I’ve been thinking about what gift I would love to give each of you if I had the means. Yes, I’d love to send you on a lavish vacation or finish that renovation on your house that has been back-burnered in the busyness of ministry. But truly, when I think about what would breathe life into your soul and enable you to see the joy that He has put before you in this season, there is something that might have more long-lasting payoff for you. What if I could help you have a meaningful moment with your Savior? Sure, you have these on your own. But this might be something Jesus uses to inject some freshness into your time with Him, especially during this season that is so full of tradition and familiar practices that we walk through, sometimes without much thought.

So carve out a few minutes. Just you. Take some time to read through this familiar prophesy of the coming of our Emmanuel. And make yourself pause to reflect on what God is saying to His people Israel, but also to what He is saying to you. Whenever there are …, make yourself stop and talk to Him. This may be this year’s best gift that you give to your Jesus.





1Nevertheless, 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 honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—


Lord, I bring to you the areas of my life where there is some gloom and distress. I don’t leave those at the door –in honesty, I bring them to you…

Lord, your promise that my time of suffering is limited. That there will be an end to this time of gloom and distress. Lord, give me some words for my hope…


Ai generated illustration depicting a large, yellow star shining over the desert. A shepherd looks up at it in wonder.

Ai Generated Illustration

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.





Jesus, you are the light that has dawned. When nothing else makes sense, You are the One I hold onto.

Lord, Your light has dawned in places of darkness in my life. You have reminded me of my hope in You in the midst of that darkness. My hope that you are Redeemer of things that appear lost, Fulfiller of longings not yet fulfilled, Completer of what You started, and Faithful in what You have promised.

 Lord, remind me now of those things that appear lost – that you have redeemed…

 Of my longings that you have not yet fulfilled…

 Of what You started that you are in the process of completing…

 Of what promise I am holding in hope, knowing that You are faithful and will do what You have said You will do…


Ai generated Illustration depicting a large crowd of people from Biblical times celebrating and dividing the recent harvest.

Ai Generated Image

You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.




Lord, You have shone your light in the deep darkness of our land. Your light has dawned in the lives of so many around me. Maybe Your light is just beginning to dawn, that sparkle over the eastern horizon. Or maybe I’ve seen its brilliance wash over someone in a way that has chased out deep darkness. How ever You have shown Your light in our midst, I am so grateful.

Thank you for the ways Your light has dawned in specific people you’ve brought around me…


4For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.


Lord, thank You that I am no longer under the weight of trying to win your approval. That You delight in me and rejoice over me with singing. That You have delivered me from the power of my enemy and given me victory over anything trying to convince me of its power over me.


Ai Generated Illustration of the Holy Family in the manger, surrounded by shepherds, wisemen and animals celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Ai Generated Illustration

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.




Thank you, God, for Jesus. Thank You for the weight that He carries. The weight of leading Your people feels heavy. But You remind me that the government, the leading of Your people, will be on YOUR shoulders. Not on mine.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the ways You have met me as my Wonderful Counselor…

You are my Mighty God, the only One who can accomplish the work I long to see happen in Your people…

My Everlasting Father, thank you for Your closeness, Your steadiness, regardless of my feelings. What else am I thankful for as my Everlasting Father?…

Is there a place in my life that lacks peace? Prince of Peace, come into that place…


Ai generated illustration of the throne of King David surrounded by tall pillars and arches.

Ai Generated Illustration

Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.



Lord, You are in the process of establishing Your rule and reign here on earth. And I’m so thankful to get to be a part of that.

Lord, thank You for all that You are accomplishing during this Christmas season. Thank you for those you have delivered, healed, saved and given hope. Thank You that I don’t need to carry the weight of that.

Thank You that You are zealous for me, for Your people and for Your Kingdom.