Christmas is a special time here at Calvary. We have a rich tradition of special services, events, celebrations, decorations, and messages that help point people to Jesus. We have also prepared weekly Advent devotionals for you to use as an individual or family to prepare your hearts to worship and grow in your love for Jesus this year. 

Advent means “arrival” or “coming.” As God’s people expectantly waited for the Messiah’s first coming, we look back to that as well as look forward to His second coming. Read what our friends at The Bible Project say about Advent and it’s meaning:

A Time of Hopeful Anticipation

For centuries, Christians around the world have used the four weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It’s a time when we observe his first coming while also looking forward to his second coming. In the four weeks of Advent, we meditate on hope, love, joy, and peace.

The Prince of Peace Arrives

The Hebrew Bible ends with God’s people still waiting expectantly for the ultimate king—the anointed one who would bring peace to the world. In the book of Isaiah, we read this prophecy about the long-awaited Messiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulders. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When Jesus was born, angels announced his arrival on Earth by declaring, "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a savior, who is Christ the Lord."

And Still We Wait

Jesus’ arrival activated the promises of God and the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible. The Gospel accounts declare Jesus to be God in human form, his son who came to earth to reconcile God’s people back to their covenant partnership with God. During Advent, we join in a centuries-long tradition and we wait. Just like God’s people eagerly awaited the arrival of the Messiah, we remember their hope and we still look forward to Jesus’ final return when he will reunite Heaven and Earth in the new creation. He is the ultimate King, who embodies God’s peace, joy, hope, and love and came to earth so that we might be united with God again.

Set aside a special devotional time each Sunday of Advent (December 3, 10, 17, 24) to read, meditate, and worship. Each week, you will also be invited to put the theme for the week into action in a simple, small way. Advent tradition includes lighting three purple and one pink candles as well as a white candle on Christmas Day.

May your hearts be filled with the hopeful and joyous expectation of Jesus this year!

Much of the devotional content is inspired by The Bible Project Advent video series. If you have any questions about Advent or this devotional, please contact Pastor Ryan at the Church Office.

Week 1

SEND HOPE - December 3

Light one purple candle


“...he will crush your head, and you shall strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15b (NIV)


God created a beautiful world that He declared was “very good.” The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, lived in perfect harmony together and with God. It was “shalom” - perfect peace and wholeness.

Until one day...

One day the serpent came to the woman and challenged her thoughts and relationship with God. The serpent told the woman that she could be like God is she ate the fruit - the one thing - that God said to stay away from. The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat and she ate it and gave it to her husband who also ate. This seemingly simple act was the first sin. It wasn’t just the act of eating the fruit, it was a choice to not trust God. It was a rejection of God’s perfect love and care. It was believing that we could not just “be like God,” but actually be our own god. The “simple” act was actually an act of heinous rebellion.

God is perfectly just, and this sinful act of rebellion must be punished. Curses were put on the serpent, the woman and the man. But God is also perfect in love and would give the man and woman and all of their offspring hope for shalom to be restored. When he cursed the serpent, God foretold the first prophecy of Jesus, the Messiah. The serpent would wound the Messiah, but the Messiah would crush the head of the serpent. Paul writes of this victory in Colossians 2:13-15.

Because of God’s love shown to us in Jesus, we are people of hope. The temptation and trap of sin does not have to control our lives. We don’t have to succumb to the death that sin brings to our lives and relationships. We have new life in Christ. We have a better hope for today and our future because Jesus, the Messiah, has crushed the head of the enemy.

Reflect and worship:

  • How does sin still have control in your life because you are trusting in yourself and not God? Pray to God and put fresh hope in Jesus!
  • Listen to the Christmas hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” (YouTube)


  • Tell someone your faith story this week. Share with them how Jesus gives you hope.

Week 2

BRING PEACE - December 10

Light two purple candles


“For unto us a child is born…and His name shall be called…Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6


One of the most beautiful words in the Hebrew language is the word “Shalom.” It is used often as a greeting, a blessing, and a prayer for others. It is commonly translated as the word “peace”. Yet, its most basic meaning is “complete” or “whole.” Shalom is about something complex with many pieces coming together in unity - moving from a state of separation and chaos to a state of wholeness and completeness. Think about a Lego set with thousands of pieces. When the box is opened, all the pieces are separate and in little bags. But, after hours and hours of work, all of the pieces are put together and you’re looking at an amazing building, rocket ship, or vehicle. They are now in a state of Shalom.

Peace (shalom) is the absence of conflict, but more so the presence of completeness, wholeness, well-being and restoration. This is why peace is such hard work, especially in relationships. When people stop fighting, they need to start healing, reconciling and working together for each other’s benefit. Only then is true peace achieved.

Isaiah looked forward to a future king that would do the biggest and most important work of reconciliation ever; so much so that one of His names would be “Prince of Peace.” This future King is Jesus. After the angels in Luke 2 proclaimed Him as the joy-giver, they also proclaimed the peace He had to offer in verse 14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Later in His ministry, Jesus said to His followers, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Peace is personified in Jesus.

Ephesians 2:14-17 says “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…reconciling us both to God in one body through the cross…and he came and preached peace to you.” Jesus did the hard work ending the hostility, fixing what has broken and restoring it to wholeness. The baby who was born and placed in the manger is the beautiful Prince of Peace.

Reflect and worship:

  • How have you experienced Peace (Shalom) that only Jesus provides? Is there any part of your heart that experiences a lack of peace (anxiety, tension, resentment, unforgiveness) that needs the peace of Jesus? Ask Jesus to show you what steps to take to fully live in His peace.
  • Listen to the Christmas hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (YouTube)


  • Share peace by initiating reconciliation with someone you’ve been in conflict with; or send a note of encouragement to someone who you know is struggling with peace.

Week 3

SHARE JOY - December 17

Light two purple candles and the pink candle


“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” Psalm 16:11


Think about some good things in your life. What comes to mind? Maybe things like the beauty of nature, the bond of family, good food, the first time you laughed until you cried, or that one time you and your friend had that epic road trip adventure. In Genesis 1 as God creates the world, He declares each day of creation “good” and then the whole of His creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31) - that’s a joyful proclamation! Do you know that when God looks at you that He says the same thing? Zephaniah 3:17 says “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” As God’s child and a part of His creation, He thinks you’re pretty great.

Joy is part of the fruit that the Spirit produces in our lives in Galatians 5:22. Even though life isn’t always joyful because of all the sorrow, struggle, pain, and death we see everyday, we can still choose joy and resolve ourselves to an attitude of joy because joy is about God - not a circumstance. Our hope in God’s love and presence can give us joy no matter what we face.

Christmas presents both an opportunity and a challenge when it comes to joy. The challenge is that we can easily look to parties, traditions, experiences and gifts as a source of joy. While these things are good, if we put faith in them as a source of joy, all it takes is for a conflict, a change in schedule or a broken item to dissolve our joy. The opportunity is to realize and remember that Jesus is the great joy-giver. Our joy can be resilient because Jesus transcends all disappointments and discouragements that we face daily. The joy of Jesus is eternal - it is not temporal like the gifts we open on Christmas morning. 

Place your faith and set your joy on Jesus afresh this Christmas!

Reflect and worship:

  • How is joy a part of your daily life? Thank God for sending Jesus to be your joy, and ask Him to help your joy be solely fixed on Jesus this Christmas above all other things.
  • Listen to the Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” (YouTube)


  • Share joy by inviting someone to attend a Christmas Eve worship service with you at either one of our campuses (Hazel Dell Campus at 9am & 10:45am or Jefferson Street Campus at 9:30am).

Week 4

GIVE LOVE - December 24

Light all of the candles


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” John 3:16


Love gives. That is the nature of love. Love gives freely and generously. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love” and verse 9 expands on how he loves us: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9).

God loves you. Because God loves you, He sent Jesus to us as an act of love that we may live. Reflect on the poem “Love Came Down at Christmas” by Christina Georgina Rosetti:

Love came down at Christmas,

Love all lovely, love divine;

Love was born at Christmas,

Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,

Love incarnate, love divine;

Worship we our Jesus:

But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,

Love shall be yours and love be mine,

Love to God and to all men,

Love for plea and gift and sign.

Reflect and worship:

  • Take a moment and ponder the great love that God has for you.
  • Listen to the Christmas hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful” (YouTube)


  • Share love with someone by giving your time, talents, or resources without expecting anything in return.

Christmas Day

CHRISTMAS DAY - December 25

Light the white Candle

Read Luke 2:1-20.

Pray and thank God for sending us Jesus to be our Savior. Pray that today you and your loved ones would be filled with hope, peace, joy and love that is truly found in Jesus.