Pause

Between getting ready in the morning for the day and getting ready at night for sleep, we live our lives. Much of that time is spent preparing for the hours to come.

But even as we wait for what is going to happen, it is important to stop. To stop and simply be still.

Sometimes being still is the best preparation of all.

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Listen

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.

Matthew 1:18-19

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Think

Being pregnant is scary. During my pregnancy, a test showed that our child would be severely handicapped. After additional tests, we had many days of waiting that were long and full of fear. The one reassurance I had, however, was my husband’s words of promise that we would go through this together.

While everything turned out fine with our son, Mary did not have the same assurance that I had. Joseph, while not wanting to put Mary to shame because she was pregnant, was just going to divorce her quietly.

As you prepare for Christmas, imagine yourself to be Mary: pregnant, unmarried, afraid. All she had was a promise from God. What promise from God gives you reassurance as you wait for the baby Jesus to be born in you?

Sarah Shelton

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Pray

You promise us grace for the journey, O God. Be born in us this day. Amen.

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Go

Go now into the midst of busyness and hurry.
But carry with you these moments of still and quiet.

You are better prepared now than you were even moments ago
For the day that lies ahead.

And God has prepared good gifts in the midst of the hours
For you to know and cherish.

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Jackson Shelton is the pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the proud mother of David (24) and Dannelly (19), and the lucky wife of Lloyd.

Glorious Messiah

Jim Morgan

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