Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 1: What Does Christmas and the End of the World Have in Common?

Dear blog readers...This Christmas season I am writing a series of daily devotionals from December 1-25 about preparing ourselves for advent, Christmas and the end of the world.  Each day's devotion will be posted here.  If you do not already subscribe to this blog, subscription allows blogger to send you these posts everyday to your email if you are so interested.  Hope you enjoy this devotional series!

Doomsday Preppers:  an advent devotional

Day 1:  What Does Christmas and the End of the World Have in Common?

We live in some crazy times.  I know people all throughout the ages have said that, but I have to say, for the first time in my life, I really believe it.  In the past few years, giant tsunamis have killed hundreds of thousands of people.  We've seen hurricanes flood major metropolitan areas, like New Orleans and New York City.  The number of terrorist attacks and war zones are staggering.  Major world economies are on the brink of collapsing.  With things like the Mayan calendar ending its cycle and reports of Planet X's erratic orbit causing it to enter our solar system, people all over the world have wondered what, if anything, could bring on the end of the world, or as many see it, doomsday.

As you read this, you may be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with Christmas?"  People don't tend to see Santa Claus, Christmas carols and candy canes, and think "apocalypse".  They don't look at the baby Jesus in a manger scene and think about seven headed dragons and blood dripping from the moon.  Besides the fact that all this hoopla over the Mayan calendar seems focused just four days before Christmas, what could they possibly have in common?

The answer lies in the season traditionally called Advent, which occurs during the four weeks before Christmas.  Advent is the translation of the Greek word, parousia, which means the coming of a person, especially an important person for a formal visit.  Thus, Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for Christ's arrival, both his arrival as an infant that we celebrate on Christmas and his coming arrival at the end of the world.

The inspiration for this devotional series is from Revelation 1:3, which states, "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."  During this devotional series, we will be looking at what we need to do to prepare our hearts for not only the Christmas season, but also for the second coming of Christ, what we should look for and forward to in Christ's second coming and how we as Christians should approach the topic of the end of the world.  The time is near, whether it is our own death or the end of the world, that we will find ourselves face to face with Jesus.  Let's make these next 25 days a time of "prepping", maybe not storing up can goods or going off the grid like many of the "doomsday preppers", but of spiritual strengthening and a greater relationship with our Lord.

Thought for the day:  When someone important comes to your house to visit, what kinds of things do you do to prepare?  How can you do those things symbolically, either in your heart or in your relationship with Christ, to prepare for His coming?

Prayer Time:  Spend some time praying that during these 25 days, God opens your heart and mind to hear the things He may speak to you and to follow Him in ways that He may lead you.  

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