Ahhh, it’s almost Christmas! Some of you are giddy with excitement while others could stand to wait a few weeks to start rolling out the red and green. My girls (one in particular) could not wait to get the Christmas boxes out and start preparing our home to celebrate the birth of Jesus. She took great care in turning the manger toward Mary’s face, so she was sure to keep a watchful mother’s eye over the baby King.

Jesus Came!

It’s no shock that the Christmas season can evoke a range of emotions among people. If you’re in the camp who isn’t too excited about this season’s festivities or cringes just a bit when you hear Christmas music, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer asking Jesus to point you to the root of those emotions. The truth is, we celebrate this season because Jesus CAME! He came for us, determined not to leave us to ourselves and the deceitful thoughts that the enemy can throw at us. He came to rescue us from the bondage of sin, the bondage that often cripples us from enjoying the gifts He has given to us…like the gift of Christmas.

Patient Waiting & Hopeful Expectation

One of our favorite traditions of Christmas is Advent. Advent is patient waiting and hopeful expectation. It is the celebration that Jesus came to redeem His people and He will return again to this world as the conquering King. It’s a look back and a look forward.

This advent season, we have an opportunity to be intentional with the discipleship in our homes. If you’ve never celebrated Advent as a family, you are invited to begin a new tradition, no matter your children’s ages.

Resources for Families

There is no right or wrong way to do Advent. I have compiled a list of resources below that you could possibly use in your home. The resources will vary depending on the ages of your children.  On Sundays, November 14 and 21, I will have physical copies of these resources for you to pickup and look through. You can order the ones you would like to use and have them ready to go before Advent begins. Traditionally, advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year, that is Sunday, November 28, 2021.

As you prayerfully decide how to celebrate Advent in your home, please remember that there is absolutely no substitute for the Word of God. His word is our only source of absolute truth, and that should be incorporated into your routine of Advent. Many of these resources are rich with scripture references. Be sure not to skim over those quickly. Read them slowly and purposefully, pointing out to your children that we can know God through his Word, and His Word can be trusted.

My Prayer

My prayer is that all of our hearts, from the youngest of babies to the oldest among us, will be overflowing with the joy of Christmas, the unexplainable miracle that God sent His Son to rescue and redeem us.

Merry Christmas!

May the JOY of Jesus fill your hearts and home this Christmas season as we rejoice that He came to redeem us, and He will come again!

Suggested Resources for Advent

Click on the links to read more or order the resource.

Jesus Storybook Bible packet

(free resource best suited for preschool and early elementary ages)

The Way to the Manger by Jeff and Abbey Land

(a daily read aloud best suited for younger children through elementary)

A Jesus Christmas by Barbara Reaoch

(a daily devotional guide for children through middle school age)

Jotham’s Journey Collection: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide

(a daily read aloud suited for elementary age and older. If you’ve read Jotham, look for Tabitha’s Travels, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Ishtar’s Odyssey.)

The Book of Luke – Illuminated Scripture Journal 

(a daily reading of Luke with journaling space)

Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp

(a daily reading best suited for high school to adult)

Advent Video Series with Derwin Gray

(advent video devotionals best suited for middle school to adult. A RightNow account is required. If you do not have one, let us know and we will get you set up.)