Entering Advent with Intention

December 1 begins the season of Advent, observed by Christians world–wide as a time of expectant waiting, anticipation, and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Messiah.  The term derives from Latin, and literally means “the approach” or “the arrival.”  Jesus himself instructs His followers to “Watch. Stay awake. Get ready and prepare!”  What better time to build disciples, especially in our families?

A key word defining Advent is preparation, and preparation requires intentionality.  It takes careful thought, planning, creativity, and intentionality to lead our families in the path of following Jesus, the Christ–child.

A few years ago, I was dismayed to learn of a church near where we lived in southern California, advertising their Christmas Eve services with the following, attention–grabbing bullet points:

  • Experience live animals in our nativity scene.
  • Capture the moment in our photo booth.
  • Enjoy cookies & hot chocolate.
  • Hop on board the Christmas train.
  • Test your skills at the “snowball” toss.
  • Dash through the water in a giant bubble–roller.

Wow! … Really?! … It sounded more like a carnival at the county fair, than ways to prepare to meet Emmanuel.  Is this what it takes in our culture to prepare our families to receive “God with us”?

Intentionally building disciples in our families during this month of anticipation and preparation … in a “counter–cultural” way … will be aided by the following online resources.  Click on each link to be directed to another website, or to download a printable document.

The Advent ProjectBiola University produces this daily, content–rich, media–filled resource incorporating devotionals, artwork, music, and videos.  Begins December 2 and continues through January 7.

Good News of Great Joy … John Piper wrote these daily readings for Advent in the form of a printable document.  It can also be read online at Desiring God’s website.

The Glory of the One & Only Son … Denver Seminary compiles these daily devotions into a printable document.  This can also be read online at Denver Seminary’s website.

Family Advent Guide … Lifeway Christian Resources created this printable document including devotions, activities, and discussion questions that will help us celebrate the birth of Jesus with our kids.

Christmas Flash Mob … Enjoy this video filmed by Journey of Faith Church at a busy shopping center in southern California!

Share these resources with family and friends.  Post a comment on this blog about how you used one of these resources to build disciples during Advent.

  • “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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