The season of Advent is more than wreaths and candles a few weeks before Christmas. Advent is the time some Christians take to prepare their hearts to focus on the true meaning of Jesus’ birth. The word advent means “arrival” or “an appearing, or coming into place.” It’s a time of waiting and reflecting on Jesus’ first coming to earth. Not only does Advent help us remember the dark, difficult season of waiting for the Messiah to come, it points us to the hope of Jesus’ second coming as we wait for him to return. Christians often observe Advent as a solemn, holy build-up to the joyful celebration of God’s gift of a Savior!
The well known Christmas carol says… “Let every heart prepare him room”
Our to-do list often looks like:
Prepare the house..making space for a tree, rearranging the mantle for stockings, and pulling out wreaths and decorations from storage.
Prepare a shopping list with gifts for friends and family, ornament exchanges, and stocking stuffers and all the things to wrap the gifts.
Prepare the kitchen and a grocery list for all the food-related must-haves and cookie variations.
Below are some resources to help you prepare your heart:
- Grafted In by Amy Gannett
- The First Songs of Christmas: Meditations on Luke 1 & 2 by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
- Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp
- Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas (various authors, edited by Nancy Guthrie)
- The Weary World Rejoices: Daily Devotions for Advent by Melissa Kruger
- Words for Winter by Austin Stone Church
- The One True Story by Tim Chester
- Gifts of Grace: 25 Advent Devotionals by Jared Wilson
- Good News, Great Joy by The Daily Grace Co.
- The Loved Bible Project Advent Worksheets #1 and #2
- Advent Guide by The Village Church (this is 2020 version)
- Various Advent resources by Austin Stone (same as above, 2020 version)
- Advance Community Church put together a playlist for the season
- A Jesus Christmas by Barbara Reaoch
- A Better Than Anything Christmas by Barbara Reaoch
- The Best Gift Ever Given by Ronnie Martin
- The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling by Katy Morgan
- Light Before Christmas: A Family Advent Devotional by Marty Machowski
- Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Daily Family Devotions for Advent by Nancy Guthrie (elementary-high school)
Other resources and helpful articles:
- Risen Motherhood has compiled many great resources for children and families
- The History of Advent by Ryan Reeves for TGC
- How to slow down and savor Christ by Adam Ramsey for TGC
- Christmas is coming by Paul Tripp for TGC
- Hope is a good thing for Gospel Centered Discipleship
- The object of our hope for Gospel Centered Discipleship
- How to make meaningful advent traditions by Daily Grace Blog
- Do we have to observe advent by Daily Grace Blog
- Sing These Christmas Songs by Paul David Tripp
- Memorize This Christmas Passage by Paul David Tripp