Advent devo image, blue background with candle outline, week two: joy

Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?

Using the Advent Devo

The Advent Devo walks through the narrative of Jesus’ birth. It begins in the Garden with God’s promise of a Savior and ends with an eager anticipation of Jesus’ promised return. In the middle, God shows His unmistakable faithfulness in sending the promised Rescuer. We see His love for the lowly and outcast as He proclaims the news of His Son to the shepherds. We marvel at His heart to see all nations come and worship His Son through the Magi’s journey.

Even if you know the Advent narrative well, don’t rush past what God has for you in this season. For many, this may be the first time to consider all that God is saying through the birth of His Son. For others, it will be an opportunity to rediscover the way God intimately works in the details of life for His glory and the good of man. For all of us, may this season be one marked by hope, expectation, remembrance, and worship. The King has come and is coming! There is much to celebrate.

Call to Prayer

“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” (Ps. 27:1)

Scripture Reading

Readings: Matthew 1:18-25 + Psalm 80:1-2, 8-15

Read the passages above.
Then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
(Click on the link to read each of the passages, or turn there in your Bible)

He came just as he said he would, Part 1…

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets spoke of the promised Savior, telling the people how to recognize His coming and reminding them that God had not forgotten. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the Son of a virgin, a King to rule according to the lineage of David, ushering in an era of unprecedented peace. Israel watched and waited, filled with longing and expectation for this promised Deliverer.

And then, on a night unassuming and normal, God came—just as He said He would. A young woman named Mary, who was with child, journeyed alongside Joseph, her betrothed, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted for the census according to Caesar’s decree. The couple entered the sleepy Judean town, filled to the brim with the descendants of David, and took refuge in the only place available: a stable. And when the fullness of time had come, Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. He was wrapped in cloths, laid in a manger and given the name Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. And just like that, a whisper in the Bethlehem night, a Child was born, a Son was given.


What do you suppose it would have been like to have been in Bethlehem on that “unassuming and normal” night? Re-read the passage in Matthew and try to bring yourself down to the dirt and the details of the text. Then thank God that he really did come just as he said he would!


Cleansing Lord, when you come again as judge of the living and the dead, you will be like a furnace of judgment that will consume everything evil and ungodly. But you will be a refining fire too, with a glowing, purified creation coming from the flames. Make this world beautiful for you and fitted for your kingdom; purify my heart so that I may envision that coming day. Amen. (prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 37).

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year


Advent begins in the dark. Literally. It is the darkest time of the year. Advent, which begins our church calendar, begins facing this darkness. Advent comes to us as a gift of darkness, emptiness, and says – will you enter this period of waiting with me?

Will you pause to remember and recognize your own emptiness and darkness – and practice longing for the light? These works of art invite us to enter into the wonder and waiting for the Light of the World to dawn on Christmas morn.

(if accessing via email, CLICK these links: Advent Playlist 1 + Advent Playlist 2)


“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Ps. 27:14)