Advent Devotional


25 Dec Bible readings: Luke 2:8–14; John 1:1–5,14 The Christmas story tells us of a God who enters a sinful, suffering world. This is powerfully illustrated in Jesus’ birthplace – a dirty stable. My twin boys were born in a London NHS hospital, which is not known for its sparkling cleanliness, and that was pretty […]

He Commands Time

24 Dec Bible reading: Luke 2:1–7 For my 30th birthday, some of my best friends bought me two tiny antique coins. One had the head and name of Pontius Pilate on it, and the other that of Caesar Augustus. These two tiny denarii are precious to me. They are evidence from outside the Bible that […]

Everything, Everywhere

23 Dec Bible reading: Matthew 1:18–25 Today we reflect on the Christmas story from the man’s perspective – we see how Joseph reacted to the news that Mary was going to have a baby, and how God directly intervened. Mary and Joseph were real people who lived in real time in the real world. And, […]


22 Dec Bible reading: Luke 1:46–56 Have you ever found yourself completely overwhelmed with the awesomeness of God and spontaneously prayed out of an overflowing heart? I remember doing this when a friend I had prayed for for two years to have a baby let me know that she was pregnant. The context of our […]

Standing in the Presence of Greatness

21 Dec Bible reading: Luke 1:26–38 In our reading today we encounter the majestic angel Gabriel. He had already visited the priest Zechariah in the Temple to announce the coming of the baby John the Baptist. Now Gabriel comes to ‘a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph … The virgin’s name […]

Unceasing Worship

20 Dec Bible reading: Luke 2:36–40 Yesterday we met the prophet Simeon, an old man who had waited a long time in hope for the coming of the Messiah. Today we encounter the prophetess Anna, who was in a similar position. She was an elderly lady widowed after seven years of marriage. We meet her […]

Dreams Fulfilled

19 Dec Bible reading: Luke 2:25–35 Simeon was a godly man who lived through the occupation of his land and, with other people of prayer, waited quietly and patiently on God, hoping for the salvation the Messiah would one day bring. Joseph and Mary brought the infant Jesus to Jerusalem when He was forty days […]

What does success look like?

18 Dec Bible readings: Luke 1:80; 2:1–6 Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son grows strong and goes out to live in the wilderness where ‘the word of God came to [him]’ (Luke 3:2). As we have seen, a succession of ordinary people have faithfully lived before the Lord in their time, scarcely knowing the significance of the […]


17 Dec Bible reading: Luke 1:67–80 After John the Baptist was born, Zechariah wrote on a tablet: ‘His name is John’ (Luke 1:63). Straight away he was able to speak again and he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. The words of that prophecy are all the more powerful because of the passing […]

Faithful or Forlorn?

16 Dec Bible reading: Luke 1:23–25,39–45 The Hebrew form of the name Elizabeth means ‘worshipper of God’. Everything that we know about Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah and mother of John the Baptist, is to be found in the book of Luke. She was a descendant of the priestly line of Aaron, and a close relative […]