The celebration of Advent begins this Sunday. The purpose of this season of the church year is to look toward the coming of Christ to earth–a season focused on waiting. It is a time of preparing for the glory of Christmas day. Today, I want to share with you a few resources to help you in your celebration of Advent:
**Free Advent Book, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Reading for Advent. The team at Desiring God has published a free Advent devotional guide for 2014. You can use it for your personal devotions as well as duplicate it for your worship team, congregation, etc. Take a look.
**An excellent post titled, Advent: The Lost Art of Celebrating the Waiting by Timothy Paul Jones. In it, Jones writes:
Even on this side of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, there is brokenness in our world that no cart full of Black Friday bargains can fix; there is hunger in our souls that no plateful of pumpkin custard can fill; there is twistedness in our hearts that no terrestrial hand can touch. “The whole creation,” the apostle Paul declared, “has been groaning together for redemption.”
In Advent, Christians embrace the groaning and recognize it not as hopeless whimpering over the paucity of the present moment but as expectant yearning for a divine banquet that Jesus is preparing for us even now. In Advent, the church admits, as poet R.S. Thomas has put it, that “the meaning is in the waiting.” And what we await is a final Advent that is yet to come. Just as the ancient Israelites waited for the coming of the Messiah in flesh, we await the consummation of the good news through the Messiah’s return in glory. In Advent, believers confess that the infant who drew his first ragged breath between a virgin’s knees has yet to speak his final word.
Get the full post here.
**Focus on the Family has several pages to help families make meaningful Christmas memories. Take a look.
I pray that your family and church family will have a wonderful Advent and Christmas this year. Do all you can to make it very meaningful as we celebrate the hope, expectation and birth of our Savior.