Advent is upon us which marks a season of anticipation, hope and finally celebration. Beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ending on Christmas eve, Advent helps us prepare for the arrival of our Savior. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival” and is observed with a combination of celebration for Jesus’ birth and hope for the day he returns to fulfill his promise.
Some churches emphasize Advent more than others. In the Christian faith, we could all benefit from extra little reminders about what this season signifies. It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of anxiety and craziness that surrounds Christmas. The weeks after Thanksgiving seem to fly by so quickly that all of a sudden it’s Christmas and we’re experiencing stress about shopping, travel, or cleaning the house for company instead of experiencing joy. By observing Advent we can lengthen the season and ready our hearts for the spiritual meaning behind the holiday.
Some families and churches mark each week with the lighting of a candle on an Advent wreath. But you don’t need a wreath or candles to appreciate customs that celebrate the coming of our Lord. For families with children, Advent can be a great tradition that will help remind your children that Christmas is not all about Santa and toys. For the next few weeks, we will provide you with Advent devotionals complete with suggested scriptures and songs for your family to reflect on as we humbly await our Savior’s birth.
Advent Week One
Read: Isaiah 40:1-11
Sing: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Remember: In this first week, let’s remember Israel’s hope for the arrival of the Messiah. We can look forward to the day he returns once again to save, forgive, and restore his people.
What blessings has God bestowed you with lately?