With Thanksgiving behind and Christmas ahead, many churches will enter the Advent season this Sunday. If you’re like me (raised more generally evangelical), the richness of Advent is often an after thought.
I know for many churches this is the time of year we play Christmas songs and light Advent candles. The Sunday after Christmas becomes a New Year celebration and then we go back to church as usual until Easter.
But that’s not how the church has thought of Advent for many centuries. Advent comes from the Latin word veni for “to come.” Advent approaches Christmas from three temporal perspectives: 1) Jesus has come as a baby; 2) Jesus is come because of His perfect life, death and resurrection, by His Spirit, in His Church and through His Word; and 3) Jesus is coming again. The celebration of his birth takes on fresh meaning as each of these perspectives are explored.
Like you, I’m always in search of resources to help me deepen my awareness of Christ and his arrival during this season. Here are some I’ve come across recently. I’d love it if you would share songs, books or websites that you have found helpful.
4 Resources to Aid Your Advent Celebration
1) Bruce Benedict and his friends at Cardiphonia have created a great list of Advent related worship albums coming from local churches seeking to be biblically rooted and culturally relevant to their communities. See the albums here. Bruce also compiled a listing of great devotionals. I encourage you to check out the one from Christ Church Berkeley.
One of the music projects highlighted comes from Sovereign Grace Music. I like this song:
2) Dave Meserve and his artist friends in Denver, CO have created three different advent devotionals. Each devotional looks at the advent prophecies and fulfillment from various perspectives, always allowing great art and modern renderings to guide the journey. See the guides here.
3) Worship Leader Magazine also recently released a list of new Christmas projects. One of my favorites from this list comes from Keith & Kristyn Getty. They provide some classic sounding songs with rich lyrics and the soothing sound of Irish instruments.
There are many good songs on this recording, including this one:
4) BibleGateway also has a listing of free email devotionals you can receive during advent.
I’d love to hear what advent devotionals and albums you’ll be using this year.