Hope Is Born Advent Devotional Cover Image

Welcome to the Haymarket Church Advent Devotional page.

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 (to the “Haymarket Church Chatter” Facebook group) 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!

December 23 – For Unto Us A Child Is Born

By Amanda Slyper “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” – Isaiah 9:6 To me, Christmas is all about love and celebration.  It is family and friends gathering around the piano as my mother plays carols, singing along and making a joyful noise with tambourine, triangle, or pair of…

December 25 – Merry Christmas!

By Brian Johnson Merry Christmas! Today we celebrate the Good News that Christ has been born, that God is with us, that the Light of the World has entered into our darkness.  However you celebrate today, may you know that God is with you – even in the mess, even in the chaos, even in…

December 22 – Slowing Down for Wonder

By Kailey Thom “For thou art great and doest wonderous things: Thou art god alone.” – Psalm 86:10 Wonder. It’s a classic staple of the Christmas season. Yet sometimes the bits of wonder sprinkled throughout our daily lives go unnoticed. We get too busy, too overwhelmed, too caught up in the frenzy of shopping and…

December 21 – My Peace I Give To You

Written by Deb Angerman When my sisters and I were little, our household was not always a happy or peaceful home. Anyone who has grown up in the shadow of alcoholism will understand exactly what I mean. We spent a lot of time and emotional energy tiptoeing around our volatile stepdad, knowing that any day…

December 19 – The Rebel Jesus

By Brian Johnson One of my favorite Christmas songs is Jackson Browne’s “The Rebel Jesus.” It’s not quite a traditional song, but every year, when it’s time for us to start reading Chapter 1 of Luke, there’s something about this song that just – well, I think this song captures something essential about the Christmas…

December 20 – Attempting to Sabbath

By Kim Johnson It is 9:05 PM on December 19. This devotion publishes in a matter of hours. (Well, technically it publishes as soon as I hit the blue ‘publish’ button over there, but it gets to YOU in a few hours.) Pastor Brian has gently reminded me about this devotion at least 3x/week since…

December 24 – A Weird Christmas Eve

By Brian Johnson It’s Christmas Eve.  But, it’s a weird Christmas Eve. Today, for me at least, is usually a day full of big energy – on a normal year, there’s worship to lead, and there’s family in town, and there’s food to prepare, and so many people to see.  That’s what a normal Christmas…

December 18 – Why We Need The Grace Of Christmas

Written by Tim Grembowski What is the Reason for the Season? Luke 2:10-12: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”…

December 17 – Do Not Worry

By Karen Weaver Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. This is so appropriate for 2020. Think of the last 11 months and worrying about jobs, economy, getting sick, family members… the list goes on and on. What about tomorrow?…

December 16 – Celebrating the Festival of Lights as a Christian

By Michelle Lebowitz  “Praised are You, Lord, Our God, Ruler of Creation, Who has made us holy through His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.” “Praised are You, Lord, Our God, Ruler of Creation, Who worked miracles for ancestors during times past at this season.” This time of year is usually pretty…

December 15 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Today we have another musical contribution to our Advent devotional.  The Bryden Family (Brandi, Andrew, Finley, Jake, and Oliver) are playing a mashup of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “We Three Kings” – the arrangement is put together by a pop band, The Barenaked Ladies. If you’ve missed any of our previous daily posts,…

December 13 – A Blessed COVID Christmas

Written by Sue Kales Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Luke 2:10-11: “But the angel said to them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to…

December 14 – 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…

December 12 – Peanut Butter Balls

Written by Brian Johnson When I was a kid, Christmas meant Peanut Butter Balls. Little balls of peanut butter mixed with sugar, dipped in chocolate. When they cooled, they were like a Reese’s cup, only ten times better. When I was a kid, I thought they were my mom’s secret recipe, some magical thing that…

December 10 – Christmas Traditions

Written by Frank Vialpando When I was growing up with my sisters and brother, we had a Christmas tradition, just like everyone else. Not a very big deal, but we would open our presents on Christmas Eve. We would wait till after dinner was over, read Luke chapter 2 verses 10 through 17 and, one…

December 9 – Annus Horribilus?

Written by Andrew Bryden The Queen of the United Kingdom (and fifteen other Commonwealth realms, should you be interested), may call 2020 an “annus horribilis.” It certainly hasn’t been the best by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m going to assume you know the reasons why. I am shocked at the level of damage…

December 11 – I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

Written by Brian Johnson (And drawn/written by Rev. Charlie Baber) “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is one of my favorite songs for the season of Advent.  It’s a song that embraces the tension I often feel during this season.  The message of Christmas is a message of hope: in Jesus, God is with…

December 8 – Away In A Manger

Today we have another musical contribution to our Advent devotional.  Katie Luetkenhaus is a member of Haymarket Church and is singing the classic Christmas carol, “Away In A Manger” while accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. If you’ve missed any of our previous daily readings, you can find them all archived here. We hope these readings…

December 7 – Angels Among Us

Written by Al Kales 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” During these hard times…

December 6 – The Baby Grew Up

Today in worship, we will be reading the opening verses of the Gospel of Mark – beginning with the first verse of the first chapter (Mark 1:1-8).  Mark is one of four Gospels – along with Matthew, Luke, and John.  These four books are found at the start of the New Testament, and each of…

December 5 – O That You Would Tear Open the Heavens and Come Down

Written by Brian Johnson There’s a line from last Sunday’s Old Testament reading that always gets me.  It’s from the passage from Isaiah that we read during worship.  In that passage, the prophet cries out to God in pain.  Isaiah, and the people of Israel, were having a rough go of it.  Their nation had…

December 4 – What Christmas Means To Me

Written by Brenda Grembowski Christmas is the rare occasion where your past, present and future collide, in the best possible way. For my past, it means remembering my childhood when my parents struggled to make ends meet, but always found a way to put treats in our stockings and a present under the tree.  It…

December 3 – A New Tradition

Written by Donnie Angerman This time of year, everyone has their traditions that remind them of special memories. For some it is decorating cookies or gingerbread houses. For some it is gathering around the tree on Christmas morning, enjoying the unwrapping of gifts and the joy that it brings. For some it is eating a…

December 2 – Christmas Lights, The More the Merrier

Written by Will MacKay Christmas is lights, and the more the merrier.  Christmas light touring is a recent tradition in our family. I guess it started with our son, TJ’s, first vocal reaction to our Christmas light many years ago. It has morphed from him pointing down side streets and shouting “wights…wights…” to heartfelt trips…

December 1 – All Is Well

Music Performed by Vicki Kolbe Today’s devotional is a little bit different.  Today, we’ve got a Christmas song, played by one of the people of Haymarket Church.  We are going to be doing this a few times throughout these next few weeks.  We hope that this is an opportunity for you to reflect on the…