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Resources for Advent

advent

First, what exactly is Advent?

*The King is coming. Jesus Christ has come and will come again. This is the hope of the Church whom He purchased with His blood. Jesus’ coming is the eager expectation and desire of His people. It is our joy because He is our treasure and greatest good. This is the theme of “Advent,” formed from a Latin word meaning “coming” or “arrival.” It’s the traditional celebration of Jesus’ first advent of Jesus in humility and the anxious awaiting of His second in glory. The season is a time for remembering and rejoicing, watching and waiting.

History

*The Advent season officially begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continues until Christmas Eve or Day. There are a variety of ways to celebrate the Advent season, depending on tradition and background. Many people use an Advent calendar, typically made up of 24 “windows” containing Scriptures, stories, poems or gifts, to count down the days until Christmas. As each window is opened and the final day draws closer, expectation increases. This reminds us of the hopeful yet anxious waiting God’s people experienced as they longed for the promised Savior to come.

Another popular tradition is marking the progression of the season through an Advent wreath made up of five candles. This symbol is borrowed from the emphasis throughout Scripture of Jesus Christ being the Light of the World (Matt. 4:16; John 1:4-9, 8:12). Each week a new candle is lit in anticipation of Christmas Eve. The last candle, called the Christ Candle, is lit on Christmas Eve to represent Jesus’ first advent. Through this theme of ever-increasing light penetrating the darkness, we see a picture of the gospel.

Regardless of the tradition, Advent is a significant time in the life of the church. It’s an opportunity for believers to remember God’s promise to send One who would overcome sin and death forever. God promised a Savior, and He kept that promise perfectly.

*(taken from the “Advent Guide”, published by The Village Church)

A Few Advent Resources

Below are some helpful resources for those interested in leading themselves or their family through this significant season of Advent. Feel free to browse and see if there is one that might serve you or your family well.

The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX has an excellent 2014 Advent Guide.

The Verge Network has also linked an Advent Guide from The Austin Stone Church.

John Piper and Desiring God Ministries has released The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, a daily reading guide for the Advent Season.

And then finally, Nancy Guthrie has a series of family Advent devotions entitled Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room, which is available for free Kindle download today (Monday, December 1).

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