About 12 years ago, I was burdened about how much intentional and focused time our church families were spending thinking about the incarnation of Christ at Christmas. While hearing sermons on the Lord’s Day was helpful, I wanted to provide more help for them. As Christians living in a very affluent nation which has highly commercialized Christmas, I attempted to help curb the materialistic emphasis—even just a little—and put together a Christmas devotional.
At the time, my two children were in their early elementary years, so I tried to write the devotional in such a way that would be understandable for them. Yet I also intended it to be something that could be enjoyed by adults as well. Later, my friend Scott Aniol agreed to publish it in book form. Since then, many families have enjoyed reading it each year.
The format for this devotional is quite simple. I divided up the subject of the incarnation into several section, with several days of material for each section. Each day has a short Scripture text to read, followed by some devotional thought, and ends with a few questions for further discussion. Because I believe that good hymnody needs to be emphasized in our families, I also include some of the good Christmas/Advent hymns from church history. Our family enjoys singing them together, but other families just read the text of the hymns and are blessed as well. The finished product is called Rejoicing in Christ, the Newborn King. You can find sample pages and ordering information here on the G3 website.
Family time around the Word of God is important. My wife and I made it a priority to teach our children the importance of their private devotional time with the Lord, but also elevated family time around the Word, singing, and prayer. Our children are away at college now. While our family times are less formalized now than they were when they were younger, we still enjoy informal discussions about the things of God. However, when they are home for Christmas, we will enjoy spending time together with this devotional and center our hearts around the true meaning of Christmas. It is not the gifts under the tree that matter most, but the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of Christ.
I hope this book can be a blessing to you and your family this Christmas season.