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?


Christmas is mostly celebrated as a single, climactic event—a long lead up, a big celebration, and the next day we’re already off to Boxing Day sales or after-Christmas clearouts. But something as momentous as the incarnation of Jesus needs so much more than a day to adequately celebrate. That is why the Christian calendar sets aside twelve days to celebrate and linger over the incarnation (which is where we get that familiar, but very strange, “partridge in a pear tree” song).

The twelve-day Christmas season, beginning on Christmas Day, may be the healing remedy needed to reclaim this holiday from merchants and marketers. After all the annoying ads and repetitive jingles fade, when everyone else is burned out on Christmas or has moved on to year-end reviews or gym memberships, now the follower of Jesus can focus on the meaning of the Christmas miracle.

It’s a season of light in darkness, where we are taken deeper into the growing light of the Word made flesh. Reflecting on the birth of Jesus, we have time to delight in the how of incarnation as we’re also led into deeper wonder of its meaning for our world. At the heart of the Christmas season is the mystery of the incarnation, of God becoming human. The Christian faith is, at the same time, both wonderfully material and mystical, having no truck with escapist spirituality.

The Christmas season grounds our faith in space and time—this world that is broken, this body that bleeds. Materiality is not an embarrassment to God; he created it and revels in it. Christmas calls us to live incarnationally, to embody our faith in our local neighborhoods, following the lead of Jesus, the Word who left heaven and “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).

Call to Prayer

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Ps. 100:1-2)

Scripture Reading

Readings: Psalm 97:1-6 + Luke 2:1-14

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)


Jesus Christ, our newborn King: we rejoice that you came among us in all your glory, taking on our life so that we might share in yours. In your conception and birth you’ve come to remove our sin—ours since we were first conceived—delivering to us the hope of new life. Make your home among us today and always. Amen. (prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 36).

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


“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.” (Luke 1:68)