Journey to the Manger

“Journey to the Manger” 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. 

Introduction to the Advent Devotional by Pastor Julie Long

The devotional begins the First Sunday of Advent, November 27th, and is completed Christmas Eve, December 24th.  “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 28-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 track and 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

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. That movement includes, but is not limited to: walking, running, cycling, water aerobics, elliptical, stairs, chair exercises, etc.

Join our Advent Movement Challenge. The Challenge begins Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Eve.  That gives you 31 days to complete the challenge. Consider challenging yourself to 90 miles which is the distance Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  You can complete these miles in many different forms of exercise; including but not limited to walking, running, cycling, rowing, elliptical, stairs, etc. 

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 combine your miles to reach 90 miles. You can start that challenge anytime. If you don’t get there by December 24th, it’s ok.


“Journey to the Manger” is a collaborative project by Our Savior’s Lutheran (Bonner MT) and Immanuel Lutheran (Missoula MT).  Original devotional contributions by: Pastor Julie Long, Marilyn Hall, Pastor Molly Sasser-Goehner and Leslie McClintock. Technical advice and assistance from Nancy Marks. Photo images used by permission from: Julie Long, Lana Smith, Abby Long, Adam Long, Randy Long, Holli Humber, Kathy Heidel, Jill Graff, Rob Stuberg, Amy Harstad, Bradn Buerkle, Rebecca Boman, Nancy Marks, Matt Wellert, Cristina Beauchemin, Lindsey Rousselin and Brenda Frelsi. Scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) unless otherwise indicated. Print copies made possible from a Thrivent Action Team Grant (Thanks, Georgia Cobbs from Immanuel) and Missoula Copy Center.