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Final Preparations

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

… “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.” (LUKE 1:66)

Today is my wife's birthday. Having a birthday this close to Christmas can be hard.  Celebrations for her birthday easily can be combined with Christmas festivities, and the birthday is forgotten. No one ever intends to minimize her birthday, and over the years she has become accustomed to the fact that a birthday two days before Christmas can get overlooked.

When John the Baptist was born, it would have been easy for people to look past the significance of this birthday and go straight to the coming of Christ. But we cannot forget that John came to prepare the way of his cousin, Jesus. He came to announce to all of us that we need to watch for the Messiah and get ready to a major change. I am sure some people looked the other way and ignored his warning. Others took him seriously and were able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

As we finish our final preparations for Christmas, remember that we also need to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child. We need to learn from the example of John and his parents and get ready to announce the good news. Throughout last-minute preparations, don't forget to make time for those people who are important in your life.  Simply wish those around you a Merry Christmas or maybe happy birthday if they are blessed with a holiday birthday!

Heavenly God,

as we bring the season of Advent to a close, please bless our final days of waiting. Help us to be prepared for the coming of Your Son.

Touch our hearts with the Joy of the season,

and open our eyes to the gifts around us. Amen.

Daryl Thuringer
Vice President Marketing & Public Relations, Avera

MALACHI 3:1-4, 23-24 • PSALM 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14 • LUKE 1:57-66

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