Daily Devotion 08 December 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Luke 2: 7 ‘Mary Getting Everything Ready for Jesus’

And she brought forth her firstborn son,
and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

I want to start by sharing a poem I came across some years ago. It rang a lot of bells for me, as it probably does for some of you.
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“Ready for Christmas?
You’re joking!
With all I’ve got to do, I’ll be lucky if I’m ready by this time next year.
“The cards – I was going to write more than ‘Hope all is well’, this year,
But I haven’t …
“Shopping’s a nightmare,
with all those people intent on ‘spending’ Christmas …
“Working out who’s visiting who
and who’ll be offended
if we don’t visit them …
“The tree, the decorations,
enough food for the cat, not to mention us,
I’ll never be ready.
“But I’m certainly ready … for Christmas –
that moment when the world seems hushed in silent expectation,
“the light in the stable draws us
from chaos to the stillness
of God at the centre,
and love is born. I’m longing for that!”

Advent should be a time of joyful preparation, “Joy to the World”, we sing. Yet, sadly, it’s a season when too many people seem to be more than usually distracted and bothered, to plunge into depression and heartache. So what does it mean to be joyful? Joy isn’t about personal pleasure, nor the absence of problems. It’s not about a surface emotion of happiness; and it definitely doesn’t come from the number of presents under the Christmas tree.

Joy comes from God, and is a deeply held assurance that the struggles, the sorrows and the problems we’re suffering now will one day be resolved. It’s this profound sense of assurance and confident hope that means we can look forward to the future with joy. Isaiah prophesied that God would send a servant who would act to bring us a freedom and a peace that passes all understanding – a Messiah. For us, Advent is all about getting ready to welcome that Messiah, the Joy-giver, God’s great gift to every one of us.

We may be rushed off our feet preparing for the worldly fripperies of Christmas, we may indeed despair of being ready in time. But with that confident assurance from God, we don’t have to push ourselves too hard, and when Christmas Day arrives we will be ready to recognise and appreciate the greatest gift of all which God gives to every one of us – that babe in the manger, our Saviour. May we all have a blessed and joyous Christmas.


O Lord our God,
keep us faithful and focused
as we await the coming of your Son, our Lord;
that when he shall appear
he may find us not busy
with the wrong things
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise,
for the glory of your holy name. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356

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