Advent Study 2020

Sharing Our Stories: December 22

Writer’s Name: David Hurnevich

Writer’s Ministry: Trustee

Assigned Text: John 1:1-8

Word of the Week: Peace

“joyeux Noel!”

As I sat down to write this devotion, I began to research the different aspects of both Christmas and “Peace.” One of the more interesting discoveries that I made is that the Bible does not mention the word Christmas. The phrase Christmas is a word created by mankind to celebrate the birth of Christ.

During the advent season we consistently also hear the word peace. Peace is a word that is consistently utilized throughout this Christmas season and the birth of Christ.

When I combine the two words both Christmas and peace, I am reminded for the most part that mankind including myself has never found much peace during Christmas.

The lack of peace during Christmas can generally begin around Thanksgiving when families and people will begin to contemplate: Christmas dinners, parties, decorations, travel, shopping, cooking, budgets, services, charity, vacations, family, friends, black Friday, online Monday, local shopping Saturday, wrapping presents, opening presents, egg nog, mistletoe,  Christmas trees, nativity scenes, ugly sweaters and all other activities and events that are less than peaceful and certainly may not celebrate the birth of our Savior during this season.

I can remember that during one holiday season I needed to fly home from Detroit to Atlanta. Unfortunately, all of the direct flights were full as were all of the domestic layover flights between these two cities. Out of desperation I flew from Detroit to Paris, and then flew from Paris to Atlanta in order to be home for this holiday. Upon my arrival, our house was full of family and friends and we were able to have a wonderful Christmas experience.

However, in the back of my mind, I can’t imagine that this is what God expects of us in celebrating the birth of our Savior. I know that personally I have spent significantly more time and effort preparing for Christmas without necessarily reflecting upon what the birth of our Savior means to me.

I doubt that one will ever be able to remove oneself from the many activities of this Christmas season. However, I would encourage all of us to take a moment each day during this advent season and reflect upon the true reason that Christmas is significant to our walk as Christians.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. What is the most stressful aspect of the Christmas holiday and how might you be able to turn that stress into a peaceful experience worthy of Christmas?
  2. Is there a Christmas holiday activity that you might change or eliminate in an effort to spend more time in devotion to the true meaning of Christmas?
  3. In the spirit of this Christmas holiday season what are some of the practices that you might like to continue throughout the entire year.

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