he air is getting colder. The days are getting shorter. Fall is here and Christmas is coming. The stores have already prepared their windows, the neighborhoods are decorated with wreaths and lights, and the kids are excited.
Everything about this time is grand. Andy Williams was right: it is the most wonderful time of the year. From the Christian’s perspective, this time is particularly special because we celebrate the coming of our Lord, Jesus. Beyond the Santa exploits and arguments over nativity displays in public, there is a culminating atmosphere that directs all of our senses toward Christ.
It has become easier each year to forget what the season is all about. There’s the hustle in buying, the traffic in the streets, and that irritated lady who mouths off to the store clerk when they run out of Elmos. So many things can distract us from—pardon the cliché—the reason for the season.
If we can prepare ourselves ahead, this time of the year can be wonderfully useful to our families. We have to be intentional. We have to take advantage of the sights, sounds, and smells, and use them to stir our affections toward heaven.
This short study guide is aimed at doing just that. It focuses on two different stories about two different people from two different cities who respond two different ways to one similar message—salvation is coming.
The lessons are designed for both individual and group dynamics. The stories recount those described in the first chapter of Luke and should be suitable for young and old audiences. In fact, the first publishing of this guide was utilized in family settings. To accompany the guides, there are devotional writings to help prepare the leader and provide further reflections for students.