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Advent Readings - Expect the Unexpected

Updated on November 14, 2016

Readings for each of the Days before Christmas

What would you do if God Himself appeared to you? Would that be unexpected?! How 'bout if He sent an angel or allowed an animal to have a voice? And do you sometimes wonder why it seems like God isn't speaking at all?

On this page you'll find samples of daily readings for the Advent Season. These readings will help us see that God often works in the unexpected.As we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ, it's helpful to use scripture and devotions to focus on Him. With the gift buying, cooking baking, party planning and traveling to family and friends during these days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's easy to get distracted and forget the real reason we're celebrating.

As Christians in a dark world, a world focused on all the things this holy day has become, it's important to keep our sight on what's really important. If we're to be a light in the midst of the bleak world, it's imperative we stay close to the source of our brightness. It's my prayer these readings will help you accomplish this goal.May your Christmas be never ending!

Daily Readings for Advent

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For more than 10 years, I've written readings for the advent season. As soon as I was able, I started sending them by e-mail each day to those who request them. If you'd like to get the current year's readings in your inbox every day beginning the first Sunday of Advent, simply send me an e-mail or visit My Main Advent Reading Page to get signed up.

Advent On Your Kindle

The Greatest of These is Love (Advent Readings by Lynne Modranski)
The Greatest of These is Love (Advent Readings by Lynne Modranski)
This is the first Advent Reading set that I've prepared for Kindle. Hope to get a couple more "Kindled" before October!

The First Week of Advent

Unexpected Messengers

A Message from God
Genesis 17:1-3

What would you do if God Himself appeared to you? Would that be unexpected?! Abraham immediately fell facedown in front of His Creator ready to listen to whatever God had to say.

Unexpected Messengers, that's our theme for this week. As we light our first candle each day this week, we're going to consider some of the ways that God tries to get our attention. We'll ask ourselves, "What is God doing or using to make sure I get His message?"Abraham fell facedown before God. He understood the majesty and wonder of the Almighty. He knew that in order to truly hear what God had to say, he needed to give God his undivided attention.Often we don't hear or see the message God has for us. As we begin this advent celebration and watch the candle's flame, let's be sure we are ready to give God our complete and undivided attention. And let's not ignore His messengers, as unexpected as they may be.

More for your Kindle

The Second Week of Advent

Unexpected Messages

A Message from God
Genesis 17:4-27

"You will now be called Abraham and I will make you the Father of many nations . . . And your wife will be the mother of many nations" What a message! Abram is 99 years old. All of his life he's been called Abram and he only has one son whose mother is Sarai's slave woman. It's no wonder Abraham fell on the ground laughing! He was OLD!!! Sarah was old. A new name did not change that fact.We consider it matter of fact that Abraham is the father of nearly every part of what we now call the Middle East. But what a shock this unexpected message must have been for Abraham. A simple nomad with many flocks but no legitimate heirs, Abraham was more than a little surprised at God's message.When God has a message for us, it will most often be unexpected. He doesn't need to tell us the obvious. Messages from God have the potential to be something we never imagined or have completely given up on. Whatever your message, believe it, cherish it! God can do it . . . the impossible . . . and the unexpected!

The Third Week of Advent

Unexpected Blessings

The Blessing of a Son
Genesis 21:1-6

90 and 100 years old, the ages of Sarah and Abraham when Sarah's first baby was born. To many having a baby when one is a century old would be an unexpected surprise and not necessarily a blessing. But despite their laughter when they got the message about a son coming into their lives, Sarah and Abraham were overjoyed when the day finally arrived. Abraham believed God's message. The first thing he did after God delivered the message in chapter 17 was complete his part of the covenant. And as unbelievable, untimely and unexpected as it was, God gave the elderly couple the child they had always wanted. God's messages come with blessings. Sometimes it seems as though they are a long time in coming, but if we believe scripture, we realize that God always keeps His promises, and His gifts are bigger than we can imagine. As we light three candles this week and draw closer to the celebration of the ultimate gift of the season, watch for the messenger, listen for the message and be prepared to expect an unexpected blessing.

The Fourth Week of Advent

Unexpected Savior

The Savior is a Servant
Isaiah 42:1-9

By the time Jesus arrived, the Jewish people had some definite expectations for their Messiah. They were looking for a mighty leader who was coming to free the Israelite captives. They heard Isaiah's prophecy of a Messiah who would release the prisoners and bring justice on the earth, but missed that He would be gentle, not bruising a reed or raising His voice.Under the rule of Rome when Jesus was born, the Jews weren't looking for a Messiah who would serve. They wanted relief from this unreasonable regime. A Savior born in a stable was not what they were expecting.What do we expect in a Savior? Does it disappoint us when we realize that Christ came to be a "suffering servant" rather than a conquering King? Do we become impatient waiting for this servant who forgives our enemies and wants us to forgive them too?Today we are as surprised by Christ as they were 2000 years ago. We are confused when He is silent and don't understand His ways. We think we know how He should respond, and then we find He is an Unexpected Savior.

Christmas Eve

Expect the Unexpected

God Works best in the Unexpected
Luke 2:1-40

The unexpected . . . That's the way God seems to communicate best. Moses didn't expect to hear a message from a bush and Mary wasn't expecting to be mother to the Savior of the world. Shepherds didn't expect an army of angels and Herod didn't expect a baby to be Messiah.The first 20 verses of tonight's reading are probably the most well known of any in the Bible. Even Charlie Brown's friend Linus recited these verses for the world to hear. We expect to hear them every Christmas Eve.

But there are a couple of others who met Jesus as a baby, Simeon and Anna. We don't talk about them often. Two people of God who knew about expecting the unexpected. Both lived in expectation of meeting the Christ. They had no idea when, where or how it would happen. Neither expected an infant, but then again, it seems as though they were ever expectant of something unexpected. They must have had a small understanding of how God works. They were ready for the day when the unexpected happened and the Messiah showed up.

Tonight is Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is a day filled with expectation. We expect some gifts; we hope for others. We expect to see family we haven't see all year. We expect to be surprised and surprise those we love. We even expect that there may be some "unexpected" gifts this season. But do we expect to meet Jesus? It is His birth we celebrate. Do we expect Christ to be in every moment of our celebrating? Do our expectations include expecting some unexpected gift that our Heavenly Father may lavish on us?

Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that the One who rules over all "is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine." Even though we can't even conceive what God may do next, do we live in expectation of it?

Tonight is a Holy Night. We've set it aside as sacred, a time to reflect and remember all that God and Christ Jesus have done for us. Before you unwrap a single gift, take some time to ponder all the unexpected the Savior has already done. He is your servant and your friend. He is our salvation and our shepherd. He is the voice in our loneliness and the light in our darkness. He is our Hope, our Peace, our Grace and our Joy. He is everything we need and more than we can imagine. He is the messenger and the message, the blessing and the Savior. And we can expect Him to always be in the Unexpected!

© 2009 Lynne Modranski


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