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The Jesus Tree

It’s not hard for Christmas to turn into a celebration of everything but Jesus. Family and food, presents and lights, shopping, planning, hosting and cooking all jostle for our attention and subtly push Him out of the center. Now, don’t get me wrong: those are all wonderful things! But they’re not the most important things. And yet we’ve all experienced the ease with which they can subtly eclipse Christ, turning a holiday in which we’re meant to celebrate Him into a holiday in which we almost overlook him. Which is why we’ve provided this devotional. We want your mind and heart to be filled with thoughts and affection for Jesus every day, but especially during Advent, the days leading up to the celebration of His birth.

The whole of the Bible story is a story that orbits around Jesus, which means that everything we read in the Old Testament anticipates and ultimately points to Him. In the themes of each book, in the figures of real people, and in the events of every narrative are echoes of the person and work of the Son of God. So, in these days leading up to Christmas, we want you to join us in seeing Him in stories and characters who came before Him. Then to rejoice not only that He did come, but that He lived, died, rose and has promised to return again. He’s the point of Christmas. Enjoy opening your Bible to fill your vision and stir your heart with His glory.

Read. There are two Scripture passages for each day leading up to Christmas. One from the Old Testament, the other from the New Testament. Together, they’re meant to show how imperfect characters in the Scriptures offer us a foretaste of the perfect Jesus. Our pastors have written a short reflection for each day that’s meant to help you see how those passages fit together.

Consider. Once you’ve read the Scripture passages and devotional, take some time to work through the questions for your own reflection. These can be discussed around a dinner table or contemplated by yourself.

Pray. At the end of each page is a prompt for prayer. Use that as kindling for your own prayers or prayer as a family.

May the next 25 days give charge to your heart as you open the Scriptures and behold the goodness of Christ.

PDF version available here