November 29th is the start of Advent!
What exactly is Advent, and why celebrate it?
The following excerpt from Advent, a family devotional from The Village Church, explains:
The Advent season officially begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continues until Christmas Eve or Day. There are a variety of ways to celebrate the Advent season, depending on tradition and background. Many people use an Advent calendar, typically made up of 24 “windows” containing Scriptures, stories, poems or gifts, to count down the days until Christmas. As each window is opened and the final day draws closer, expectation increases. This reminds us of the hopeful yet anxious waiting God’s people experienced as they longed for the promised Savior to come.
Another popular tradition is marking the progression of the season through an Advent wreath made up of five candles. This symbol is borrowed from the emphasis throughout Scripture of Jesus Christ being the Light of the World (Matt. 4:16; John 1:4-9; 8:12). Each week a new candle is lit in anticipation of Christmas Eve. The last candle, called the Christ Candle, is lit on Christmas Eve to represent Jesus’ first advent. Through this theme of ever-increasing light penetrating the darkness, we see a picture of the gospel.
Regardless of the tradition, Advent is a significant time in the life of the church. It’s an opportunity for believers to remember God’s promise to send One who would overcome sin and death forever. God promised a Savior, and He kept that promise perfectly.
Further resources for celebrating Advent with friends and family:
Advent by The Village Church
Come, Lord Jesus, Come by Sherman and Walker,
Day by day devotions with scripture.
The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper,
Short 5 – 10 min daily devotionals.
Good News of Great Joy by John Piper,
Longer daily devotionals.