Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What Is Advent and 5 Reasons Why You Should Observe It

By: Jenifer Metzger

For most of my life I assumed Advent was a Catholic ritual and not being a Catholic myself, I never observed Advent. It wasn't until just a few years ago I learned that Advent has nothing to do with any one religion. It is simply a season of waiting.

The word Advent, which means coming in Latin, is defined as waiting the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. This is the season where we are waiting the arrival of the most notable, important person: our Savior. Advent lasts four Sundays leading up to Christmas. This year it begins on Sunday, December 3rd, and ends on Christmas.

People celebrate Advent in different ways. Some may fast from something. Some light candles every Sunday. Whatever it is you do, the point is to focus on the coming of our Savior. To spend some extra time with Him.

Why should you observe Advent?

1) It keeps our focus on Christ.

The holidays are commercialized to the max. Every single commercial on tv tells our kids they must have this new toy or tells our husband he only truly loves us if he buys us the most expensive piece of jewelry. Then we have movies, songs, and books about Santa Claus. The stores put their toys, and the most expensive ones at that, right at the front where our kids walk by and start begging for them. It is so easy to lose our focus on the true meaning of Christmas as we get bombarded with the commercial side. By observing Advent we are focusing on Christ.

2) It helps us to slow down.

From Thanksgiving to New Year's we are busy! We have the kids' school parties, youth group parties, the couples party at church, the women's ministry party, the men's ministry party, the neighbor's party, the work party, the church play, the school play, shopping for everyone on our list, all the baking we want to do, decorating, more shopping, wrapping gifts, and why not through in just one more party. It. Is. Exhausting. By the time New Year's comes we are utterly and completely exhausted physically and financially. By observing Advent we are able to slow down because we remember the importance and truth to the holiday. We are able to breathe a bit more.

3) It reminds us that God is a promise keeper.

When we spend this extra time in God's Word, we see the promise of the coming Messiah clear back in the Old Testament. A promise that began hundreds of years before its fulfillment. While it took many years, it was right on time. By observing Advent we see that God is an on time God. He is a promise keeper.

4) It deepens our relationship with Christ.

While some people fast from something or light candles or do a countdown during Advent, our main goal is to spend extra time in the Bible and in prayer. How can we not grow closer to God when we spend more time with Him? By observing Advent we are deepening our relationship with God.

5) It draws the family together.

With family going every which way, doing Advent together can be a special time. If you have kids at home, right before bed bring everyone together, make hot cocoa, light the fireplace, and do an Advent study together. If it's just you and your husband, do all of that just the two of you. By observing Advent you can draw the family closer together with each other and God.

There are many different Advent studies to do. Here are some of my favorites!

She Reads Truth
She Reads Truth has an Advent study for women as well as He Reads Truth has one for men, and Kids Read Truth has one for kids. You can get the whole family studying together and on their own. You can follow along by going to their website each day or accessing the study on their app.

Daily Grace Co
Daily Grace Co is the Advent I am doing this year. They have a study for women that I will do each morning and another study for families that we will do together in the evenings. You can order the study books. If you order today, you should have it in time for Advent on Sunday!

Dayspring has everything you need for Advent. From candles to calendars to studies. With Daysprings fast turn around, if you order today you will have what you need in time for Advent on Sunday!

You can also just pick a book of the Bible and do an in-depth study! Isaiah or one of the gospels are great options.

1. Do you observe Advent or will this be your first year?
2. What is your favorite Advent study?

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  1. I love the way Advent invites me to look back at Old Testament prophecy, to find its fulfillment in the New Testament, and then to look forward to another coming of Jesus!

  2. I enjoy reading devotional material through December leading up to Christmas. Nancy Guthrie has written a couple of good advent books.

    1. I do too. I’ll have to look for Nancy Guthrie’s writings. Thanks for stopping in Barbara!

  3. I too never understood Advent until just the last few years when the Bible Journaling group I joined online and did Advent scrapbooking projects long with them. Thank you for the reminders of the meaning of Advent. :)


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