Preparing for Jesus: 10 Advent season devotionals

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin in word adventus, which means “coming.” It designates the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a period of preparation for the commemoration of Jesus’ first coming, while anticipating his second. If your faith tradition did not include Advent celebrations, this year might be a good time to consider doing so. Here is a list of a few we like.

  1. For the reader – Emmanuel is a beautifully designed 25-day Advent devotional by Ruth Chou Simmons, which invites you to discover the true miracle of Christmas and prepare room for Jesus – not only through December 25 but all year long. 
  2. For the historian – If you are looking for a way to learn more about the significance and centuries-old traditions of this season in the Christian calendar, The Daily Grace Co. has created beautiful devotionals for men, women, and families that walk you through the four-week Advent candle-lighting experience. 
  3. For the seeker – Tim Keller’s 27-day Advent series focuses on the four fruits of the Spirit we associate with Christmas – hope, love, joy, and peace – to center your heart on the meaning of Christmas. Keller provides a passage, a meditation, and a simple prayer. You can search for the individual days, or sign up to receive a new devotional each day by email.
  4. For the giver – While it’s not actually a Christmas devotional, if you’d like to prepare your heart for this giving season with a biblical understanding of what generosity is and how God can use it to transform your life, you can find the Christmas version of our biblical principles of generosity here.
  5. For the hurting – Sometimes, Christmas is hard. If you’re struggling with feeling disconnected, mourning a loss, concerned about how secular Christmas feels, or already exhausted and will be glad when it’s over, this may be the devotional for you. Dr. Scott Rodin and his daughter, Lindsay, offer Stewarding Christmas to help you discover moments of meaning, joy, peace, and worship. 
  6. For the visually oriented contemplative – If you connect to God through beauty and imagery and don’t have time for a daily meditation, this unique, weekly, 45-minute Zoom experience with Kaleid Project guides women through Visio Divina (an ancient form of Christian prayer that invites God’s presence while considering a sacred image). Morning and lunchtime options are available, as well as an audio recording after each session.
  7. For children and their parents – With all the LEGO- and Hot Wheels-themed Advent calendars out there, it’s easy for parents to feel like they are competing with the shiny new toy when trying to teach their kids the true joy of Christmas. Jesus-focused Advent calendars, like Parent Cue’s Advent box and Lifeway’s downloadable Advent guide, help families with younger children (ages 2-11) keep Jesus at the center of the Christmas season. 
  8. For those longing – There are certain rhythms in our lives, seasons of celebration, reflection, mourning, preparation. The founders of She Reads Truth focus their 2022 five-week Advent experience (with books for men, women, and families) on the hymn, “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” exploring the themes of longing, waiting, and expectation during the Christmas season.  
  9. For the hope-challenged – If you, like many, find the joy of the Christmas season to be dissonant with the state of the world or your life, you may enjoy Kate Bowler’s four-week Advent devotional, which does a wonderful job of acknowledging the darkness while pointing to light – the hope we have in Jesus.
  10. For the podcast listener – Our days fill up fast, especially during Christmastime. While it’s always important to carve out time spent in Scripture each day, sometimes the only quiet moments we have are in the car or while cleaning dishes after dinner. That’s okay! Starting Sunday, November 27, Annie F. Downs will release a daily Advent devotional on her podcast, That Sounds Fun. Pop in some headphones, and don’t let the busyness of the season keep you from being anchored in God’s Word. 
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