The Hope Collective Advent Guide
Hope | Week 1 | Day 1
He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
Prepare The Way
What John the Baptist did for Israel, Advent can do for us. Don’t let Christmas find you unprepared. I mean spiritually unprepared. Its joy and impact will be so much greater if you are ready!
So, that you might be prepared . . .
First, meditate on the fact that we need a Savior. Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). If you don’t need a Savior, you don’t need Christmas. Christmas will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior. Let these short Advent meditations help awaken in you a bittersweet sense of need for the Savior.
Second, engage in sober self-examination. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! / Try me and know my thoughts! / And see if there be any grievous way in me, / and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23–24). Let every heart prepare him room . . . by cleaning house.
Third, build God-centered anticipation and expectancy and excitement into your home—especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can make Christmas exciting only with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.
Fourth, be much in the Scriptures, and memorize the great passages! “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord?” (Jeremiah 23:29)! Gather ’round that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights.
— Taken from Good News of Great Joy: 25 Devotional Readings for Advent by John Piper, Copyright © 2021 by Desiring God Foundation. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.
Father, it is easy for me to lose sight of my need for a Savior and to take your Son, Jesus, for granted. Thank you for the hope we have in him. Help me to reflect that hope to others today.
Send a text of hope and encouragement to a friend who doesn’t know Jesus, telling them you’re thinking of them this Advent season.
Help a neighbor or friend prepare for Christmas by offering to babysit their kids for no charge. What a gift!
Offer your skills to someone. You have the ability to help out. Find a way today to be helpful to someone.
Read Luke 1:26-27.
Share your favorite Christmas tradition that you don’t want to miss doing together this year.