Christmas Devotional Reading

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As I did for Thanksgiving, I want to take the next few weeks leading up to Christmas and post several things — anecdotes, quotes, jokes, poems, prose, etc. — related to the holidays. I have been writing and compiling what started out as a newsletter but ended up as a 12-16 page booklet for our ladies’ group at church for six years now. I love it: I think it is my favorite ministry. Usually some part of it touches on the holiday or season at hand, so I have collected a lot of things in my files over the years that I would like to share with you.

Should Christians Abandon Christmas? had great points.

The highest priority in Christmas reading, of course, is the Bible itself. Here are a few Advent Reading Plans.

I’ve already posted one of my favorites, a Christmas-based I Cor. 13. I think I need to read that at least once a week in December. Today I want to list some excellent Christmas devotional reading.

I loved this Story Behind Longfelllow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

I had a whole list of Julia’s Bettencourt‘s Christmas devotionals, and I apologize for those who found the links no longer working. She used to have them on her website, but since I first shared them, she compiled them into one PDF document and placed them in her shop here. But I just learned that even that will only be available until Dec. 19, 2018. Some time in the future she might put them into a book. Titles of a few of them: A Sweet Christmas, Baking Up Christmas, Salvation’s Plan of Christmas, Worth Celebrating.

Elisabeth Elliot is one of my favorite people for many reasons. I received her newsletters for many years and hated to see them discontinued. Some of the Christmas-related thoughts from those newsletters stood out to me: Are Christmas Trees Okay? (note the link just goes to the top of the newsletter and you may have to scroll down to the article in question):

Christmas Is a Thing Too Wonderful
The Mother of the Lord
Crowned Because He Suffered
The Lord: Hidden, Weak, and Helpless
Do You Believe in Santa Claus?
The Nativity
Joy to the World
An Unusual Christmas Celebration
A Quieter Christmas
How Much Is Enough?
A Silver Star in a Cave
Christmas On a Bed of Pain
Little Mary

The holidays can compound grief for those who have lost loved ones during the year. The Most Difficult Time of the Year: How to Love Grieving Parents at Christmas had much good to say. I wrote about my own Christmas Grief due to the loss of both parents, my grandmother, and a friend during different Decembers.

Finally, the morning and evening readings from C. H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening have stayed with me for years.

Here are a few of my own Christmas posts:

Not the Messiah They Were Looking For

Mary’s Virginity

Ten free gifts for Christmas

For God so loved that He gave…

Mary’s Dream

If I were a goose

The Primary Purpose of a Home

The Perfect Christmas

There is no one right way to celebrate Christmas

Tips for “Managing” Christmas

Christmas quotes.

And just for fun:

Christmas funnies or jokes #1 and #2.

Christmas Traditions Meme

A New Christmas Meme

If you’re looking for book-length Christmas devotional reading, some that I have enjoyed are:

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus:Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas, compiled by Nancy Guthrie

From Heaven: A 28-Day Advent Devotional by A. W. Tozer

Gospel Meditations for Christmas by Chris Anderson and Joe Tyrpak, and Michael Barrett

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Daily Family Devotions for Advent by Nancy Guthrie

Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke

The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs

Happy reading and meditating!

(Updated 12/10/18)

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13 thoughts on “Christmas Devotional Reading

  1. Thank you for visiting me. And thank you too for all those wonderful places to visit. It’s rather late at night, but I think I’ll come back and visit a few as soon as I can.

  2. A friend just showed me this site! What a blessing- I can read some of the devotionals in sharing time for church service. THANK YOU!!!! Karen Arp

  3. Pingback: Christmasy links « Stray Thoughts

  4. I don’t know enough about your pastor’s sermon to know why he referred to this as a controversy. I don’t think there’s any controversy about the fact that Luke’s Gospel uses the Greek word for “virgin” or that the Gospel presents Mary as a virgin at the time of Christ’s birth.

    The translation of “young woman” comes from Isaiah 7:14. This is the scripture Luke tells us is fulfilled in Mary’s pregnancy.

    Luke is quoting the Septuagent (a Greek translation of the Old Testament) and this translation used the Greek word for “virgin.” If we look at the Masoritic Texts (the Hebrew version of the OT) we see that the word is more properly translated “young woman.”

    I think what your pastor is probably referring to is the fact that several versions of the Bible, starting with the Revised Standard Version, have translated Isaiah 7:14 as saying”young woman.” This upset some conservative Christians who assumed the choice was intended as an attack on the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. This was one of several such changes that prompted the creation of the New International Version as a defense of traditional doctrine (NIV translates Isaiah 7:14 as “virgin.”)

    But the RSV committee was not trying to undermine the idea of the Virgin birth at all. They simply wanted to translate the Bible as faithfully as possible using the best scholarship available.

    I think the best way to understand these scriptures is to be aware that Isaiah’s words can be read in two ways, each of which was true in its time. If you look at the whole of Isaiah 7 you will see that it a scene in which God is speaking to King Ahaz who is worried about threat of imminent war. God assures Ahaz that, in the time it takes a young women to conceive, bear a son, and raise him to the age of 12, the threat will be gone.

    That is all that the people of Isaiah’s time understood the passage to mean but, in Luke’s time, the evangelist looked at that scripture with new eyes and say that God had placed a whole layer of beautiful meaning there that remained hidden until the birth of Christ.

  5. Pingback: Christmas Reading « Stray Thoughts

  6. Thank you for your 10 free gifts of Christmas. We used it with verses about gifts for our Christmas Day devotions 2011. THANK you again! Bonita

  7. Pingback: A bloggy look back at 2012 « Stray Thoughts

  8. Pingback: Favorite Posts of 2016 | Stray Thoughts

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