What is Advent?
Advent is a time of waiting, expectation, and longing. The word “Advent” means “coming.” Christians observe and celebrate the season of Advent as a time of preparation and reflection in anticipation of Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birth, as well as the promised second coming of Jesus Christ. The Advent season begins on the first of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Advent begins this year on Sunday, December 3, and ends with Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve Services – Sunday, December 24, at 6 + 8 PM
[Childcare available only at 6 PM; communion only at 8 PM]
This year we have three suggested activities to help you prepare and reflect during this season:
If you are a looking for daily readings, we recommend "Good News of Great Joy" written by John Piper and available online as a PDF. It contains a reading for each day (December 1-25) centered on adoring Jesus--"the baby born in Bethlehem, the God-man in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, destined for Calvary, sent by his Father to die and rise again for his people."
If you prefer a daily devotional with a more theological bend, we recommend the "Journey to the Manger" Advent devotional provided by the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Each day, from December 3 through December 25, you will receive an email devotional authored by a Gordon-Conwell faculty member, helping you prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Click here to sign up to receive the emails.
For families with young children, we recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Guide. The guide contains a reading plan, which traces God's hand through the big story of "God's Great Rescue Plan." It also has printable ornaments for each day in Advent. The guide requires a copy of "The Jesus Storybook Bible" which can be purchased online.