Day One: Preparation

James B. Janknegt Light and Dark Angels 24X48 Oil on Canvas 2002

Used with permission all rights reserved. To purchase prints or original artwork please visit the artist’s site.

Long before Jesus was born God had devised a plan. The problem, you see, was that in those days the world was bound by darkness and sin. There was cruelty and hate. Neighbor went to war against neighbor. The strong dominated the weak and the rich oppressed the poor. And no one seemed to know that God cared! Even the religious leaders of the time, the ones who should have spoken for God, were more interested in building their wealth and gaining political power than truly representing God. So God devised a plan to send his son as a light into that darkness, and then announced that plan through his prophets. The prophet Isaiah who foretells much about the coming of Jesus wrote some 700 years before the birth of Christ.



But, if I’m honest, I have to admit that the world is still held in bondage. It is still in darkness. And if I’m really honest, I have to admit that my own heart often reflects the darkness and sin around me. And so I recognize that this world still needs God’s plan; I need God’s plan. And that is what is so wonderful. It is not a plan that is cemented in history—good for 2000 years ago but having no significance for today. God’s plan weaves through history. It’s like a melody that dances in and out, through the movements of a symphony. It’s there, ready to be taken into the heart and sung by anyone who hears it.



First Coming


He did not wait till the world was ready,

till men and nations were at peace.

He came when the Heavens were unsteady,

and prisoners cried out for release.


He did not wait for the perfect time.

He came when the need was deep and great.

He dined with sinners in all their grime,

turned water into wine. He did not wait


till hearts were pure. In joy he came

to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.

To a world like ours, of anguished shame

he came, and his Light would not go out.


He came to a world which did not mesh,

to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.

In the mystery of the Word made Flesh

the Maker of the stars was born.


We cannot wait till the world is sane

to raise our songs with joyful voice,

for to share our grief, to touch our pain,

He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!


Madeleine L’Engle*

Heavenly Father, open my eyes to You this Christmas season. Let me know your love for me. And Father, let the light of your plan begin to shine into the dark places of my soul so that I might learn its melody and sing with joy. Amen