Preparing for Christmas through Advent

I like to encourage Christians to take time to prepare for Christmas so that it's truly a season, and not just a day. So that you have time to think on the biblical expectation of the Messiah and God's fulfillment of His promises. I've found that it makes Christmas so much more enjoyable and meaningful to prepare rather than let it sneak up on you in the confusion of the other Christian preparations. Advent is a good time to reflect on Biblical themes that often don't get much attention the rest of the year. Advent devotionals are a good way to do this.

John Piper has a new Advent devotion book that I am really enjoying for its depth of thinking and also its brevity. Piper has some good encouragement in the introduction to celebrate Advent.

...[W]hat Jesus wants for Christmas is for us to experience what we were really made for - seeing and savoring His glory.

Isn't that one of the wonderful aspects of Christmas? How much better to extend it through December.

Don't let Christmas find you unprepared. I mean spiritually unprepared. Its joy and impact will be so much greater if you are ready!...It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior. Let these short Advent meditations help awaken in you a bittersweet sense of need for the Savior.

Traditionally, Advent readings review the Old Testament promises to Israel of a Savior and the longing we hear in the recitations of Mary, Elizabeth, and Zechariah in Luke. Their joy over the Savior helps us focus on our need and longing for salvation, which increases our joy over the celebration of Jesus' birth.

That's why I like and recommend Advent. And Good News of Great Joy is a great resource for daily reading. You can download it free in different formats here.


Stand to Reason Blog

Melinda Penner