The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus and means “arrival or coming.” For many, Christmas can be an overwhelming season filled with busyness, chaos, and distractions. Advent connects our hearts and minds to focus on the actual purpose of this season. For over a thousand years, a wide variety of church traditions around the world have set aside the four weeks leading up to Christmas as a season of celebration and anticipation.
In celebration, we remember the earnest expectations and fervent prayers of faithful saints of old who longed for the coming of the Messiah to rescue them from sin. God faithfully answered by sending Jesus. He arrived living and breathing and walking among us. Advent is a way to experience their joy as we put their ancient, Spirit-inspired words on our lips as a community.
Even though Advent already happened, it will happen again. Jesus is coming back. At His first coming, the world experienced Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Yet our world is not what it will be as we await the reign of our good King. At Advent, we give voice to “kingdom come” prayers of our own—looking expectantly for Jesus’ return. In that way, this is a season of anticipation.
This guide contains 4-weeks of material that will lead up to Christmas day. The family sections are designed to work for families of all shapes and sizes and do not require extensive preparation. Either portion of the guide can also be used to facilitate conversation and connection with your friends, roommates, or other communities.