Based on: Mark 13:32-37
Did you ever wonder just how the wise men from the east knew to watch for the savior? How did they know when they saw that special star in the sky that the “King of the Jews” had been born? Some suggest the prophet Daniel, an exile in Babylon, told the wise men of Babylon about the promised Savior more than 500 years before Christ was born.
Based on: Matthew 1:18-25
In our gospel for today, we read about Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. What was going through Joseph’s mind? What kind of emotional ups and downs did he experience at that time before Jesus was born? First, he was going to get married, and that in itself would cause excitement and anticipation. But then he finds out that his wife-to-be seems to have been unfaithful. She is pregnant. How can this be? Matthew tells us that Joseph was a righteous man, and I don’t think he would’ve picked a wife that wasn’t also a God-fearing person. Mary certainly didn’t seem like the type that would cheat on him, but eventually he decides that he will break their engagement promise and send her away quietly.
Based on: Matthew 11:2-11
Have you been keeping an eye on the Christmas tree at your house? Have you been waiting and watching for that one package to appear under the tree with your name on it, that gift you’ve been looking forward to getting? Perhaps you are not looking for anything specific this year, but sometimes there is something very specific you need or want.
Based on: Matthew 3:1-12
What would you think if you saw someone in strange clothes, someone who only ate grasshoppers and whatever he could find in the wild. What would you think if his message was basically, "repent for the kingdom of God is near"? Apparently many people thought that John the Baptist was worth taking time to go see. People walked for miles from all around to see John and hear him preach. By telling the people to repent he was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah that said he would be the voice of one calling in the desert, "Prepare the way for the Lord." That is exactly what repentance does. It is the way you are prepared for the Lord’s coming. Remember last week we talked about Jesus and his coming and that it could happen at any moment. Today we look at John the Baptist and his message of repentance because now, just as it was at John’s time, the way to prepare for the Lord’s coming is through repentance.
Based on: Matthew 24:37-44
Well, are you looking forward to spring? Maybe this recent snowfall isn’t all that bad. As we go through January and February and when we get to March, do you think you’ll be anticipating spring? Do you think that you will be looking forward to that first warm day? You probably will not know exactly what day that will be or when that last snowfall of the winter will happen, but you’ll be watching for it and by the time that day comes, you will probably be ready for it to come.