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Summary: These are my weekly readings and mini devotionals that go with the entire Advent season for 2007. There is one set of readings for each week of Advent. There are four total readings with this.

Advent Planning 2007

Personalities of the Christmas Story

Week One: Angels

One of the most interesting things about the Christmas story is the people involved. How each of them was changed by the coming of the Christ. Both Matthew and Luke record the events of Christ’s birth with special attention to the role of angels in the story. The word angel literally means messenger. Angels played a special role throughout the Christmas story with the message of Jesus.

Gabriel visits Zechariah with the message about John the Baptist

Gabriel visits Mary with the message about Jesus

An angel visits Joseph with the message about Mary

An angel visits the shepherds with the message about the Messiah

If you have your Bibles, please open them to Luke 2:9-14

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:9-14

The angels played a major role in the communication of the Christmas message. The angels came and delivered the message of God about the coming of His Son. God sent the angels to tell the world about what he was doing through Jesus.

Today, we are the messengers of God. We are the ones who are meant to share what God has done through Jesus. We are God’s chosen instrument to do His work in this world.

Hymn: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Prayer: O Lord, we ask for Your divine presence to rest with us as we celebrate the season of Your birth. Allow us to remember that You desire for us to be your witnesses and messengers in the world around us. Today, may You lay one soul upon our hearts that we can share Your message of Christmas hope with. Give us an added measure of Your Spirit to empower and energize us for service during this Christmas season.

In Your Holy Name we pray, Amen

Week Two: Joseph

When we look at the people most directly involved in the Christmas story, one seems to be given a less significant role than the others. It seems that we often forget the plight that Joseph found himself in before that first Christmas.

If you have your Bibles, please open them to Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

What do we learn about Joseph here?

Joseph was a man of character – pure in his relationship

Joseph was a man of faith – he was called righteous

Joseph was a man in crisis – His fiancé was pregnant and he was not the father

Joseph was a man of compassion – He was going to divorce Mary quietly and not disgrace her

Joseph was a man of obedience – he did exactly what the angel told him to do

Joseph was a man of commitment – he committed his life to God, to Mary and to Jesus

We learn a great deal from Joseph about living for God and being committed to serving Him. This Christmas we need to follow the example that Joseph has given to us and live with character and compassion. Each day we need to share the message of Jesus with those around us. Every day we need to show the love of Christ that dwells within us.

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