Life and Light

Dr Bob and Evelyn McDonald reflect on the hope and joy breaking forth with the birth of Christ.


On the fifteenth day of Advent 2022, Dr Bob and Evelyn McDonald reflect on the hope and joy breaking forth with the birth of Christ.

Life and Light


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

                                                   John 1:1-5 + 14-18



Life and Light

vibrant and radiant,

dynamic and revelatory.


Scores of seabirds, wheeling and fishing 

from a protected and plentiful sea,

silhouetted in the glory of a winter’s setting sun.


Soon, though, the visual splendour will recede,

and the birds return to their roosts in the island forest.

Darkness, it seems, will hold sway.


Yet the night sky is lit

with the fires of millions of stars, burning deep in space,

and with lunar light from the unseen sun,

revealing the white foam of breaking waves,

shapes of trees, solid and safe, on an island once stripped bare,

and human-built structures,

around which sandy paths wind, leading to

tomorrow’s sunrise and life above and below the waves.


God, who spoke into existence

the blessing of light and life in this world,

sent his Word.

Into this world – a kingdom usurped, troubled and broken – the Creator came.


And in coming,

this greatest love gift to us all – the Word, God’s Son, Jesus –

brought a richer and deeper Life and Light

graciously revealed for all with eyes to see

and freely given to those with hearts to receive,

that they, in turn,

may shine the goodness of God in this world.



Photograph taken in August 2016 at Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, capturing Common Noddies feeding off shore late in the day.

Bob and Evelyn filmed the abundant marine life in this video in July – August 2022 in the highly protected Green Zone waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef around Lady Elliot Island, a formerly denuded, but now reforested coral cay as part of a 50 year restoration project.



Dr Bob and Evelyn McDonald live in Newcastle, NSW and serve in their church and community. They have recently published two books: A Nature Lover’s Guide to Seeing God and Windows on Nature: Reflections on God through which they share their nature photography, scientific writing, Biblical reflections and love of God and His creation. 



This devotional is the fifteenth in a series of daily email devotionals for Advent 2022. This year's series reflects on the hope and joy of the good breaking in with the birth of Christ. 

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