If you’ve been around here very long you know I love the Advent season. Though I didn’t know much about it growing up, it’s been a life-giving practice in my adulthood. If “Advent” is new to you, it’s simply the four week period leading up to Christmas. Churches often have a special scripture reading and light a candle each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Individuals and families might light candles on an advent wreath and read a daily or weekly devotional that prepares their heart to worship throughout the season.
Last year, I stumbled upon several incredible resources, and I have been waiting ALL YEAR LONG to share them with you! I have used them and loved them. Any of these resources will move you toward Jesus, and relight the embers of a love that might have grown dim through the year.
Remarkable Advent: God’s Extraordinary Plan through Ordinary People
Sound familiar? This one is mine 😊 This 25-day Advent devotional grew out of a realization that I’d failed to really hear certain parts of the Christmas story. Somewhere between the flannel graph and my grown-up Bible, fascination had waned. As I read slowly and studied through the Christmas story in the gospels, my fascination with God’s work was rekindled.
Each day’s reading includes a scripture, a fictional retelling highlighting one person from the Christmas story, and a prayer. You can download a free 4-day sample here.
Daily Readings for Kids and Families
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones (<~affiliate link)
Granted, it’s not a Christmas book. It’s not even a complete children’s Bible, but the subtitle says it all: “Every story whispers His name.” And so the author starts at the beginning and shows how each story in the Old Testament actually pointed to the coming of Jesus. If you begin reading the book on December 1, and read one story each night, on Christmas Eve you will finish with the story of the wise men bringing gifts to baby Jesus.
I don’t know if the publisher planned it that way or not, but it is my favorite Advent tradition. And this is the book where I make my boys humor me. I read it out loud to them. Because I’m the mom. (This full-color hard back is $5 on Christianbook.com!!)
Daily Reading for Adults and Teens
Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative by Russ Ramsey (<~affiliate link)
With artful storytelling and bits of biblical history sprinkled throughout, Russ Ramsey is a gentle theologian. In 25 short chapters, he draws from Scripture and looks “toward both wonder and ground-level detail…he brings to life the people, the places, and the earth-shaking significance of the greatest story ever told—the true tall tale of the coming of Christ.” (quote from the back cover).
This was what I read in December last year, and I’ve been waiting all year to share it! Mine is dog-eared and underlined. You can get $5 off this book on Amazon when you use the promo code NOVBOOK18. That promo code is good through 11:59 PST on November 25th!
And one more…
Daily Audio Devotional: Solid Joys by John Piper (FREE)
Here’s a free 25-day Advent devotional telling how God has always used ordinary people in unfavorable circumstances to fulfill his extraordinary plan. http://shaunaletellier.com/advent/ Click To Tweet
4 Advent resources for individuals or families. Click To Tweet
I was so thrilled to find this podcast just in time for Advent last year! Phrases from these audio devotionals written and spoken by John Piper have been rattling around my heart all year. Each recording is less than five minutes long. We listened to them in the evenings, and if we missed a day, it was easy to catch up. I started listening on December 1, but there is a recording for every day of the year.
All other apps (scroll down to Solid Joys)
Have a recommendation? Hop on over to Facebook and tell me your Advent favorites!