The Christmas We Didn't Expect

Daily Devotions for Advent

Reflections for Advent that help us to adore Jesus—the one who came to save us and make our futures certain.

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Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and this has been particularly so in 2020.

But the most unexpected and significant event in the history of the world actually happened over 2000 years ago when God himself became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ.

These Advent reflections, written by David Mathis, help us to lift our eyes to wonder of the incarnation and worship the one who came to save us and make our futures certain.

Be amazed once more by the unexpected details of Jesus' unique birth and saving work with these short daily devotions and prayers, and renew your worship of our humble, generous, and loving Savior.

Written by David Mathis, author of Habits of Grace, executive editor for and pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Product details


  • Preface: A Season of Waiting
  • Introduction: God Came Down
  • 1. A Christmas Carol for the Weak
  • 2. The Eternity before Christmas
  • 3. The Glory of His Virgin Birth
  • 4. What Child Is This?
  • 5. The Word Became Flesh
  • … and 19 more

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Author David Mathis
ISBN 9781784984762
Format Paperback
First published October 2020
Dimensions 5.1" x 7.8" x 0.5"
Case quantity 80
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher The Good Book Company

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni and Friends International Disability Center

Christmas contains so many delightful surprises, whether presents tucked secretly under the tree or much-loved visitors arriving at your door with arms full of gifts. These delights pale in comparison, though, to the astounding surprises you’ll discover in The Christmas We Didn't Expect. David Mathis reveals fascinating twists and turns on every page of the Christmas story. There is always something new to learn about Christ’s birth, and this fresh collection of insights truly delivers. My husband, Ken, and I are already planning to use this remarkable book for our devotional reading this Christmas—and we urge you to join us!

Tim Challies

Blogger and Author

Christmas is a time in which we tend to find joy in traditions. But traditions are not static, and we benefit from sometimes examining and updating them. Perhaps it is time to update your personal or family traditions with this wonderful series of Advent devotionals. They are fresh, applicable, and deeply biblical. They may just become a precious part of your Christmas tradition this year and in the years to come.

Sinclair Ferguson

Author and Ligonier Teaching Fellow

No Advent calendars for sale this Christmas can offer what lies behind the windows David Mathis opens in The Christmas We Didn't Expect. True to its title, it is full of surprises. So, buy it, and carefully unwrap each Advent treat (no more than one a day, or you may spoil your appetite). Then let it melt slowly on your spiritual taste buds and enjoy what Isaiah (the Christmas prophet) called ‘rich food’

Independent reviews

"jammed with rich theology"

Alistair Chalmers, November 3rd 2020

David Mathis has written this set of daily devotionals for advent that help us see how unexpected the birth and person of Jesus are. The thing I really like about this book is that it goes beyond what we’d expect, Mathis helps you think about the importance of Jesus being both fully God and fully man and more.... continue reading


"use this book as an opportunity to slow down, contemplate Christ, and worship every day"

Bethany Davidson, October 29th 2020

Mathis takes mysterious, grand concepts that people have written entire scholarly works about, and breaks them down into short, expressive readings that build on each other in the weeks to Christmas.... continue reading

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The Christmas We Didn't Expect | David Mathis | $14.99 $12.74