Christmas Devotional Series

On the night when Christ was born, a group of shepherds watched over their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem. Scripture tells us that, suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared. In the midst of his radiant glory, the shepherds were terrified. With words of reassurance, the angel brought good news of great joy: the Savior – the Messiah, the Lord – had been born in Bethlehem!

This unlikely audience for such a heavenly announcement then saw the skies filled with angels, each one praising God, saying:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

This Advent season, we turn our eyes toward Bethlehem and sing familiar hymns of Christmas praise. Some of us dwell in relative safety and plenty. Others persevere amid wars and rumors of wars. Still others keep the faith in the face of persecution from states, neighbors, even family members. Despite our differing circumstances, the worldwide Body of Christ joins in heart and spirit to celebrate the Incarnation of Emmanuel, our God who is with us – who will never leave us nor forsake us.

This year, we have again invited several leaders from around the world to offer a meditation on Scripture and to share about their own local celebratory customs. We hope that these Christmas devotionals and stories will encourage you as we celebrate the Lord’s first coming and anticipate his next.

Photo: “Nativity” (1997) by Joseph Mulamba-Mandangi (Art & Theology)

Prayer Community

Daniel Dama from Benin

The Benin government has approved my arts and culture ministry for peacebuilding: Africa Sings. This phase comes after the registration of the organization and it is a crucial step. I am also delighted to inform you that Africa Sings was recently featured in the official journal of the Benin government.

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Prayer Community

Serge-Armand Yao in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, there are more than 60 ethnic groups, divided into four linguistic groups. From 1999 to 2011, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced deep sociopolitical crises as a result of ethnic tensions, sectarianism, and nationalistic and sometimes xenophobic behavior. Unfortunately, Christians in general and Evangelical Protestants in particular have contributed to these growing tensions.

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Prayer Community

Emmanuel Mukeshimana from Rwanda

Pray for peace in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Democratic Republic). This region has been the territory of unending conflicts. Pray that people in East Africa will be able to move freely and that refugees will be able to return home.

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Prayer Community

David Kasali in the Democratic Republic of Congo

We ask for your intercession on behalf of Beni. Our town has been brutally attacked twice in six days. The armed group that has been killing civilians in the Beni territory since 2014 has made incursions into the town of Beni and into our neighboring town of Oicha, killing over 75 of the most vulnerable inhabitants over the last three weeks. On November 24, one of the members of our contractor’s construction crew, the son of one of our campus guards, was killed in his neighborhood near our main campus.

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Prayer Community

Dieudonné Djoubairou in Cameroon

Cameroon is a Central African country with ten regions. There is an English-speaking Cameroon and a French-speaking Cameroon. In the past few years, there have been social and political crises in the Northwest and Southwest between the Ambazonian separatists and the government, and in the Far North because of the Islamist Boko Haram. These crises seriously affect peace in our country and the Church has suffered seriously. Churches are closed and pastors have run away. People live in very bad conditions.

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