Advent calendar reflection for 23 December

2 woman and a man sit in doorway of home

Nomita, Sonia and Bissajit in the doorway to their home.

“His name is John.” 

Luke 1:60

Many of us will know the joy that is present at the birth of a baby, and we hear today how Elizabeth's family and friends share her delight at this unexpected gift in her old age. Breaking with the tradition of choosing a family name, Elizabeth proclaims that the newborn is to be called John. The name ‘John’ means ‘The Lord is gracious’ and Elizabeth has undoubtedly experienced this graciousness first-hand. 

As we draw close to Christmas, we can reflect with gratitude on the ways that God has been gracious to us in this season of Advent.  

At home in Bangladesh, Nomita can see God’s graciousness, even amid her difficulties as she looks back at the time after her husband’s death. She somehow had to feed and educate her two children, while battling against the destructive cyclones that are becoming increasingly common in her region due to the climate crisis. 

She says, “I thank God for giving me energy. God helped me to care for my children, to look after them properly. I saw my children were not eating properly and God helped me to care for them.” 

Our faith calls us to share the graciousness, that love of God with all our global family, especially the most vulnerable. 

Advent prayer

God of life,
let us never forget your graciousness,
your deeds of mercy, your wonderful works.
May we share that graciousness with others
and so bring to life your love .


An attitude of thankfulness is wonderfully beneficial to our emotional and physical health, as well as our spiritual wellbeing. Put aside a moment each evening before you sleep or each morning as you wake thanking God for his graciousness.  

Back to top