Welcome back to our four-week series on Advent! As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ birth, let’s reflect on Joseph & Mary’s journey to Bethlehem. But first, discover how you can share the gift of the Savior’s birth with a family member or friend this Christmas!

A Christmas Card Worth Sharing

Do you know someone who has yet to accept the precious gift of Jesus Christ? Well, this is the perfect time to invite them to church! You see, in a recent poll of people who don’t attend church at Christmastime, a majority of the respondents said they would likely attend if someone they knew invited them.

With this statistic in mind, e3 Partners has designed a special Christmas card that doubles as an invitation to church! Send this digital greeting card via email, text message, and social media. Or, feel free to print it out at home and personally deliver it. Either way, there’s never been a more opportune time to invite someone into the family of Christ.

Thank you in advance for extending this Christmas card invitation to a family member or friend who is far from God. It just might be life-changing. Now back to our second Advent devotional …

Week 2 – Faith: The Bethlehem Candle

As believers and churches light the Bethlehem candle this week, let’s examine Joseph and Mary’s arduous, yet faith-filled journey to the town of Christ’s birth.

Has the Lord ever interrupted your plans? That’s exactly what happened to Joseph and Mary. You see, the couple was preparing for Jesus’ arrival in Nazareth when Caesar Augustus declared a census (Luke 2:1-3). According to some religious scholars, this mandate by the Roman Emperor resulted in Joseph and Mary traveling an estimated 80-90 miles on foot to Bethlehem—through rocky terrain, groves of trees, and desert valleys. But in the disruption of their plans for Jesus’ birth, God was able to fulfill His plans … for the prophet Micah prophesied Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem 700 years earlier.

“… Bethlehem … out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel …” – Micah 5:2

Most expectant couples would be very concerned about such a strenuous journey. Yet Joseph and Mary had both received angelic proclamations about the birth of their Son, the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25). And so we can reasonably assume that they set out on their travels full of faith, focusing on God’s promises and provision rather than their difficult circumstances.

Prayer of Reflection

Lord, thank you for the continued opportunity to reflect on the gift of the Savior’s birth during Advent. If You would like me to invite someone to church this Christmas, please reveal that to me during my prayer time. Thank you for Joseph and Mary’s story. You have shown me that You are sovereign over every challenging circumstance. I humbly acknowledge that my plans may need to be interrupted for the fulfillment of Your will. Strengthen my faith and help me focus on Your good promises as I endure the trials and unexpected changes that come my way. Amen.

Please stay tuned for the next devotional in this four-part series and have a blessed week!