Last Sunday marked the beginning of the Advent Season in the historic Church calendar. Advent means “coming,” and during this season we spend time focusing upon the doctrine of the Incarnation–the fact that God the Son took on flesh and became one us. It truly boggles the mind, and it will take an eternity to explore just how glorious this truth is! Celebrate this season as we pull out all the stops to worship and honor the God who would stop at nothing to rescue us!
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32-33
Admittedly, there is nothing in the Bible about an official “Advent” season, and so there is no requirement that we mark it in any way; it’s simply a practice Christians have often found wise and helpful down through the centuries, and one we participate in as a church–and one I’d encourage you to participate in as well.
Here are some practical steps that I believe will be a blessing to you and your family:
Pick an Advent devotional or reading plan and use it this season.
While Advent has already begun, there is still time to catch up, or jump in on a reading plan. Below is a simple reading plan from “The First Days of Jesus”, by Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart–an excellent resource for all things related to the birth of Jesus in Scripture.
This plan takes you through some passages you may not have considered “Christmas related,” but they weave into the story God is telling, and I’d encourage you to read each one.
Reading plan from “The First Days of Jesus”, by Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart:
|An account from eyewitnesses
|The scepter of Judah
|Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-5
|A child is born; a branch of Jesse
|A ruler is born in Bethlehem
|The virgin birth
|The visit of the magoi
|Escape to Egypt
|Return to Nazareth
|John the Baptist’s birth foretold
|Jesus’s birth foretold
|Mary’s visit to Elizabeth
|Mary’s song (Magnificat)
|Birth of John the Baptist
|Zechariah’s song (Benedictus)
|Birth of Jesus Christ
|The angelic announcement
|Simeon’s and Anna’s prophecies
|The preexistent Word
|John the Baptist’s witness
|The law, grace, and truth
|The suffering servant
|A new heaven and a new earth
“The Dawning of Indestructible Joy” by John Piper, and “Come, Let Us Adore Him”, by Paul David Tripp are also excellent Advent devotionals.
Consider doing an Advent wreath or calendar with your family.
Consider doing an Advent wreath or calendar with your family each day of Advent to highlight just how special this time of year is. Additionally, don’t leave the Advent theme out of your family’s devotional time!
Plan to attend church each Sunday.
If you’re able, make church attendance during Advent attendance a high priority. You’ll be glad you did!
Prepare your heart–and the hearts of your children–for worship each Sunday ahead of time.
That is, of course, always a great idea. Go to bed a little earlier on Saturday night. Get up a little earlier on Sunday morning so you’re not as rushed getting ready. Remind your kids (and yourself) that you’re going to celebrate the fact that Jesus came to rescue us! Arrive a little early to service, and be ready to worship. It is, after all, about Him, not us. So, let’s think about how we can offer him our worship, even if we may not initially feel like doing it.
By God’s grace, we’ll make a big deal out of Jesus this season, showing once again that He is better.
Grace & Peace,
Brian Henson & Trinity Community Church
Learn More About Trinity
Trinity Community is an ACTS 29 church that exists to make Jesus famous and help others find their hope and joy in Him.