Preparing to celebrate
The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned" (Isaiah 9:1–2).
These prophecies of the birth of Christ were given many hundreds of years before he was born, yet we can thrill to them each year anew. As we prepare for Christmas, we must remember that we need to prepare our souls too. The period of Advent is a time of preparation to receive the glad tidings of great joy – the long promised saviour of the world is come.