What is Advent?
The Advent season is a special time of spiritual refreshment that prepares our hearts for Christmas, the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s usually observed the four weeks leading up to Dec. 25th with a special emphasis on a particular theme for each week.
In Latin, the word “advent” means “coming” and carries a sense of anticipation. In addition to celebrating the birth of Jesus, Advent also looks forward to his second coming when he will restore his kingdom here on earth. Immediately following Christmas Day, is another traditional celebration called Christmastide. (You may know a bit about this from the song The 12 Days of Christmas!) These 12 days help continue the Advent celebration into the new year.
When we observe the season of Advent, we enter into a centuries old tradition of recognizing the triune (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) God’s faithful and active presence in our lives. We sacrifice our time and refocus our priorities to engage in worship, posturing ourselves to be spiritually refreshed. This prepares our hearts to celebrate Christmas in a way that is meaningful and will impact us for the months to come.
How to Use this Curriculum
For the next 4 weeks, gather your family, Life Group, or a group of friends together to celebrate the Advent season. Each week includes prayers to say aloud, scripture to read, teaching to soak in, and questions for discussion. To get the most out of this curriculum, set aside a time every day to repeat the week’s prayers and think deeply through the questions.
Optional: The Advent Candle
As an optional exercise, we recommend having a set of 5 candles to light along with the readings (representing the weekly themes of Advent: Hope, Joy, Peace, Love, and Christ). Places to light the candle are indicated in the flow of the curriculum.