We continue to prepare for His arrival. Each night after we read, we count. Down, not up. It increases the anticipation. The numbers wait, nestled alongside tacks that bring to mind the nails used to pierce His skin. The stack gets shorter each night. We are filled with eagerness to get to the card that proclaims, "He is Born!"
Already I know next year will look different. Behind each number is a picture from Ann's Jesse Tree Devotional. Next December, we will line all the numbers on the board and turn them over each day as we read the devotions. But this year, as we learn to find Him in our traditions, the numbers are enough.
They point to the promise. Not of the night a man in a red suit comes down the chimney, but of the night God, wrapped in human flesh, came down to earth.
This Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity - hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory - because at the Father's will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard, or will hear.-J.I. Packer, Knowing God excerpted in