This has been a difficult year, filled with tension and waiting. When will this pandemic end? When will we get a vaccine? When will my kids be able to travel and see their grandparents? When can I stop worrying about my loved ones? If you’re like me, you could use a break!
The events of the past year have invaded our comfortable, predictable lives and put us in a position where we lack control. We long for peace, stability, and hope. This winter, we have a unique opportunity to engage with the themes and traditions of Advent in a meaningful way as our grief and restlessness peak during the holidays.
The Advent season of the church calendar is a time of anticipation and waiting that emphasizes the ancient Israelites’ historical longing for the Messiah and the Christian’s continued longing for Christ’s return to “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Christmas is the culmination of this season as we celebrate Jesus’ arrival on earth to save us from sin and death. I don’t know about you, but I really need to remember this good news right now.
If you are looking for ways to participate in Advent, feel free to peruse the list of resources below:
Andrew Peterson’s Advent album is a thoughtful survey of the biblical story up until Jesus’ birth. One of its greatest strengths is its description of the connections between the Old Testament scriptures and the life of Christ. It is available on: Amazon Music or Spotify
Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts compiles a fantastic Advent devotional every year. Each day’s entry offers visual art, music, poetry, scripture, and a short commentary on the events and themes of Advent. I always appreciate the diversity of voices and mediums represented in these posts. You can view it or subscribe here.
I love Keith and Kristyn Getty’s hymn albums for children. They help my kids learn traditional hymns and aren’t repetitive or simple, like some children’s music. You can stream their Christmas album on Amazon Prime or Spotify.
Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible is a great read for kids and adults alike. It teaches solid biblical truths and emphasizes the coming and return of Christ in most of its stories, which makes it perfect for Advent. It’s available for purchase on Amazon. My son also loves the Audible version. Jones also has an Advent guide available on her website.
Christmas always comes with hard questions from our kindergartener. How can a baby be God? What is sin? Why did Jesus come to earth? If you struggle to find the right words to answer your kids’ questions as I do, The New City Catechism has a great app and catchy songs to help parents and kids.
May God bless you and your family throughout this Advent season!