This week is the second week of Advent.

We can never, never save enough to buy God’s forgiveness. Not all the money in the world would be enough to save us!

God made many wonderful promises to his people, promises to save them. Last week, we talked about promises God made to Mary through the angel Gabriel. Gabriel told Mary that the Son of God would be “great” and “called Son of the Most High.” “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,” and “he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33)

God also made a wonderful promise to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. Gabriel told Joseph that Jesus “will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) What are sins? Sins are things that we think, say, or do that make God sad. How did Jesus save us from our sins? He died on the cross and came alive again on the first Easter morning. Now our sins are gone. They are washed away. God forgives us and calls us his children—because of Jesus.

We can never buy forgiveness, but God gives us this gift for free because of all Jesus did for us!

This week begins the Advent season: a time of looking forward to the day of Christmas, when we celebrate God keeping his promise to send a Savior to the world.

Long ago, the first people sinned. They disobeyed God. God had made them and he cared for them. In fact, he loved them very much. But they disobeyed him. Their sin ruined the beautiful home God had given them—the Garden of Eden. But God did not stop loving them. He could have, but he didn’t.

Instead, he made a BIG promise—the first promise of a Savior from sin. After that, again and again, God made even more promises, even bigger promises about the Savior and what he would do. For many centuries, God sent prophets who wrote down more and more promises about the coming Savior who would wash away our sins.

Then, one day, the angel Gabriel came to a little town called Nazareth to see a young woman named Mary. Gabriel had come from God to make more BIG promises about the Savior.

Read Luke 1:32-33 and look together for BIG promises Gabriel made about Jesus. (He would be a great king—the King of Love. He would be God’s Son. He would rule his people, forgiving and protecting them forever! He would suffer and die in our place. He would make us friends of God, members of God’s very own family!)

Those are BIG promises. Did God kept every one of his BIG promises! Jesus was the very first Christmas gift. Jesus is the very best Christmas gift. He is our Savior—and we receive every one of God’s other BIG promises because of Jesus. Those who trust in Jesus need never, ever, be disappointed!