By Elyze Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the Advent devotional by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. Every Monday that leads up to Christmas we will be posting an excerpt from this encouraging devotional. If you would like to purchase one for your family, you can do so here at Amazon.
From December 8
Light the second (purple) candle (the Bethlehem Candle), which represents love
Read: Psalm 36, Luke 2:1-7
Thoughts for Parents:
Psalm 36 reminds us that even though there is wickedness in this world, God’s steadfast love is ruling and overruling even in the middle of it. Evil men and governments seek to destroy God’s people, but we are safely hidden in God’s steadfast love: it extends to the heavens; He arranges everything for our good and His glory—to accomplish His eternal plan.
Caesar Augustus wanted to know how many people he could tax; he wanted their money. So without any concern for the lives of those in his care, he ordered everyone to return to their family home. It didn’t cross his mind that a very young very pregnant woman would have to get to Bethlehem during the last few days of her pregnancy.
Why would he care? But God would keep her.
And He would accomplish His work of salvation and the eventual overthrow of all the wicked kingdoms of the earth through Augustus’s selfish edict. The child born of a virgin would come from Bethlehem. How would that happen? Caesar Augustus would be God’s pawn.
When it seems as though everything is out of control and that wickedness is running rampant over God’s people, we can remember that God is our refuge and that He is working everything out according to plan. We can rest. He is our refuge.
Thoughts for Children:
There are mean people in the world. There are people that do wrong and are selfish. Sometimes we do what is wrong and we are selfish, too. Caesar Augustus was a mean and wicked man. He was the ruler during the time that Jesus was born. He told everyone that they had to go to the town that they were born in so that he could get money from them. If they didn’t go to the town that they were born in they would be punished. Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem. I bet they thought it was a terrible inconvenience to travel when Mary was big and pregnant with Jesus. I bet they couldn’t see that any good would come out of Mary getting on a donkey and going almost 70 miles because an evil man told them too. What they didn’t know is that Caesar wasn’t the one that was in charge. Jesus was supposed to be born in Bethlehem because that was what God had told people thousands of years earlier. So you see, God was really in charge. He was working everything out to show how wise and strong He was.
Sometimes things happen in our lives that feel like the bad people are in charge, but God wants you to know that He is always the one who is really the boss. Not only is He strong enough to do everything He wants, He also loves you enough to make everything work out for your good. His never-ending love guides everything in your life.
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