For several years my family has used the Advent tradition as a way to read about, discuss, and pray about Christ’s birth. Advent readings have been a very useful tool to help us do this.
Unfortunately, familiarity can sometimes make even great things seem commonplace. This is a sad verdict on our hearts, but true. Sometimes it is helpful to look at things from a different point of view in order to better admire the fullness of its beauty. To prevent falling into a ho-hum view of Advent (perish the thought!), I wondered if there was a way to present the Christmas story in a different way–perhaps show the jewel in a slightly different light, so that different aspects of that jewel can be admired.
Traditional Advent readings focus more or less on events as they were witnessed on earth. But what if there were a second set of Advent readings–Maybe called Advent II–that focused on the divine perspective of Christ’s birth?
This is what I came up with and used last year; we found it helpful to reflect more deeply on the mystery of God become man. Because I thought that this may provide a helpful option for your family also, I’m making available here. If any of you find that your families could benefit from changing things up to consider other aspects of the Christmas story, this may be of help.
(One note: Because Advent II presents some heavier, more abstract theology, you may need to modify these readings if you have younger children, or you may need to simplify them to suit your needs. Or, you may opt to continue with traditional Advent readings until your children are older.)
Here is a summary of the readings:
Week 1: The Divine Plan: The plan of God to send His Son to earth to die for sins was no afterthought; it is a Divine Plan which could not be stopped.
Week 2: The Divine Purpose: Jesus Christ came into this world for the express purpose of dying to save sinners like you and me.
Week 3: The Divine Paradox: Saving sinners required the unimaginable: God taking on human flesh.
Week 4: The Eternal Passion: What was God’s supreme motive in sending Jesus to earth? His own glory.
Christmas Reading: The Divine Person: Christmas should cause us to admire the most beautiful, the most loving Person we will ever know: our glorious Savior, Jesus.
Download a pdf of the Advent II booklet by clicking here: Advent II.