Thursday, December 1, 2011

A New Twist on The Advent Calendar

A friend of mine on facebook mentioned her plan to read a chapter of Luke each day from today till Christmas Eve as her own personal "advent calendar" to see the full picture and be reminded of why Jesus came to earth. And then, on Christmas Day she plans to reread Luke chapter 2 to "rejoice with the angels" on Christ's birth. I thought that sounded like a great idea for myself and for my kids, or even to do as family devotions each night. With that thought in mind, I jumped over to and checked out the different Bible versions. I would guess that they have whatever your favorite version is or you could try a different version for these readings that might make these familiar passages come alive again for you. Since I still have one "young reader" I am thinking of having the kids read from the New International Reader's Version to see if things are a little easier for her to understand. To read today's passage in the NIRV click here.

If you want to go a step further with your kids, your family, or just yourself here are a couple of questions to think about as you read Luke 1.

1. Both Zechariah and Mary had an encounter with the angel Gabriel who gave them important information about an extraordinary pregnancy in their future. What is the difference in how each one responded to the news from the Lord? (luke 1:18-20, 34-38)

2. For what specific thing(s) about Mary is Elizabeth thankful? What happened that confirmed to her that Mary's baby was the Messiah she had been waiting for? (1:39-45)

3. Many people all over the world have gone one step further than Elizabeth and their praise of Mary has turned into worship of her, praying to her, referring to her as the "Mother of God", and even teaching that her own conception and birth were miraculous and without sin. What evidence do we have from Mary herself that she was a sinner just like everyone of us? (1:46-49)

4. Zechariah and Elizabeth's son was chosen for a very important task. What was that and what was the message he was to spread to the people? (1:67-80)