Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

As we enter the advent season, these are two great verses to dwell on.

“Advent” can be defined as the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. As Christians, we celebrate advent—the special occurrence of Jesus’ birth—in December with a hopeful expectation of His return.

Christmas is a natural opportunity to speak with others about the coming of Christ. You can speak of Jesus as naturally as saying, “Merry Christmas” to someone. There is opportunity in every storefront window, decoration, Christmas song; in every manger scene display and kind deed and selfless act; in every curious mind that wonders what the true meaning of Christmas is really all about…we don’t have to look very hard.

There are an ever-increasing number of skeptical people regarding the Christian faith, but this moment in time each year presents a unique occasion to talk of the reality of Jesus. In doing so, we can seek to answer the hard questions many people are asking, while simultaneously focusing on the message of hope, love, joy, and peace that is Jesus Himself. Do what really counts this Christmas—share Jesus with others.

• Why is it important to celebrate advent? How will you be intentional to do so this year?

• What can you do to make Christmas more impactful in growing your faith and sharing it with others?

• Ask that God would keep us firm in our faith, strong in our hope, and constant in our love for others and for Him.