We hope that this devotional book helps enhance your Celebration of Christmas. The next 25 days will be spent reflecting on the people and things of Christ’s birth. Enjoy and may we all be lifted up closer to Christ by them.

 This section looks at what God brings and how we are to respond:

Dec 1   Luke 1: 5--7     Zechariah – Disappointment but Faithful
Dec 2   Luke 1:8–20    Zechariah – Discerning God’s way
Dec 3   Luke 1: 21-25  Elizabeth – Showing Favor       
Dec 4   Luke 1: 26–35 Mary – Unexpected Turns in Life                   
Dec 5   Matthew 1: 19-20, 24-25 Joseph – Uncertainties & Trust                
Dec 6   Matthew 1: 20-23 Angels – Where to Find Direction                 
Dec 7   Luke 1: 57-64 John’s Birth – Carrying Though                                              
Dec 8   Luke 2: 1-5       Joseph – Living in the World Watching for God
Dec 9   Luke 2 5-7       Inn Keeper – Hard times                                         
Dec 10 Luke 2: 8-14    Shepherd & Angels - Joy Accepting                
Dec 11 Luke 2: 15-18, 20 Shepherd: Deciding What to Do                  
Dec 12 Luke 2:19        Mary: Keeping Track                          
Dec 13 Luke 2: 21-24  Jesus: Keeping Tradition                               
Dec 14 Luke 2: 25-28a    Simeon: Confirmation                                     
Dec 15 Luke 2: 36-38  Anna: Waiting                         
Dec 16 Matthew 2: 1    Magi: How much Effort to Give                                 
Dec 17 Matthew 2: 1-3            Herod: Disturbed by God’s Plan                  
Dec 18 Matthew 2: 3-6            Bible: Living Word of Help       
Dec 19 Matthew 2: 7-9, 12 Herod & the Magi: Traps
Dec 20 Matthew 2: 10-11 Magi & Jesus: Worshipping
Dec 21 Matthew 2: 11  Opening Treasure: Gold      
Dec 22 Matthew 2: 11  Opening Treasure: Frankincense
Dec 23 Matthew 2: 11  Opening Treasure: Myrrh
Dec 24 Matthew 2: 13-15 God: Protection                               
Dec 25 John 3: 16        Jesus: The Gift

                                                      

December 25  -           Jesus: The Gift  

Scripture: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.    

John 3:16

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December 24   - God: Protection  

Scripture: 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”                                          Matthew 2: 13-15

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December 1    Zechariah – Disappointment but Faithful!
Scripture:  In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.       Luke 1:5-7

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December 2:  Zechariah – Discerning God’s way


Scripture: Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

 Luke 1:8–20  

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December 23    - Opening Treasure: Myrrh

Scripture: - 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.                                     Matthew 2: 11


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December 22  - Opening Treasure: Frankincense

Scripture11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.                                     Matthew 2: 11
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December 3    ­    Elizabeth – Showing Favor

 Scripture: 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”                                                         Luke 1: 21-25   

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 December 4    Mary – Unexpected Turns in Life

 Scripture:  In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

   Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

    The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.                      Luke 1: 26–35            

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December 21 - Opening Treasure: Gold      

Scripture: 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.                         Matthew 2: 11

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December 20  - Magi & Jesus: Worshipping           

 Scripture: 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.                                               Matthew 2: 10-11

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December 5      Joseph –Uncertainties & Trust       

Scripture:  Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. …..24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.                                                                            Matthew 1: 19-20, 24-25             

 

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December 6    - Angels – Where to Find Direction

 Scripture: 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1: 20-23 

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December 19 - Herod & the Magi: Traps

 Scripture: Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.....12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

                                                            Matthew 2: 7-9, 12

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December 18  - Bible: Living Word of Help

 Scripture:  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”                  
Matthew 2: 3-6                       


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December 7    -John’s birth: God’s Plan for Us vs. the World’s  

Scripture: 57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.                                                           Luke 1:57-64

 

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December 8    - Joseph: Living in the World Watching for God 
Scripture: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.      Luke 2: 1-5

 

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December 17  - Herod: Disturbed by God’s Plan    


Scripture: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

Matthew 2: 1-3                    

 
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December 16  - Magi: How much Effort to Give     

 

Scripture: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 

Matthew 2: 1               

 
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December 9    -Inn Keeper: Hard Times and Way           

Scripture: He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

                                                            Luke 2:5-7

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December 10  - Shepherd & Angels - Joy Accepting  

Scripture: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


                                                            Luke 2: 8-14

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  December 15  - Anna: Waiting         

  Scripture: 36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.                              Luke 2: 36-38             

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December 14  - Simeon: Confirmation         
Scripture: 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.

Luke 2: 25-28a                       

 

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December 11  -  Shepherds: Deciding What to Do

 Scripture: 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. ….

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

                                                                        Luke 2: 15-18, 20

 

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December 12   - Mary: Treasuring/Keeping Track    

Scripture: 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.                                             Luke 2: 19

 

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December 13  - Jesus: Keeping Tradition     
Scripture: 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.  22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”                                       Luke 2: 21-24

 

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