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Advent Resources: an invitation to behold the wonder of Christ this Advent season

“Christmas is about God’s doing whatever it takes to be with us, and our doing whatever it takes to be with Him. He climbed down from the throne in heaven to get to you. Climb over the throes of Christmas to get to Him.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from Christian author and writer, Ann Voskamp from her Advent devotional book, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.

2020 was the first year that I genuinely participated in Advent. For those who aren’t aware of what Advent is, it arrives 26 days before Christmas and is intended to be a time of resting, seeking, and excitedly anticipating the coming of Christ’s birth. 

The coming of Christmas. 

Being raised in a Christian home, I always knew what Advent was, but I had little heart knowledge about its true significance. It wasn’t until last year that I was truly enraptured by the coming of Christ. 

I suspect the events of 2020 had something to do with me learning how to slow down long enough to let the wonder of Advent and all things Christmas settle around me like a thin layer of fresh snow. 

Advent, for me, was a time of rest and worship as my heart rejoiced in the miracle of Emmanuel — God with us — God with me. It was a time of beholding the most extraordinary gift He’s ever bestowed upon mankind: Himself and the tender love He invites us all to receive and live from. 

Since tasting the gift of quiet surrender and silent, soulful anticipation that is Advent, I don’t think I will ever be able to rush past it again. 

An Invitation 

So, friend, if like me, you aren’t accustomed to participating in Advent, let this be your official invitation to join in on the wonder of expecting Christ this year. Or, if you’re someone who has regularly participated in Advent but the wonder has sort of run dry, let this be your invitation this Advent season to rest in the miracle of Emmanuel. 

This year, Advent will begin on Sunday, November 28th, 2021, and will come to an end on Friday, December 24th, 2021. 

For those wanting to accept the invitation to meet Christ amidst the typical craziness of the Christmas season, I’ve put together a list of written and audio Advent devotional offerings that I pray would draw you closer to the wonder of Emmanuel this Advent season. 

Some of the devotionals will take you the full 26-Advent days through, while others are smaller offerings consisting of shorter lengths of time. My hope is that you will find one among the many that resonates deeply and fits nicely with your current season or style of life.

Written Advent Devotional Offerings 

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp is one of my favorite writers and authors and her Advent devotional is absolutely beautiful. This devotional consists of 25 days worth of devotional readings beginning on December 1st and ending on December 25th. Each day will consist of a few pages worth of reading, a prompt to help you unwrap the gift of Christ even further, and a few reflection questions.

A Way in a Manger by Amy Brady from Horacio Printing

A Way in A Manger by Amy Brady is a 31-day Advent devotional that begins on December 1st and ends on January 1st. I love how this one ushers you into the new year, urging you to keep your eyes fixed on Christ well past Christmas day. Each day consists of a devotional reading and a reflection question. There are also some extra pages in the back for you to write down anything extra that the Lord may be revealing to you.

Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy

Come, Lord Jesus by Kris Camealy is a 25-day devotional that begins on December 1st and ends on December 25th. Each day consists of a short devotional reading, a reflection, prayer, and one or two reflective questions. This Advent devotional invites readers to sit quietly with the weight of waiting and to recount the faithfulness of God as you prepare for the coming of Christ in the world.

For You, Love: The Advent Collection by Ronne Rock & Courtney Nowakowski

For You, Love: The Advent Collection

For You, Love: The Advent Collection [Nowakowski, Courtney, Rock, Ronne] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. For You, Love: The Advent Collection

For You, Love by Ronne Rock and Courtney Nowakowski consists of 4 weeks’ worth of devotional readings. You would most likely want to begin on the first day of Advent, November 28th, as the final devotional reading is on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Each day consists of a Scripture passage, some fun illustrative art, a devotional reading, and a closing prayer.

Our Hope Has Come: Celebrating the Promise of Advent by Lifeway Women

Our Hope Has Come – Bible Study Book

In this 5-session Advent study, take a closer look at the Christmas story and the hope revealed in the lives of people in the Bible whose obedience and yeses to God’s plans, even in difficult times, gave them great joy and led to God’s glory in their lives and generations to come.

Our Hope Has Come is written by Lifeway Women and fits the style of a Bible study rather than a devotional. This 5-week study takes a closer look at the Christmas story and studies “the lives of people in the Bible whose obedience and yeses to God’s plans, even in difficult times, brought them great joy”.

Beholding Advent: Refelctions to Draw Closer to Christ as He Comes Closer to Us by Rachael Adams

Free – Rachael K. Adams

Looking for a way to prepare your heart for the Christmas season? This 24-day devo was written by 24 different authors, each day corresponding to a chapter in the Gospel of Luke. Engage in the word, prayer, and reflection as we prepare for the beautiful season of celebrating the birth of Christ!

Beholding Advent by Rachael Adams is a FREE digital Advent devotional that takes you on a journey through the book of Luke. Each day is a chapter of Luke in review, totaling 24 days for each of the 24 chapters. You would probably like to begin this devotional on December 1st as it would take you all the way up to Christmas Eve. Each day consists of a devotional reading, scripture, a reflection question, and a closing prayer.

Audio Advent Devotional Offerings

Come, Lord Jesus: Special Audo Edition by Kris Camealy

Come Lord Jesus {Special Audio Edition} – Refine {the retreat}

The Advent season provides us a beautiful, and sometimes difficult, opportunity to practice waiting. We won’t do it perfectly. There will likely be more tasks, more invitations, and more opportunities for distraction on our calendars than we can manage. What if we took just the next few weeks to s

This may look familiar, as I mentioned Kris Camealy’s Come, Lord Jesus in our written devotional list. But this year, she has decided to transform her written offering into a special audio offering for those who would rather listen! Once it’s purchased, don’t fret if you don’t receive it in your inbox right away. As stated on the website, beginning November 28th, you will receive one Audio Advent reading delivered via email, every day during the season of Advent.

The Quiet Collection for Christmas by Emily P. Freeman

The Quiet Collection for Christmas

An audio devotional to help ease seasonal anxiety

Have Yourself A Quiet Little Christmas

I started my Advent reading on December 1st just as I had planned. I’ve read through day four but today is day nine and I’ve decided not to think of it as being behind. I’m just leaving room for the story to sink in.

The Quiet Collection for Christmas is a 10-day audio offering from Emily P. Freeman that I can honestly say was one of my favorite Advent resources last year. It’s shorter than all the rest of the Advent options listed in this post, and each audio file is no more than ten minutes long. It’s perfect for those who are constantly on the go during the Christmas season or just find themselves too busy to sit down and read a daily devotional. It’s not available for purchase at the time this post is being written, but I do hope that it returns this Advent season! In the past, once purchased, you would begin receiving each audio file once a day for ten days beginning on December 1st and ending on December 10th.

I would highly recommend keeping your eyes peeled for this one! If you have Instagram, you can follow Emily on IG to see if she posts any updates on when this will be available for purchase. Above, I’ve attached the link to where it usually lives, and below that link is a blog post Emily wrote about the audio offering explaining her reason for creating it.

*EDIT: Emily has since announced that the 2021 Quiet Collection for Christmas will be available for purchase November 26th – December 15th. The link above has been updated so you can now join her waitlist to be notified when it is available 😊

A Liturgy for This Advent Season

We’re all intimately familiar with the chaos that usually comes with Christmas; gift buying, food preparing, tree decorating. I believe all of those things are meant to be reveled in and enjoyed thoroughly. But may we remember this Advent season to do all things with Christ in mind. He is, after all, EmmanuelGod with us – so let’s take Him with us as we walk through Christmas this year.

Let’s allow the joy of Christ to permeate everything we do and the peace of Christ to reign in our hearts and minds.

Let’s remember to seek and behold His presence as the hot chocolate warms on the stove and the stockings hang lopsided, waiting to be filled.

Let’s remember to rest and worship rather than be consumed with comparison and material possessions.

Let’s remember to quiet our souls as the tree lights glow and reflect on all the ways in which Christ has been oh, so good.

May you find a little bit of serenity this Advent season, friend, and may it be a time of true, intimate connection with our Savior.