Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
If you’re one of those people who plays Christmas music before the Thanksgiving turkey even hits your digestive track, you’re forgiven… but just this once. =) If you have been patiently waiting to begin the celebration of the Christmas season… the. time. is. here! Christmas music is blaring at our house and we can’t stop dancing and smiling. O, Come! O, Come! Emmanuel!
Advent begins Sunday and we want you to be informed as to what Advent is and get you some resources so you can celebrate it with you and yours.
Let’s start with what Advent is:
Watch this video and learn:
Or read this lengthy quote from David Mathis over at Desiring God:
Advent is an annual season of patient waiting, hope- ful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching marked by many churches, Christian families, and indi- vidual followers of Jesus. There’s no biblical mandate to observe Advent. It’s an optional thing—a tradition that developed over the course of the church’s history as a time of preparation for Christmas Day. Many of us find observing Advent to be personally enjoyable and spiritu- ally profitable.
The English word “Advent” is from the Latin adven- tus, which means “coming.” The advent primarily in view each December is the first coming of Jesus two millennia ago. But Jesus’s second coming gets drawn in as well, as the popular Christmas carol “Joy to the World” makes plain:
No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found.
Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends Christmas Eve. This means the earliest it begins, depending on where that Sunday falls, is November 27, and the latest it starts is December 3. Whereas Lent (the season of preparation for Easter) is 40 days, Advent ranges in length from 22 to 29 days.
Christians throughout the world have their different ways of celebrating Advent. Some light candles. Some sing songs. Some eat candies. Some give gifts. Some hang wreaths. Many of us do all of the above. Christians have developed many good ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond merely the short 24 hours of December 25. The incarnation of the Son of God, “for us and for our salvation,” as the old creed says it, is too big a thing to appreciate in just one day. Indeed, it’s something the Christian will celebrate for all eternity.
that’s a short overview of what Advent is and some of the resources below will go even deeper into the meaning and history of Advent, so check them out.
Here are a couple of Advent devotional guides:
- From The Village Church (fellow Acts 29 church)
- From Desiring God
- Especially for Kids, From Our Friends at Story Warren
- From the folks at Gospel Centered Discipleship
Here is an informative Advent post:
- From Mars Hill (fellow Acts 29 church)
Here are some books:
- Beginning with God at Christmas
- The Advent Book
- Treasuring God in Our Traditions
- Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas
Here is some music:
- Advent Songs
- Behold The Lamb of God
- Any of The Christmas Albums from Folk Angel
- Songs for Christmas and/or Silver and Gold from Sufjan Stevens
And here is something to inspire you with the beauty of this season:
Alright, how about you?! What are you doing for Advent or what have you done for Advent in the past? Discuss below.
AND Merry Christmas!!!