Many people see Advent as a calendar that you get a treat from every year before Christmas. In this post, I want to share with you how Advent has changed my relationship with Jesus. My view of the fun calendar of activities has changed to a sacred event. When I first heard about Advent, I was immediately excited. Over the following days, I spent hours reading and researching until I felt my heart understand this celebration. In the upcoming weeks, I planned a Bible study with a friend and led a group of women through Advent. Learning about this season has changed my life for the better.
I grew up believing Christmas was about Santa and gifts. Nothing else. If Santa didn’t come, Christmas didn’t happen. Around 10 or 11 years old, my mother started to take us to church for the first time. I learned that Christmas was about Christ... Jesus. Many years later, Santa is not a thing in my house, gifts are not the focus of the season, and Jesus is everything. We get one gift each, and we are all happy with that. To compensate for the Christmas morning experience, we go all out on birthdays, the day we actually celebrate ourselves. Advent made all of this happen. No longer does the holiday season revolve around gifts and Christmas morning, but four weeks of celebrating Jesus.
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “anticipation.” The season of Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas; this year, we begin on Nov 29th and end on Christmas Eve. Advent is a season of anticipation, Jesus's Second Coming, and the remembrance of His birth. The people of the old testament anticipated the first coming of Christ. We as His followers get to celebrate, “He has come, He has Risen!” We get to see what He has done and who He is. There are four Sundays in Advent, which are days of reflection, prayer, and celebration. The first week is Hope. Hope for a future with Jesus in eternity, that life doesn’t end here. The lighting of a candle invites the celebration into our homes, along with a scripture reading each week. The second week is Peace. Peace in our hearts as we anticipate His renewal of Heaven and Earth during His second coming. The candles sit in a round holder representing eternity. The candle holder is usually a wreath of evergreen, representing eternity as well. The third week is Joy, celebrating the Creator of the Universe coming to Earth as a man. The week of Joy has a rose-colored candle signifying that Jesus is coming, rejoice. The last week is Love, seeing and knowing the sacrifice Jesus made and God's great love for us. We remember that He sent His one and only Son to die for us. At the end of the four weeks, it's Christmas Day, the day we celebrate Jesus, who He is, what He's done, and what He will do. Lighting a white candle on Christmas represents Jesus. Lighting the candles has made Advent a tangible season--a season to see who Jesus is.
Advent is a season where we get to start new. In the last month of the year, we get to renew--heart and mind, focusing on Jesus and who we are in Him. It allows us to start another new year with a mind open to all of His possibilities. After the year that we have all had, Advent seems more critical than ever. We may not know what the rest of this year or the next year holds, but I do know one thing: Jesus is King. He is God in the flesh who chose to come to this earth and live as a man. He decided to die on a cross and experience something an eternal being was never meant to experience, to pay for our sins. His sacrifice is the only one that was sufficient enough to cover up our wrongs. Jesus is pure and beautiful. He is all we need. Even though I don't know what will happen, I can say that I know that He will be with me.
Advent is full of tradition, candle lighting, and family. My family has a wreath and candles that go on our dining room table. We light one candle each Sunday and read scripture. Over the years, I have made ornaments and calendars with Pinterest’s help, but I need something ready to use this go around. My family will be using the Daily Grace C.O.’s “Advent Family Bundle” and the “Hymns for Advent” for myself. Last year I read Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift,” I also printed off her Jesse Tree ornaments. Pinterest is an excellent resource for Advent ideas and information, but this year I needed a break.
I wanted resources that go together and had activities for my son. The Daily Grace C.O. bundle made the most sense. The bundle comes with cards, a devotional, ornaments, and a children’s book. This post is not sponsored, by the way. I wanted to share what I am really doing for Advent. I have also linked a few more resources from “She Reads Truth” and “Proverbs 31 Ministries.” You can celebrate Advent however you want, all-out, as I do, or a personal devotional. It’s up to you. The main thing is, make sure you pray and ask God if you should celebrate this year.
Please take a moment and follow this link for details, history, and items for Advent; CLICK HERE. This website explains Advent thoroughly, why the candles are essential, and so on; it’s a good read if you’re nerdy like me.
Would you please join me for this season of Advent? Would you take the time to dedicate 24 days to Jesus? Advent is a perfect time for fasting, to make sure that we're focusing on prayer time with the Lord. Pray and ask God if there's anything that He would like you to give up so that you would have more time with Him. To have our minds and our hearts renewed in Jesus, we need to spend time with Jesus. As the new year starts and we do not know what it holds, I pray that we would not be anxious but look forward to a future with anticipation. As the woman in Proverbs 31 looked at her future and laughed, I want to look at my future and laugh in celebration of Jesus.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.”
Proverbs 31:25 NIV
I would love to pray for you.
“Lord, I pray you would bless each woman who reads this that she would be able to find the study and the resources that work best for her. Lord, that you would open up her heart to Jesus in a new way. That each family celebrating Advent would grow and change. Lord, that in this season of anticipation that you would give us patient hearts. Jesus melt away the anxiety and frustration. Jesus, thank you for everything you've done for us! Amen.”
Join me on November 29th, 2020, to celebrate and refocus on Jesus.
Advent supplies and more:
Daily Grace C.O. Advent Resources: CLICK HERE
She Reads Truth Advent Resources: CLICK HERE.
Ann Voskamp’s Advent Resources: CLICK HERE.
Proverbs 31 Ministry Advent Resource: CLICK HERE
Advent Candles and Wreaths make for a festive and tangible experience. I found my candles at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.
Here are a few extra links for Advent Candles and Extras:
Advent candles and holder, this is the best price I have seen, I have never ordered from this company:
None of these sites have affiliate links. I am sharing resources to be helpful and am receiving no sponsorships.
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