“Along the Bethlehem Trail” is a daily devotional to accompany you on your 4-week Advent journey. It also includes a “Movement Challenge” and an opportunity to reflect on our Facebook group. 

The devotional begins the First Sunday of Advent, December 3rd , and is completed Christmas Day, December 25th.  “Advent” is from the Latin word, adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival”. In our Christian Church calendar, Advent is the time we set aside to prepare to celebrate, again, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  In the whirlwind culture of our daily lives, we are tempted to rush to the manger.  This daily devotional invites you to take time to ponder, reflect and savor the journey to the manger, a journey you never travel alone.

This 23-day resource is a combination of scripture, brief meditation, images, prayer and pondering questions for every day of your journey. Never done a daily devotional of any kind before? No problem. No prior experience is required. Advent is the perfect time to begin that faith discipline.  If possible, set aside a specific time each day for this devotional practice.  Miss a day?  No problem. Just get back on tracknd continue the journey.

Facebook Group

Join our Facebook group as a place to reflect together on the daily devotions and activities.

Download the Devotional

Movement Challenge

The word “trail” implies a journey and journey involves movement. In addition to providing daily devotions, another purpose of this collaborative project is to promote a healthy active lifestyle. Physical movement of any kind is encouraged throughout this Advent journey. Movement includes, but is not limited to: walking, running, cycling, water aerobics, elliptical, stairs, chair exercises, etc.

Join our Advent Virtual Movement Challenge. Share whatever steps, miles or activity you do  and when you do it. This can be a great way to begin that movement routine you’ve been trying to start, especially as we enter this holiday season of yummy irresistible treats!.  If you are already in a routine, challenge yourself to increase the time, distance or frequency of your current routine. The activity challenge begins December 1st and ends on Christmas Day, December 25th.  That gives you 25 days to establish or increase your current practices. Invite a friend along on your journey.  Join from anywhere! 

Challenges are more fun and successful when we do them together. Signup below as a way to track your progress and see how others are doing. Consider signing up as a team to encourage each other.  You can start that challenge anytime. If you don’t get there by December 25th, it’s ok.


“Along the Bethlehem Trail” is a collaborative project by Missoula area ELCA churches with original contributions by members of Immanuel, Atonement, St. Paul and Our Savior’s, as well as from our Montana Synod Staff.  Technical assistance from Nancy Marks. Photo credits accompany each image and are used by permission.

Scripture references are from New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVUE) unless otherwise indicated. Print copies made possible from a Thrivent Action Team Grant (Thanks, Tana Lambert) and Missoula Copy Center.