Advent allows us the opportunity to center our thoughts on the hope we have been given through Jesus. It is a beautiful chance to remember the hope that God’s son offers to our lost and dying world. It is the best time of the year!
Galatians 4:4-8 says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.”
Paul, the writer of Galatians, articulates so perfectly the great hope that Christmas reminds us of! Without God’s intervention, we were all slaves! We were bound up by our sin nature and hopelessly headed to the grave. Because of God’s great love for us, He came down and rescued humanity by sending his Son as a sacrifice for our sins, so we could be free from the chains of sin and become fully part of God’s glorious eternal family.
As we prepare our hearts for Jesus’ arrival, let’s stir up in our hearts and homes in order to grow a sense of anticipation. Over this Advent, pray that hope would rise up in our spirits in a tangible and life-giving way. Let’s invite God’s Holy Spirit in our Holiday Season! A beautiful way to help us ignite joy over advent is through the daily reading of an advent devotional. Here are some beautifully composed advent books to help you prepare for Christmas celebrations!
1. Shadow and Light: A Journey Into Advent
Shadow and Light: A Journey Into Advent by Tsh Oxenreider is a lovely book! I personally love the cover and little artful details that are scattered through the pages. Tsh does a wonderful job unpacking the meaning and traditions that are followed by many Christians over Advent. She gives us daily texts, verses, prayers, questions, prompts to listen to certain songs, and prompts for reflection. This is a book you could read through on your own or with the family. Each devotion is short but full of good content.
2. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas
This is a great devotion to do with the whole family. Ann Voskamp, a bestselling author, provides devotions, prayers, readings, activities, and even downloadable ornaments to make with the kids. She retraces the lineage of Jesus, helping us to see God’s beautiful plan for salvation. This is a devotion that will offer you so much great content for your family to reflect on over the holiday season.
3. God With Us
God With Us by Catherine Pawlak was created to make the celebration of Advent simple, fun, and gospel-focused for the entire family. This book provides 25 daily readings corresponding with 25 symbols, short prayers, and extension activities. At the back of the book, there are images of the day’s ornaments that can be cut out to add to your tree. Felt ornaments can be purchased separately.
4. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu offers interactive devotionals for the family, five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus, and includes suggestions for fun-filled family activities or service projects. This devotion is great for individuals or for the family. It focuses on the person and character of Jesus through the Advent season, helping readers prepare their hearts so they can truly come to adore their Savior!
5. Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope
Waiting Here For You by Louie Giglio helps us anticipate rather than dread the busy season of Advent and Christmas. We can become consumed with busyness over the holidays, but this devotion is an invitation to step away from some of our stress and find peace, joy, and hope, and rejoice in the promise fulfilled in our newborn King. In the updated 2020 edition of the devotion, Louie brings you on an Advent journey of hope to discover waiting is not wasting when you are waiting on the Lord. This is a wonderful devotion to prompt personal reflection and growth over Advent.
6. The God Who Is with Us: 25-Day Devotional for Advent
The God Who Is with Us takes you through a twenty-five-day Advent journey. It includes daily reflections on gospel truths taken from Scripture. Through the readings, we are reminded that God never abandons his people and is present with us in our most difficult seasons. The illustrations add an extra layer of depth to the study, and there is also space for journaling and reflection. This book is a great holiday keepsake and a way to reflect each year for your family.
7. The Expected One, Revised and Updated: Anticipating All of Jesus in the Advent
Every year we need help remembering what this Advent season is all about. This sweet devotional points your home back to Jesus. Scott James brings to light many of the promises of Christ. He shows us the many ways God demonstrates his lavish love for us. This devotional is good for the family or just for individual reading. This book is a great tool to help you keep Jesus at the center of the season.
8. Our Hope Has Come – Bible Study Book: Celebrating the Promise of Advent
This is a great book if you would like to gather with others to study the Christmas story as a group. Use this study with your small group over the months of November and December to prepare your hearts as a community for the Christmas season. This includes personal study segments and homework, leader guide questions, and activities for kids, students, and adults. Capture the wonder of the Christmas story through this intentional study for you and your community.
Psalm 46:10-11 says, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” As you make intentional decisions about how to focus your home on our Savior, make sure you take time out to pause and remember that we serve a good and mighty God! He is worth our worship. Keep him at the forefront of your family’s focus over this sweet time of celebration.
Photo Credit: ©Sparrowstock/David Clark
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.