What is Advent?
Advent simply means the coming or arrival of a person, thing, or event. Advent usually describes the time of preparation and focus leading up to Christmas which celebrates the coming of Christ from heaven to earth. This year Advent starts on November 29 (the 4th Sunday before Christmas Day) and continues through Christmas Eve.
The weeks leading up to Christmas can be so busy and distracting from the real celebration of Christ's birth. Advent is a way to slow down and focus on Christ each and every day as we get closer to Christmas. Jews in the Old Testament looked forward to and anticipated the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, who would save them from their sins. The Son of God came as a baby boy, born of a virgin, and they called his name Jesus because he would save them from their sins. He lived a sinless life, took the penalty for our sin on the cross, was resurrected on the 3rd day, ascended into heaven 40 days later, and is now preparing a place for us. The Bible promises he will return to take those who believe in him to be with him in the new heavens and new earth. Advent is a time for Christians to not only celebrate the 1st coming of Christ, but to look forward to and anticipate the 2nd coming of Christ, much like the Old Testament saints anticipated His 1st coming. We ought to live with hope and expectation for his return!
How do I celebrate Advent?
Families celebrate Advent in many different ways. The important thing is not necessarily "how", but "that" you celebrate. Just be intentional to take time each day to focus on Christ in some special way individually or together as a family. Some families and churches celebrate advent by lighting a candle each week on an advent wreath symbolizing each of the advent themes (hope, peace, joy, and love) and then lighting a 5th candle on Christmas Day. Others celebrate with different types of advent calendars and do something special on each day. Still others read devotional books, make crafts, or color ornaments, all in hopes of focusing on Christ, the greatest gift, instead of simply presents and Santa.
Here is our updated collection of Advent resources to help you and your family celebrate Christ's first coming and to look forward to his second coming!
- Click here to listen to our Advent sermons over the years.
- Do you see what I see? with Ornaments by Watermark | Free
- Advent Ornament Book by Austin Stone Community Church | Free
- Preparing the Way for Jesus Advent Calendar by Focus on the Family | Free
- Weekly Family Advent Guide by Lifeway | Free
- Jesus Story Book Bible Advent Calendar and Ornaments | Free
- Videos, Devotionals, and Activities by Advent Conspiracy | Free
- Daily ornament crafts by Truth in Tinsel | $10
- Advent Liturgies and Devotional by Austin Stone Community Church | Free
- Weekly Family Advent Guide by The Village Church | Free
- The Expected One by Scott James | $10
- A Jesus Christmas by Barbara Reoach | $10
- Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade | $15
- The Littlest Watchman by Scott James | $15
- A Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchel | $13
- Christ our Hope by Radical and David Platt | Free
- To us a Son is given by Radical and David Burnette | Free
- Good News of Great Joy by John Piper | Free ebook
- The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper | Free ebook
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus edited by Nancy Guthrie | $12
- Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp | $8
- Love Came Down at Christmas by Sinclair Ferguson | $13
- Men's & Women's Advent Study Books by She Reads Truth & He Reads Truth
These albums listed below represent a wide variety of worshipful music for the Advent season: original music and well-known covers; quiet, reflective instrumentals and soulful ballads; deep Scriptural poetry and fun holiday rhymes. Whatever you listen to, may it all be for the glory of God in Christ, whose coming we celebrate and anticipate.
Concert & Carols by Graham Jones - December 1, 2021
Songs of Hope: TGC Advent Concert - December 6, 2021
Christmas Eve featuring Good News, Great Joy - December 24, 2021
- Good News, Great Joy by Graham Jones (Coming 2021) | Kickstarter
- Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- Annual Christmas Songs Vol. 1-10 by Folk Angel | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- Waiting Songs by Rain for Roots | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- The Light Came Down by Josh Garrels | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- The Gift by 116 | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- Prepare Him Room by Sovereign Grace Music | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- Christmas by Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
- The Living Room Sessions (Christmas Instrumental) by Chris Rice | Apple | Amazon | Spotify
10 Best Advent Albums of 2010's by Brett McCracken and The Gospel Coalition
- TGC's 2020 Advent Playlist by Brett McCracken | Apple | Spotify
- Worship Fully by Advent Conspiracy
- Kids Worship Fully by Advent Conspiracy
- Advent Art Project by Biola University | Free
Also, check out Empty Plate Love for another way to show the sacrificial love of Christ to the world this Christmas Season.