The word “Advent” means coming. It marks the season just before Christmas Day when followers of Jesus remember how Jesus came into the world.
If you come from a religious background, perhaps Advent conjures up memories of home and church traditions, candles and prayers, colors and decorations. For many others, Advent simply calls to mind the chocolates behind those tiny doors. Maybe you’ve never celebrated Advent in any way; it seems like a foreign concept.
But in a holiday season characterized by busyness and hectic schedules, we need Advent more than ever. The ancient Church, in her wisdom, recognized that the arrival of God in human form was not just a casual appearance, but an event that has altered the course of history, giving us hope in the darkest of times. As such, Advent is not just about one day—Christmas and the gifts we exchange—but the season of waiting and anticipation for God’s gift to us: his Son Jesus. We wait and anticipate God’s invasion into our lives, our communities, and our world.
Advent 2017: The Weary World Rejoices
So as the year winds down and another holiday season approaches, how are you feeling? Excited? Joyful? Hopeful? For some of us, if we’re honest, we’re tired. Weary. Whether it’s a demanding family situation, a tiring job, or an uphill battle against a bad habit—life can wear us down. During the month of December, we’ll reflect on the ancient words of the prophet Isaiah to bring hope to a weary world.
Sunday Worship Schedule
Here’s our upcoming schedule for Advent, Christmas and into next year:
- Advent Sundays (December 3, 10, 17) – normal 9am and 5pm Sunday worship services.
- December 24 – special 5pm Christmas Eve service.
- December 31 – no service, enjoy the holidays!
- January 7 – Normal Sunday worship service schedule resumes.
We also encourage you to celebrate Advent, not just on Sundays, but at home each day as we move closer and closer to Christmas morning. There are a number of practices you can engage in that will make this season more meaningful. Christians have traditionally celebrated Advent during the month of December by reading devotionals, reflecting on Scripture, fasting, or doing Advent activities together as a family. There are a number of helpful resources to guide you during Advent. As we learned in our Practice Makes Present series, the goal is not to do all of these practices; but to choose one or two practices that you can do through the whole month. Here are a few we recommend:
Free Online Resources:
- This is a great free Advent guide created by the Village Church in Austin, TX. It has some personal readings and reflections as well as a great family guide for incorporating Advent into your family rhythms.
- If you use the YouVersion Bible app and want something you can read on the go, check out this YouVersion Plan for daily devotionals through Advent
- Our friends at The Neighborhood Church put together this Advent playlist on Spotify, which is a great way to engage with Advent through music.
Advent is a time when Christians have historically practiced fasting. Listen to this message on fasting from our Practice Makes Present series and consider practicing fasting this month.
- Waiting Here For You by Louie Giglio
- The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
- Hidden Christmas by Tim Keller