When I was a kid, I thought an advent calendar meant a tree or house-shaped box filled with candy. Now there are advent calendars in every shape, flavor, and size. To be honest, I never waited the full 25 days to eat the candy. It was probably all gone by day 7.
Until I really became a Christian, I didn’t really understand what advent was about – the celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ.
It can be so hard to be at peace when Christmas arrives. We are all moving at lightning speed trying to get it all in that we tend to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. While this year might look different, I don’t anticipate the busyness of the season to change. One of the things we need to remember is to slow down and remind ourselves of the true spirit of Christmas.
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Why Celebrate Advent?
According to dictionary.com, advent is “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.”
Specifically, for Christians, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a season of great waiting and anticipation. And a great reminder each year of the goodness and faithfulness of God who sent His One and Only Son into the world to redeem us. The incarnation of Jesus who is fully God, became fully man, is truly worth remembering. This is God’s greatest act of love and it is so amazingly beautiful. The celebration helps prepare our hearts for the coming King.
In an otherwise dim year, make this the year that your family sees God’s light.
Bible Verses for Advent
We celebrate advent because of the coming birth of Jesus Christ. He is God’s greatest Christmas gift! The important thing to remember during advent season is to continually prioritize your focus on Jesus Christ over everything else. We must choose to intentionally slow down and spend time in the presence of the Savior. Sitting down and reading the Word is a great way to escape from the craziness and remember the true spirit of the holiday season.
Isaiah 52:9: Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
John 1:9: The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
Isaiah 7:14: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.
Galatians 4:4-5: When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Zecheriah 6:12-13: You are to tell him: This is what the Lord of Armies says: Here is a man whose name is Branch; he will branch out from his place and build the Lord’s temple. 13 Yes, he will build the Lord’s temple; he will be clothed in splendor and will sit on his throne and rule. There will also be a priest on his throne, and there will be peaceful counsel between the two of them.
John 1:10-13: He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Isaiah 9:6: For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
3 Ways to Celebrate Advent
There are a lot of ways in which we can celebrate the advent season with our families.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about Christmas traditions and fun but I want my kids to remember the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. I want them to remember it as a time focused on Jesus, on the Gospel, and on God’s great plan for us.
Read a Special Advent Devotional
Get a free downloadable Advent Devotional Calendar for your family. There are some awesome kits that you can purchase too.
- The Shepherd on the Search Activity Set: The Shepherd on the Search Advent Calendar and Activity Set are fun family traditions that celebrate the birth of Christ! They are a great way to keep your family conversation focused on a young shepherd who spends the weeks before Christmas looking for God’s greatest gift, Jesus.
- Emmanuel God is With Us Ornament Book: Celebrate Jesus, God’s greatest gift, with this ‘Emmanuel, God With Us’ advent ornament book. Including 7 devotions, Scriptures, and coordinating pop-out ornaments.
- Advent: The Story of Christmas: See, hear, and feel as never before the miraculous fulfillment of the promise of “God with us” through these thirty-one, poignantly retold Advent stories
Worship with Advent Hymns
Worship is a rightful response to the Advent season. It is a time to praise God for his greatest Christmas gift. Worshipping with advent hymns reminds me to focus my eyes on the hope in Jesus Christ. Listening to music that reflects God’s love helps us to slow down, close our eyes and bask in the silence, rest and peace. We can tune into the Holy Spirit and be filled with patience, hope and joy. Oh come, oh Jesus, come!
Some great songs are “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Herald Angels,” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
Spend Time Serving Others
Personally, I work in nonprofits so this comes naturally to me. Despite everything going on this year, we can still find ways to serve others in the community. Time and time again in the Bible we see how Jesus had compassion towards others. Any act of kindness can go along way to sharing the Gospel with others. Plus serving others is a great way to get your family involved with the true meaning of Christmas.
Prayer for Celebrating Advent Season
Rejoice and give praise because Jesus has come and He will come again!
“Dear Lord, I pray that during this advent season, you help me to turn my heart towards the One and Only Son. Thank you for sending Him into the world to bring light into darkness. You give hope and redeem every heart that is broken. Lord, I need you. Be my source of strength amidst the chaos of this season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”