Advent is the season leading up to Christmas and it begins with the four Sundays before December 25th. 1 Peter 1:10-12 gives a picture of what it means to look back during Advent. Verse 12 stands out to me because it says these saints of the past were serving us. We are on the other side now of Christ’s birth – the waiting for his arrival is over but the reality is we are still waiting for His second coming. We are still waiting for redemption. Advent can be looked at as a season to look back and one to look forward preparing for Jesus second coming.Advent can be looked at as a season to look back and one to look forward preparing for Jesus second coming.Click To Tweet
Our family doesn’t do a traditional advent wreath, we have in years past but we take this time to focus our reading on the birth of Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies of His coming. For us, it usually happens around the dinner table because we’re already gathered.
You have so many options in how to celebrate Advent season. I know many of us are not in churches where advent is celebrated but my hope is we would still take time to celebrate the wonder of Christmas and again ponder as Mary a bit deeper these truths.
Setting aside time to read a good devotional book together along with the scriptures is a great way to do this. There are so many resources out there now for advent readings for families with children of all ages so choose one that works with your family or make your own by using the scriptures and songs.
Families with young children may benefit from using an advent calendar. Try to find one that has a Christ-focused theme to use. There are some cute ones with nativity scenes so as you count down the days with your readings by sharing maybe just bits of the Christmas story with your littles each day.
Noel Piper shared in her Treasuring God in Our Traditions book a good reminder as we continue on in the 1 Peter 1 verses. In verse 13 it says “Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
She reminds us that Advent is a season for introspection – or pondering as Mary did. She shared some questions that I keep in my journal to ask myself this time of year:
- Am I clear thinking and sober-minded, or are my thoughts mainly trivial?
- Is my hope set fully on the grace I will receive from Jesus at His Second Coming, or do I cringe at the thought of leaving behind the life I love?
- Am I an obedient child of my Father, or am I still shaped by the passions that drove me before I became a Christian?
Family Devotional Readings:
Come Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul Tripp
Good News of Great Joy at Desiring God (free PDF download)
The Dawning of Indestructible Joy at Desiring God (free PDF Download)
Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Daily Family Devotions for Advent by Nancy Guthrie
Personal Devotional Readings:
Our Deliverer: An Advent Devotional for Moms at Gentle Leading
Good News of Great Joy: 25 Advent Meditations by John Piper at Desiring God
Come Adore: The Gospel in Carols at Revive Our Hearts
Three Wise Men Walk into a Barn at Knowing Faith Podcast
Celebrating Advent with Little Ones at Risen Motherhood
Longings Fulfilled Through Advent by Sally Clarkson
The Messiah at The Bible Project
The Innkeeper by John Piper
My prayer always is that we desire to have a Christ-centered celebration for ourselves and our families but the greater hope during this season is that our faith and hope in Jesus would be deepened and strengthened and that we would look with anticipation and joy in His coming again.
Advent Resources at Risen Motherhood (some great ideas here for advent wreaths, children’s nativity sets and much more)