If you would have said the word ‘Advent’ to me when I was a kid my first thought would have been some sort of calendar with doors that a few of my friends families had hanging in their house during the Christmas season. Advent – in any form – was not a part of my family tradition. When my wife and I got married however we were a part of a church that did Advent readings and candle lighting in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I began to explore the tradition more fully and grew to really appreciate the Biblical context it brought to the Christmas season. Now, years later with several kids, we have made Advent one of the ways that our family seeks to keep the focus on Jesus during the Christmas season. In a culture that has made it all about other things (presents, parties, decorations, etc.) we have found Advent readings and times of reflection as a family to be a beautiful centerpiece of the way we celebrate.
What is Advent?
Maybe like me your understanding of Advent was limited or non-existent and you’re just wondering what it is. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming” or “arrival.” For Christians it is the time of year when we specifically look to the coming of Jesus Christ, first in his coming to bring our salvation and then his subsequent return to reign in glory. The advent season begins four Sundays before December 25, so the start date varies from year to year. This year Advent begins November 27. For four weeks the idea is to meditate on Christ’s coming, much like God’s people waited the thousands of years for him to arrive.
If you are looking for a way to personally observe Advent we have created an Advent reading plan that is available in the Olive Tree Bible App. Starting on November 27 this plan will guide you through 28 days of select scripture that will end on Christmas Eve.
To find this plan tap on the Reading Plans section of the app then tap ‘Get More Reading Plans’ and you’ll see Advent Reading Plan 2016 available for download at the top of the list.
(Please note: on some devices you may see a preinstalled Advent Reading Plan. To get the most up to date one you’ll need to tap the ‘Get More Reading Plans’ button.)
Additional Christmas Season Resources
If you’re looking for further Advent resources such as devotionals, study guides, or eBooks here are few that can be used in the Olive Tree Bible App.