Christmas Devotional | 2018 - Day 12


By Ginny Lauren Dowden

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation…”

Zechariah 9:9

Confession: my dad was the original Clark Griswold…no joke. I grew up in a very old home that was built in 1911 with very tall ceilings. The bottom floor was 14 feet tall and the top floor spanned 12 feet. My dad would climb to the tip-top of the house to string lights, and yes, there were ginormous trees, as well! My mom says she often prayed that there would not be a firetruck in front of the house when she got home.

On the other hand, she and our neighbor friend seasonally traipsed the countryside to gather the ingredients for their own fresh garlands made from magnolia leaves and pinecones that lined our mantle, staircase, buffet, and everywhere she could stick them. My dad proclaimed this was by far the greater fire hazard! The memory of their preparations for the advent season are dear, but they are secondary to the seeds that were planted in my mind and heart as a child as we lit the advent candle each week, reminding us that our King had come, and He is coming again.

The Christmas season is a time of great joy for our Savior, Jesus Christ, came as a baby in a manger and died on the cross so that we might have an eternity to spend in His presence. Our King is coming again for us! Yet, there is another reality of this season. It’s not a season without heartache and suffering.

It’s my belief some of our current struggles are even more difficult when we compare circumstances to how the secular world portrays “joy” at Christmas. It’s easy to find ourselves discouraged. Financial hardships, broken relationships, unwanted health scares—all of these stressors, not to mention the daily news, are realities that don’t take a break during such a season of joy.

There is a beautiful Christmas song I loved growing up:“Do You See What I See?” As an adult, it speaks differently to me as I look on a world that desperately needs to hear the Good News. Individuals, young and old, who we cross paths with every day need encouragement and hope. While preparing for the season is wonderful, our greater calling is to prepare our hearts and those around us for the return of Jesus Christ. How do we do that in such a secular world? Everyday, choose to stay close to His heart, and live daily with a kingdom mindset. Our King is coming again! That truly is good news.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

“Do You See What I See?”

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Driving around looking at Christmas lights. We would say “bah humburg” if a house was not lit up. Also, my grandparents started the tradition of having a birthday cake for baby Jesus on Christmas Eve, and that is one we have continued on now with our kiddos. We sing The Brooklyn Tabernacle’s version of “Happy Birthday, Jesus” before blowing out the candles. So sweet!

What is your favorite Christmas dish or drink?

All of the casseroles

Author Bio

Ginny Lauren Dowden

Ginny Lauren Dowden
Director of iCampus

Ginny Lauren is our iCampus Director and Public Relations Manager. She attended the University of Arkansas, earning her Masters in Journalism and degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Communications. Before First Dallas, Ginny Lauren worked in the newsroom as a reporter and morning anchor. She loves being able to share the gospel through media and storytelling on the iCampus! She and her husband, Tom, have a 7-year-old daughter.