“Supporting, inspring and connecting Christ-centred leaders and congregations within the United Church of Canada”


There are many calls that compete for our response—especially this time of year.

“Do you hear what I hear?”

One is the call to the mall. Each year, holiday pilgrims travel well-worn paths of guilt, stress and debt in search of the perfect gift. They’ll know if it’s the perfect gift on Christmas morning: when the paper is peeled, the ribbon untied, the box opened—when the recipient smiles the magazine smile while staring at what’s inside. For many of us, that reaction is worth the hassle: it’s a sacrifice we make for love—at least that’s what mass marketing would have us believe.

But there’s another kind of call…a call that stirs the soul of the hearer.
“O Come, All Ye Faithful…”

It can sound like the whisper of a voice from memory…
“Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels…”

It can look like snow glistening under moonlight and stars…
“Come kneel before the radiant boy, who brings you beauty peace and joy…”

It can feel like that unexplainable urge to do something different this year—or redo something that hasn’t been done in a long time.
“Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the newborn King.”

Do you know what I mean?
Listen for the cry of the Christ-child–the still small voice of God clothed in human vulnerability—a God swaddled in mystery and wonder.
“Thus he feels for all our sadness and he shares in all our gladness.”
The response to the call of secular Christmas is to spend money.
The response to the call of Baby Jesus is to spend time in worship:
To humble ourselves at the feet of the child like the wise men…
To drop what we’re doing and run to the stable like the shepherds…
To sing “Glory to God in the highest” like the angels…

If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to a worship service yet you’re hearing the call: respond to it. “Fear not!”
“Come, adore on bended knee.”

Come and encounter the story and the presence of a God who lowered Himself into the straw of a manger so he could raise all of humanity.

“Do you hear what I hear? A child, a child sleeping in the night, he will bring us goodness and light.”

Holy God, like a shepherd, you care for us. We are yours. You have never stopped calling to us even though we may have strayed from you. We hear you. Help us rediscover you and reconnect to you—this season. Lead us into communities of faithful and faith-filled people through whom you work and through whom you are revealed. Accept our gift of worship this year as our response to the love you have shown us in the baby Jesus. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you missed an entry in our Advent devotions series, please click here to see all previously posted devotions.