December 10, 2012


Responding to the question, “What is love?” a child responded, “Love is what you hear on Christmas morning when you stop opening presents for a moment and close your eyes and just listen.” Taking the time to stop and listen might seem like an impossible thing to do, especially during the Christmas season. Every day is filled with check-lists and an endless barrage of activities and events to attend. During this holiday season, make it a priority to stop and listen to the wonderful sounds of Christmas: children giggling with an excitement they simply cannot contain, strangers uncharacteristically greeting each other with words full of warmth and optimism, a choir singing, laughter around a dinner table, a bell ringing to remind us “it is better to give than to receive,” and the faint sound of someone sobbing behind a closed door mourning the loss of a loved one. Christmas is full of a multitude of sounds; we must take the time to listen and respond.

December 10 – Isaiah 40:1-5  Be Heard

The imagery of “the voice of one” crying out in the desert applies to most of the Old Testament prophets, New Testament apostles, and those preaching God’s Word today. Isaiah stood alone, and in Matthew 3:1-4, it was John the Baptist’s turn to make his lonesome cry for God’s people to prepare their hearts for the coming Messiah. Taking a stand for Christ can be a very lonely thing to do. Are you prepared to be the voice of redemption, peace, truth, and love? If not, what must you do to prepare yourself?


· Ask a friend or family member to go to coffee or to share a meal this week. Make a concerted effort to listen. Ask questions about their life and their feelings and refrain from speaking about yourself when possible.

· Take time to evaluate how you have heard God’s voice in the past. If you don’t feel like you’ve had that experience, look for someone who has (family member, Bible Study member or teacher, etc.) and ask them about their experience. Spend some time in prayer asking God to speak to you in the coming days. Take time each day to sit and listen for his voice.

· For Children: What are some things you “hear” at Christmas that make you think of Jesus?