The Turkey has been eaten, the pumpkin pie has been devoured, the left-overs have been boxed up along with all the fall decor. And just like that, the Christmas season is upon us! The season labeled "the most wonderful time of the year" is often filled with packed parking lots, full weekends, and Christmas pageants. But for many Christians throughout the ages, the month of December has been a time to pause in the midst of the full days and busy nights to consider the magnitude of what occurred at Christ's first advent (coming) while looking forward to his second.
There are MANY advent tools and resources available in the Christian market but these two are my personal favorites.
The First Songs of Christmas
Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth has written a beautiful, biblical, and well laid-out advent devotional, The First Songs of Christmas that was just released a few weeks ago. This devotional walks through the first 6 "songs" of Christmas as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. What I love most about this devotional is the focus on God's goodness, God's sovereignty, God's loving kindness, and God's glory...it's all about HIM. This is a great devotional that will focus the reader's gaze upward by beholding the beauty of the incarnation at Christ's first advent, while building anticipation for his second advent. This resource is perfect for a personal devotional. The First Songs of Christmas is available for any donation made to the Revive our Hearts ministry.
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is a great advent devotional that walks its readers through the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas by focusing each week on a different topic. The weeks are comprised of 5 days of devotions that are all about describing who Jesus is by the names Scripture refers to him by. This is a great resource to use for family devotions for the month of December because it offers suggestions for family activities. I loved this devotional because it truly makes one consider the excellencies of Christ.
I hope one or both of these tools are helpful to you and yours this Christmas season. May Christians around the world be truly filled with the "thrill of hope" that not only has our Savior come and conquered sin and death at this first advent but that he's coming back soon to reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15). Maranatha and Merry Christmas!