the promise of christmas

Living Out The Promise of Christmas

We’re not yet to Thanksgiving and here I am chatting up the Promise of Christmas!

But hold off on hitting the Back button. Because I am with you in fully and completely wanting to soak up the current moment. 

And while sprinkling about terms like “the promise of Christmas” this early may feel rushed, forced, and commercialized, I assure you my intent is true and my motive is love. I want to help you pad your time with safe boundaries, a sense of margin and Sabbath attitude before it gets hectic.

We can’t slide into the season after it’s gone awry with our mind, body and spirit stretched thin and call for a quick time out. We need to establish guardrails now. 

Just ahead there is a warm and cozy refuge, full of tender memory-making, with you using all 5 senses to be present in the moment, looking for cheer in every smile, and sharing hope where joy seems lost.  It isn’t hard to find. We’ve already been given the map! 

Because getting there requires intention and commitment, this message is right on time! By planting the Promise of Christmas in our hearts a little early this year, we can thrive during the holidays and carry it with us into every season ahead!


The Promise of Christmas

The promise of Christmas means something different to each of us. And to each of us at different stages in our life, we see the meanings vary even more!

The promise of gifts under the tree.

The promise of who might be waiting under the mistletoe. 

The promise of family and friends we’ve missed all year. 

The promise of a timely Christmas bonus that will help us meet the hopes of our own kids.

The promise of a prosperous new year. 

The promise of Jesus to rescue and heal the world we’re passing down to our children.

The promise of being one day reunited with those who’ve passed before us.


The Promise of Christmas

The Promise of Christmas in the Bible

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Starting in Genesis, the promise of Christmas is woven throughout scripture. The Messiah, being born of a virgin in less than optimal conditions, and the Son of God coming as a defenseless babe, was the plan from the start!

By the time we catch up with Mary and Joseph, and the Shepherds, we may not realize how much was prophesied and recorded in the earlier text.

When you have time check out this Messianic Prophecy table that makes easy task of comparing text references. 

Pulling from the rich scripture, we can latch on to the hope, peace, joy, love and adoration held within the promise of Christmas. 


Living Out The Promise of Christmas

What are the takeaways for us? And how can we live inside that promise all year? Taking time now, ahead of the busiest, most magical/distracting time of year to learn and set an intention is key!


Fear Not

The angel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

And, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife”.

Then, to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks at night, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”. 

Do not be afraid.

You may have heard it said that this message is repeated in scripture 365 times; one reminder for every day of the year! I have not counted this, but I know the message is on repeat throughout scripture. The empowering phrase isn’t a desire God has for us, but a command.


Living Out The Promise of Christmas:

Do not be afraid! Take God’s hand, abandon fear and embrace new beginnings. The Great Shepherd protects and guides you, hedging you in with a protective margin of refuge (Psalm 23). Here’s to a fearless season!


Surrender Your Heart

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Sin is anything that puts distance between us and God. The message of the Christ, from Creation to Bethlehem and on to Calvary, is that Jesus came to save us from this tendency of choosing distance from our Creator. 

Living Out The Promise of Christmas:

Once fear is banished, set an intention for holistic surrender to Christ. Be comforted in knowing God is quick to listen and slow to anger. Divine mercy is new every morning!


Love Like God

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23 (see also, Isaiah 7:14)

After recording Joseph’s dream where the angel of the Lord tells him not to fear a marriage to Mary, Matthew inserts his own commentary. He reminds us Moses had prophesied the Virgin would give birth and the people would call him Immanuel.

Immanuel is a powerful sentiment and reminder that setting aside title and glory, God became both servant and brother to us. Divested of glory, God would walk and talk with us, take on our burdens and sacrifice himself as Jesus on our behalf. “Immanuel” is a powerful reminder that tucked in the promise of Christmas is a vow that God would be with us permanently. 

The consciousness of God’s love for humanity compels us to live out the promise of Christmas in every season!

Living Out The Promise of Christmas:

In light of all this, we can strip existence down to the marrow and be freed to receive lavish love and heap it on others. We live it out by loving it out!


Seek Peace

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:12-15

The good news given to the shepherds just keeps on coming!

First, the angel tells them do not be afraid, that the message will bring great joy to all people! Now, the angel is joined by a host of others who sing of God’s peace. 

Pretty captivating how the shepherds receive the promise and immediately chase after it. There’s no biding their time until the joy and peace find them. They seek the source of what God has told them about!

Living Out The Promise of Christmas:

Remember you are divinely equipped with peace and continually seek the source (see Hebrews 13:20-21 and John 14:27)!

Safeguarding The Promise of Christmas

There is no way around it. Christmas is busy in a way that can threaten our best intentions.

So how do we participate in everything on our calendar, the fun and the obligatory, and still safeguard the promise of Christmas?

How do we:

  • Fear Not
  • Surrender Our Heart
  • Love Like God 
  • & Seek Peace

In every season? No matter what?  

Using Advent to Live out the Promise

Traditionally, Advent is a way to measure the weeks remaining until Christmas. It honors our shared human longing for hope, peace, joy, and love and points us to Christ as the one true remedy. 





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  1. I am loving this! Especially “the shepherds receive the promise and immediately chase after it.” This is my desire! The goal! Receive what God has given me, the path and direction he has for me, and go for it!

  2. Rachel, I absolutely LOVE this!! I never thought of wearing joy like a crown either! I have signed up for your advent meditations and look forward to it. Thank you sweet sister! ❤

    1. I’m really excited about the Joy Like a Crown week! I learned that week is typically centered on Peace or Joy. I’ve written a lot on Peace, but never Joy (!) so that’s the direction I picked.

      I pulled the title from Isaiah 35:10
      “and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

      I’m so glad you’re signed up! I’ll be thinking about you that week especially! ❤️

      1. Awee you are SO sweet Rachel! Looking forward to it! I have seen that Scripture Verse before, but never seen it unpacked like this. I love that the Lord will have gladness and joy overtake us, so much so that there will be no room for sorrow. Love it! Thank you Rachel! ❤

  3. Oh my goodness, I love the idea of Advent meditations! My hubby and I just started celebrating Advent last year and it certainly helps fixate your mind and heart on Christ for the season. I’m sure your series is going to be awesome.

  4. So excited to share advent with you! I am always amazed when I look up Messianic prophesies, I love the link you sent. Also, I have been so convicted lately if not bringing a struggle in my life to Him, which has lead to distance. “Sin is anything that puts distance between us and God. The message of the Christ, from Creation to Bethlehem and on to Calvary, is that Jesus came to save us from this tendency of choosing distance from our Creator.” This is so what I needed to hear/read today.

  5. What a beautiful post Rachel! I have practiced Advent devotions my whole life, and I never get tired of it! There is so much in prophecy and the Christmas story to pull out and use in our lives each year.

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