Wednesday, November 1, 2023

What is Advent and Should I Observe It?

By: Jenifer Metzger

I grew up in a Christian home where we celebrated the true meaning of Christmas every year. However, I never knew what Advent really meant. Naively, I thought Advent was observed by a specific religion. About ten years ago I was seeing the word Advent and the phrase Advent study all over social media, so I decided to do some research and see what it really was about.

Simply put, Advent means expectantly waiting. We are expectantly waiting on the birth of our Savior. 

What is Advent and Should I Observe It? #advent #Christmas

What is Advent?

Advent is a period of waiting. It helps us to remember and celebrate the first coming of Jesus, His birth, and anticipate His second coming. Advent lasts the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day. The Advent season is a beautiful time of focusing on the arrival of Jesus Christ. Observing Advent isn't specific to a religion or group of people. Advent is for all!

Should I observe Advent?

While observing Advent is a personal choice, I believe it is good for Christians to do so. Why wouldn't we want to celebrate and anticipate Jesus!?  I love everything about Christmas; howeveer it can get so busy and so commercialized. Advent helps us to shift our focus back to Jesus and slow down and enjoy the holiday. Advent also helps us to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

The observance of Advent can also be done as a family. This is a wonderful way to help your family grow closer to each other as everyone also grows closer to Jesus.

How should I observe Advent?

Advent begins Sunday, December 3rd this year and will end on Christmas Eve. To observe Advent, you can do an Advent study. There are so many great Advent studies! Advent studies will go through Scripture and help us dig deep into different aspects of Christmas and faith. Advent studies can be done in addition to any Bible study or devotional you are already doing or in place of for the time of observation.

Many people also light Advent candles. I do this sometimes, but not every year. Advent wreathes and candles come with four candles. Each Sunday of Advent you light one candle and say a prayer. This is a simple practice of putting extra thought and prayer into Advent each week. (Some wreathes offer five candles, one for Christmas Day too.)

The first candle, first Sunday, represents hope. The second candle, second Sunday, represents love. The third candle, third Sunday, represents peace. And the final candle, final Sunday before Christmas, represents joy. You can light your candle at a family dinner, family devotion time, or whenever works best for you on that Sunday.

What I am doing this year and Advent studies from companies I know and trust.

This year I am doing Good News Great Joy from The Daily Grace Co. Their Bible studies are Biblically sound and rich in theology. I love their studies and their Advent studies are always so good. For Good News Great Joy, click HERE. Use code JENIFERMETZGER for 10% off.

She Reads Truth also offers Biblically sound studies. I love their devotions. Their Advent study this year is He Alone is Worthy. To check out the SRT study, click HERE.

Well Watered Woman also has Biblically sound studies that I love. Their Advent study is The Savior's Story, to check it out, click HERE.

Write the Word Journals from Cultivate What Matters are a part of my every day. They offer an Advent Write the Word Journal that is so good. For the Write the Word Advent Journal, click HERE. Use code JENIFERMETZGER for 10% off.

Candace Cameron Bure's Bring On the Merry: 25 Days of Great Joy for Christmas is so good. This study is a hardback book to last for years to come. You'll find devotions, thought provoking questions, and more. To pick up Bring on the Merry, click HERE.

Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus by Courtney Joseph is a great study. This study is a downloadable pdf, click HERE.

This year I will be using my Advent wreath from Dayspring, click HERE. And for a few options I love from Amazon, click HERE and HERE.

Observing Advent is a personal decision. One that, should you choose to observe it, can be a great blessing in your faith journey.

1. Have you observed Advent before?
2. What is your favorite Advent study?


  1. I never myself thought to do an Advent Study as we anticipate the coming of Christ. I love this so much.

  2. Nice blog. Personally, I don't celebrate it. I feel like I have to go back in time, as if Jesus is yet to be born, while I'm more focused on walking with Him, dealing with daily stuff, making mistakes, stumbling, falling, coming to Him, and growing in Him. Honestly? Sometimes, I find it a bit of an annoying interruption. Even though I'd like to do it for the Christmas feeling. But, I don't really celebrate Christmas either with my heart. I'd only do it for that cozy feeling. So there you have it, a confused response from real life. I did celebrate it in the church I attended for a few years. But in my last church they don't celebrate Advent. And, in the Netherlands, there's no "Christmas gift-giving" tradition. It's becoming more common because it's a trend from America. But I'll wait. I really wait on the Lord. Maranatha.

    Thank you so much for the links. When I can find some of them on YourVersion I will give it a try. Or not? I'm not sure because then I might have less focus on it, as I'm currently in the midst of my study of Thessalonians (Wiersbe).


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