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This devotion is part of the Jesse Tree Advent devotion series. 

Scripture reading: Luke 2:1-5

Folks, we’re on our way. We’re on our way to that town that has come up again and again this Advent. We’re on our way to Bethlehem.

We journey with Mary, uncomfortable in the final days of pregnancy. Our bodies are tired and pinched. We’re aching and ready to give birth, to experience the life that lies on the other side of labor.

We journey with Joseph, anxious about what’s ahead. We’re nervous about the birth itself, as well as about the responsibility of caring for this new life. We don’t know what to expect.

Like Mary and Joseph have been waiting, preparing as Mary’s belly swells, we’ve been waiting, too. We’re waiting for Jesus to come, too, this time in a different way. The labor pains are still there—so much about our lives keeps us awake at night and wears us down and makes us want to cry in exasperation. It makes us impatient. Don’t make us wait longer than we have to, Lord. Be merciful. We want this new life to be here!

We’re antsy with anticipation. Come, Lord Jesus. Come and be born. Come again and stay. Come and light up the darkness. Come and breathe new life into everything. Come and overturn the maddening political structures. Restore the broken friendships. Heal the diseased bodies. Fulfill the longings.

We are ready.


Come, Lord Jesus. I am ready for your arrival. I’ve made all the preparations I can think of. On the eve of your birth, grant me peace. Grant peace to your world, as we wait, in eagerness and longing, for you. Amen.

Grace Ruiter is digital content coordinator for the Reformed Church in America. If you'd like to connect with Grace, her email address is