2020 Advent Devotional – Day 17


Luke 2: 1; 3–7

While they were there,
the time came for the baby to be born. (Luke 2:6)

Video: Luke 2: 1; 3–7


Time seems to be a cause for concern during Advent, but depending on who you ask the nature of the problem varies. For adults mostly, there just isn’t enough time and the days are rushing past too quickly. There’s shopping to get, food to prepare, events to attend and always a nagging feeling that we’ve forgotten something. And of course, for children, eagerly anticipating Santa and gifts, Christmas feels like it’s years away, with each day dragging by.

Time dominates our reading from Luke today, also. Human time, firstly, in the form of the decree that a census was to be taken. The decree stipulated then a time to be counted, and regardless of the inconvenience for a heavily pregnant woman to travel, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. And then, as they were grappling no doubt with the logistics of registering and finding somewhere to stay, God’s time intervened.

God’s time determined that in this place and at this moment, the time would come for the baby to be born. God’s time placed the baby in the town of David and emphasized the lineage joining Jesus to David, which the angel had spoken of in Luke 1. God’s time proclaimed that this child would renew God’s covenant promise to God’s people and bring them peace.

It can be hard for us to recognize God’s time, let alone accept it, but God’s time requires us to see the world in a different way. God calls us to trust and to wait. God’s time doesn’t rush to meet our human whims but asks us to have faith in God’s love. It challenges us to find meaning in the waiting and to seek out purpose on the way. God’s time calls us to embrace the journey of this Advent season and give thanks for each day.

Reassuring God,
With my human perspective of the world, I struggle to remember your time amidst my impatience and self-focused demands. Help me to be more accepting of the journey through life, and to find purpose and meaning in each day. Slow me when I try to rush ahead and guide me to recognize your presence in my life, each and every day. Help me always to trust in your patient love. Amen.


Luke 2: 1; 3–7

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 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. 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.

If you’re enjoying the carols each day, there’s now a YouTube playlist you can listen to that contains all the carols shared so far. The playlist will grow as the devotional series progresses, with each day’s carol being added. By Christmas Day, you’ll have the perfect soundtrack of worship and praise.  Click here to listen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.


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