December 23rd Advent Devotional


Tara Wilkins

Matthew 1:18-25

The time is nearly here. Our Advent expectation will soon be fulfilled! We listen with anticipation to the angel’s words to Joseph. He wanted to do the right thing. Marrying Mary gave her a sense of belonging and the safety necessary for the birthing of a Savior. His gift to her, though, must have been isolating for him.

Mary and Joseph were bound together by their secret request from God. Their lives had a purpose, a Holy call that reminded us all that even in the most arduous times, God is with us.

The Christmas story portrays a reality that people still face today. Mary and Joseph experienced rejection and persecution. They became refugees seeking asylum. People then and now forgot that if we all belong to God, then we also belong to one another.

Sociologist Brene Brown writes, “We seem to have forgotten that…we’re connected to one another by something greater than group membership, politics, and ideology—that we’re connected by love…No matter how separated we are by what we think and believe, we are part of the same spiritual story.”

Our spiritual story is still being written. This year may we take a chance to befriend someone on the margins, someone who also belongs to God. “Do not be afraid”, the angel said. “God is with us”.

Loving God, help is to love without fear, as You have called us to do over and over. May we reflect your love in the world, Amen.

 Rev. Tara Wilkins, pastor at Bridgeport United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon, and executive director of the Community of Welcoming Congregations.

©2018 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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