Follow Along Advent Reading, Day 2

Welcome back to Day 2 of the Painted Advent devotional reading with the Bible app. Here is Day 1 if you missed it and want to catch up.

On to Day 2!

Day 2 Luke 1:39-80

My thoughts: I love how God brings together Mary and Elizabeth. I can imagine they were both reeling a bit from their secrets. How they would have been a support to each other during this time:

  • Mary was figuring out how to handle her pregnancy in a time and culture when an unplanned pregnancy meant being ostracized from society. She also knew that there was a very real possibility that her fiancee Joseph would have every right to divorce her.
  • On the other hand, Elizabeth was probably a bit stunned by her own late-in-life pregnancy, especially since she had been childless for her entire marriage.

I can imagine how these two must have enjoyed their months together, praying and dreaming and planning about their babies.

Waiting on God

The other thing that stands out to me from his passage is that even though God sometimes seems to be silent in our lives, He uses this quiet waiting time to birth His plan.

Four hundred years had passed from the end of the Old Testament to the beginning of the New Testament. During these years, God was completely quiet. No communication between God and the prophets. No messages for Israel.

Meanwhile, the culture had been changing. Greek and Roman influences were foisted upon the Jews. But during this time of God’s silence, He was orchestrating His ultimate plan of the birth of His Son.

Finally, the book of Luke begins with a flurry of holy activity — the visits of angels, the return of prophecy (after that quiet 400 years!), and the births of two long-prophesied babies.

How Does This Apply to Us?

We can use this as encouragement in our own lives. When we have been praying and waiting and God seems silent, we need to remember that plans take time. God’s time. During the waiting we continue to pray, to work, to seek, to watch — for our own flurry of holy activity.

Let me know your thoughts as you walk through this season of Advent.








Follow Along Advent Reading, Day 1

Shopping, wrapping, baking. Cooking, traveling, caroling. Although Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, I try to make it a priority to prepare my heart during the Advent season. This year in my search for an Advent devotional, I happened upon a free seven-day devotional on the Bible app that is based upon the paintings of artist Ron Dicianni called A Painted Advent.

I’ve been enjoying this beautiful devotional, and each day as I read, I record my thoughts about that day’s topic. I thought it might be interesting to share my writings each day. If you are also reading A Painted Advent, I’d love if you could add your thoughts in the comment section.

If you’d like, you can make reading your devotion a cozy time. Try lighting a beeswax candle, playing soft Christmas music in the background, or adding whatever you’d like to make it special. Please share your ideas below.

Let’s get started.

Day 1 Thoughts from Luke 1:1-38

Question: What can I learn from Luke 1?

Answer: With God I can expect the unexpected!

How amazing that the two women who bore the most important children in the Christmas story  (John the Baptist and Jesus) were beyond the ability to be pregnant.

Elizabeth was an old woman beyond childbearing years and had been barren all her married life. Mary was an unmarried virgin.

Yet God didn’t let these realities stop Him. He chose these two not for their “fitness” for the job, but because of the fitness of their hearts. 

Luke 1:6 tells us that both Zacharias and Elizabeth “were righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless.” Gabriel also tells Zacharias in verse 13 that “your prayer is heard.”

And in Luke 1:28 the angel Gabriel tells Mary “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.” When Mary became frightened in verse 30, he told her not to be afraid for “she has found favor with God.”

How this should give us hope in our own lives! God can do anything as He sees fit, and He saw fit to use an old woman and a virgin as moms in the Christmas story. Because of this, we too can expect the unexpected because God is always on the look for willing people ready to be used by Him. As Gabriel explained to Mary in verse 36, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Two words are so important there: with God. With God changes everything.

When we charge ahead in our own strength, we will miss the blessing God has for others and ourselves.

But when we make with God the basis of our lives, dreams, and plans, we greatly expand the effectiveness, the possibilities, the potential harvest because we open ourselves up to His power.

With God opens up the possibility of expecting the unexpected.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.