manger scene with advent devotional words

Welcome to the Haymarket Church Advent Devotional page.

This year, in order to help you engage daily with Advent, we are sending our devotions to you via email or text message each day. You can expect the email to arrive sometime before 6 AM each day and your text link to arrive around 7. We will also be posting via social media (Facebook and Instagram) around noon. Each of these posts will contain the same content, though they will each come through to your device a little bit differently.

We hope that this new thing helps you and your family dig a little deeper and experience a more holy Advent this year. Each post will appear on this page after it goes live—a digital Advent Calendar for you!

Day 25 – Merry Christmas!

Written by Brian Johnson Merry Christmas! I hope that you’re having a great Christmas morning! Today’s devotional is simple. Today, sometime in the midst of whatever you’re doing, take some time to read the Christmas story from Luke out loud. If you’re with family, read it together. If you’re by yourself, read it out loud…

Day 24 – Glory to the Newborn King

Written by Brian Johnson It’s finally here! It’s Christmas Eve! Tonight is the night – this evening we will gather together as a church, hold up candles in the darkness, and tell the story of the Light of the World who was born to light our path through the darkness of this world. Even if…

Day 23 – Silent Saints

Written by Brian Johnson Yesterday in worship, we told the story of Joseph. Joseph is what you might call a “silent saint.” He’s in all of our nativity scenes, he’s a staple at Christmas pageants, but, in the Bible, Joseph never says a word. When he finds out that Mary is pregnant, he doesn’t say…

Day 22 – The Time Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Written by Bill Crisp The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Going from giving thanks to all I have been blessed with over past year, to celebrating the birth of Jesus! In my mind, there is no other holiday this fulfilling. As soon as Black Friday arrivals, I am…

Day 21 – Christmas Ornaments

Written by Pam MacKay My favorite Christmas memories are those of my family making ornaments for our trees together and making dozens of Christmas cookies, which always taste best right out of the oven. While baking is not one of my gifts, I have carried on the tradition of making the ornaments to adorn the…

Day 20 – It’s My Birthday

Written by Kim Johnson It’s my birthday! Really, December 20 is my birthday. In fact, today is a milestone birthday as I cross over into my 40s. Oh my. Hooray for BIRTHDAYS! I love birthdays. I love MY birthday. But, I don’t always love having a December birthday. Those in my circles know my important…

Day 19 – Christmas Breakfast

Written by Brian Johnson When I think of Christmas, I think of breakfast. Since I was little, the most central element of my family’s Christmas celebration has been eating a big breakfast together on Christmas morning. When I was young, it drove me crazy. We’d come downstairs, open our stockings, but we weren’t allowed to…

Day 18 – Cutting Down the Tree

Written by Karen Thom “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” – Psalm 100:1-2 (NIV) As a kid, every year we would go cut down our own Christmas Tree. It was an adventure. We would go to the Christmas tree farm and…

Day 17 – Pause to Remember

Written by Sue Kales Advent – “the beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting. The coming of Christ”. (Merriam Webster) I Love Christmas! The anticipation of the birth of Jesus and all that leads up to singing “Silent Night” with candles at the end of…

Day 16 – The First Disciple

Written by Brian Johnson “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. Why would people gain…

Day 15 – Marginal Characters

Written by Brian Johnson Last Sunday in worship we told the story of Zechariah (from Luke 1:5-25). It always seems strange to me that Luke starts Gospel (a story about the life of Jesus) not with Jesus or one of his close relations, but with Zechariah – who was the guy married to Jesus’s mother’s…

Day 14 – The Gift

Written by Donnie Angerman When I was growing up, paying the bills was a constant struggle for my parents. There always seemed to be a constant struggle to just have enough food on the table or to keep the lights turned on. Christmas was different though, that was the one time that they seemed to…

Day 13 – Live the Little Moments Fully

Written by Kailey Thom Matthew 6:34, NIV – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” It’s now officially the holidays, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now, we go into full on Christmas mode. However, nowadays we all tend to get so…

Day 12 – Prepare A Way

Written by Kevin Wolf As we get closer to Christmas I am reminded about preparation. Preparation for me really means one thing…..Procrastination. I know there are people who start preparing for Christmas as soon as Halloween is over, and that is awesome, but we tend to push it off a little. Not because we don’t…

Day 11 – Christmas Has Always Been About Family

Written by Donnie Angerman Christmas has always been about family. No matter where we are, we all get together for Christmas. This started when we were young. It seemed like Dad and Mom were always working and we kids were always doing some kind of chores. But Dad always made sure that we slowed down…

Day 10 – Thankfulness and Prayer

Created by the Haymarket Church Leadership Team On Sunday during the sermon, I (Pastor Brian) challenged you to end each day this week by taking time to ask yourself where God showed up during that day. Part of the point of this exercise is to help us remember to be thankful for all the many…

Day 9 – Holy Friendships

Written by Brian Johnson I have been absolutely loving reading these devotionals over the past week. There are a lot of things that have been great – spiritual insights, fresh perspectives, etc. – but one of the most powerful things for me has been getting to know the people of Haymarket Church a little bit…

Day 8 – The Christmas Music

Written by Karen Weaver ♫Come they told me Pa rum pum pum pum A new born king to see Pa rum pum pum pum♫ As we all scurry around decorating for Christmas, purchasing and wrapping presents, preparing food, celebrating wedding anniversaries we all forget even if it is for a brief moment what is the…

Day 7 – The People Who Walked in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light

Written by Josh Thom “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” – Isaiah 9:2 Some of my earliest memories are of the warm glow of Christmas lights in my childhood home. I remember that my parents would turn off…

Day 6 – A New Tradition

Written by Katie Luetkenhaus Ever since I was a little girl my favorite holiday was Christmas. I always loved waking up on Christmas morning to find gifts and have an excuse to eat cookies at 9 in the morning. As I got older I’ve realized that Christmas was about more then just a new iPhone…

Day 5 – Advent Mission Trips

Written by Tim Grembowski …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. – Luke 1:26-27 So in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all…

Day 4 – The Nutcracker

Written by Michelle Lebowitz Since 2008, when my nieces asked my husband, David, to “help out” with their ballet company’s production of The Nutcracker, our advent season has been measured by rehearsals and performances. “Helping out” actually meant performing in the party scene and then backstage during the rest of the show. Kendall joined the…

Day 3 – Unexpected Blessings

Written by Al Kales Advent is the time of the year when we look to God in the form of Christ to join us here on earth. I grew up in a Christian family, but it wasn’t until I was in my early forties, that I had my advent and came to know Christ as…

Day 2 – Christmas Tapes

Written by Andrew Bryden “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” – Matthew 1:23, CEV I was lucky enough to travel the world when I was a child, as my family followed my father from place to place in support of his job….

Day 1 – Welcome to the Haymarket Church Advent Devotional 2019

Written by Brian Johnson “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined… For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,…