Our congregation, pastors, and staff write devotionals to help us experience the seasons of Lent (before Easter) and Advent (before Christmas) more fully. They are posted below with the most recent on top and do not post until the season begins.

Saturday, December 14

Luke 1: 43–45
And why has this happened to me that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.

DEVOTION by Kim Dorr-Tilley
The Humility of Elizabeth: “I can’t believe you’re here. Here in my home! My home which for so long was known as ‘the home-of-the-old-barren-one.’ Even if people didn’t say it, that’s what they thought. They said so much, either through looks of pity or disgust. But now you are here! In my home! Now LIFE has usurped desolation. FULLNESS has cast out emptiness. Now LIGHT has triumphed over shadow. PROMISE stands in my living room. I can’t believe you are here! Thank you for coming to stay with me in my home…”

The Joy of Baby John: “I can’t believe you’re here! Brother, cousin, Savior, Lord! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!! I’d know your presence anywhere! I know you in here, even before I can see you! Even before I have fully formed eyes or a nose or a mouth. Gosh, I wish I could talk right now! I’d shout my lungs out for joy of you! But I can JUMP! JUMP! JUMP FOR JOY!! I can’t believe you know me… here. Even before I know me….Wow. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m going to love you forever!”

The Faith of Mary: “I can’t believe you’re here. Here, inside of me. Fulfillment of Promise. LIFE forming inside of me. All there is of LIFE abounding in me. The Word spoken at creation now speaks to me. Speaks in me. Speaks through me. On second thought, yes, I can believe it. I take you at your Word. I receive your promise. I bear your promise. I give birth to your promise. I BELIEVE it. I’m LIVING proof of your promise. Hey world, can you see my glow? It’s LIGHT bursting out of me…”

Believe it. Jesus has come to stay with you. He knows your name. His promise is for you.

Every Christmas Eve when I was a child, we’d drive over to my Nana’s house. She’d come to our home on Christmas Day but on Christmas Eve, we went to her place. I loved going over to my Nana’s home any day of the year, but I especially loved going there on Christmas Eve because if it wasn’t too late, and I begged just right, on the way home, we’d drive through a neighborhood where literally every house was gorgeously decorated with Christmas lights. Every house was like a snow globe. It was hard to tell where the glitter of moonlight ended and the cascades of tiny colored bulbs started. All I knew is that it was beautiful. Sometimes I had to hold my breath because if I breathed, it would fog up the car window in the cold. But sometimes, even that foggy breath became part of the snow globe I was in.

There’s something about Christmas lights that will never cease to delight me…

Friday, December 13

Luke 1:39–42
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

DEVOTION by Ellie Ortize
It makes sense why Mary went so quickly to see Elizabeth. If there was one person who could understand what Mary was going through, it would have been her. One part that stood out to me was, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Now I don’t exactly know what it means, but I feel like that was just so powerful.

I am only 11 years old and I could never imagine what Mary was going through. Obviously God chose her to have a baby boy for a reason, but why at such a young age? God did the right thing because Mary was blessed with a beautiful baby boy that ended up being the Savior of the world.

These verses really tell you that you are blessed even when you might not realize it. I realized that God loves you no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not, he loves you.

A Christmas Memory that I have is when my cousins and my family all went to my grandmas house and we opened presents together and it was really fun, because I got to celebrate Christmas as a family and also see my cousins.