What is Advent?
Advent simply means the coming or arrival of a person, thing, or event. Advent usually describes the time of preparation and focus leading up to Christmas which celebrates the coming of Christ from heaven to earth. It starts on Advent Sunday, which is the 4th Sunday before Christmas Day. This year Advent Sunday is on November 27 and the Advent Season ends on Christmas Eve.
Advent is a time to focus on Christ. Jews in the Old Testament looked forward to and anticipated the coming of the promised rescuer, the messiah, Jesus Christ, who would save them from their sins. He came as a baby boy, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, took the penalty for our sin on the cross, was resurrected on the 3rd day, ascended into heaven 40 days later, and is now preparing a place for us called heaven. The Bible promises he will return for those who believe. Advent is a time for believers to not only celebrate the 1st coming of Christ, but to look forward to and anticipate the 2nd coming of Christ, much like the Old Testament saints anticipated His 1st coming.
The weeks leading up to Christmas can be so busy and distracting from the real celebration of Christ’s birth. Advent is a way to slow down and focus on Christ each and every day as we get closer to Christmas.
How do I celebrate Advent?
Many families celebrate Advent in many different ways. The important thing is not necessarily “how”, but “that” you celebrate. Just be intentional to take time each day to focus on Christ in some special way together as a family. Each week has a different theme: hope, peace, joy, and love. Some families and churches celebrate advent by lighting a candle each week on an advent wreath symbolizing each of these themes and then lighting a 5th candle on Christmas Day. Others celebrate with different types of advent calendars and do something special on each day. They range from candy filled calendars to devotional calendar books. All in hopes that we will focus on Christ, the greatest gift, instead of simply presents and Santa.
All the Colors of Christmas by Focus on the Family (Stories and Interactive Calendar) | Free
Lifeway Family Advent Guide | Free
Truth in Tinsel | $3.99
ADULTS & INDIVIDUALS
Come Lord Jesus Come | Free
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus edited by Nancy Guthrie | $2.99
Also, check out Empty Plate Love for another way to show the sacrificial love of Christ to the world this Christmas Season.