Wisemen arrived in Jerusalem and inquired about the location of the birth of the new king, the scholars pointed to this passage, especially verse 2. Micah preached in difficult times, perhaps in those decades before the fall of Jerusalem. While he could see the threats looming on the horizon, he also knew that God would bring salvation. He promised God’s ruler would yet come. Can we trust God to bring salvation to our chaotic, changing world?
Tuesday – Isaiah 7:10-17
Isaiah was likely a contemporary of Micah. He offered the King a sign of hope. The King rejected it, and missed the promise. What is the sign of hope? And what is the promise for us today?
Wednesday – Isaiah 9:1-7
The threat of the Assyrians on the horizon cast a shadow of gloom and doom over Jerusalem. The Empires of the world were sweeping up the smaller kingdoms. But Isaiah offers hope for a day yet to come. Who is the child that will be born? How is the birth of this child a promise for us today?
Thursday – Isaiah 11:1-10
Jesse was King David’s father. Isaiah is promising that a descendent of King David will come one day to lead the world into peace. What images are most striking to you in this passage? How does Jesus, a descendent of King David, offer us peace today?
Friday – Isaiah 53:1-12
Much later in Isaiah – some scholars believe this part of Isaiah was written after Jerusalem was destroyed and the people forced into exile – the prophet describes the Messiah who comes not to rule by force, but willing to suffer for the people. His suffering would bring salvation to the people. How were these images fulfilled in Jesus? In the midst of national disaster, how does the suffering Messiah offer us hope then, and today?
Saturday – Isaiah 61:1-11
It is not coincidental that Jesus chose these first two verses for his first sermon in Nazareth. (Check out Luke 4:16-21.) Like Isaiah, Jesus came to announce news of hope and grace to a world in turmoil and trouble. How can Jesus’ message be good news for our world today?