The Advent season is a time to anticipate and prepare for the first coming or birth of our Savior Jesus. Mary would give birth while she and Joseph were in Bethlehem fulfilling an imperial edict that everyone under Roman rule, which certainly included the Jews, register in their ancestral home for the purpose of accurately collecting taxes. 

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

In Bethlehem, a humble little sleepy town less than six miles from Jerusalem, the promise of Jesus, first mentioned in Genesis 3:15, would be fulfilled.

Whether you use calendars, candles, or a combination of the two, over the next couple of weeks I encourage all who read this to be intentional with your activities leading up to that glorious day when Christ would be born, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”

For some of us that may mean creating new traditions, adopting someone else’s, or simply refocusing our affections. Below are a few resources I have read this Advent season that might be helpful as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

For others it may mean we discontinue certain long-held traditions that do not center on or reflect the significance and birth of the Redeemer. This might mean we change the way we spend our money, time, and energy. Think about it this way: the more we can de-clutter our holiday season, the greater our ability to anticipate the coming of the One who makes all things new. Doing less “stuff”, such as certain parties, lists, and shopping hours, leaves room for us to accomplish more in preparing, anticipating, and celebrating the Advent. The Advent season beckons us to slow down. You see it is not about exhausting ourselves with more activities than can possibly fit in one month; rather, it is about nourishing the soul with expressions of anticipation and hope. This is a season of replenishing, not depleting, so that when the sun comes up Christmas morning, we know that the mercies of God are new because the Son of God was born.

Free online devotionals:

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/devotions-christmas-advent-week-one-faith (Week 1)

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/devotions-christmas-advent-week-two-prepare (Week 2)

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/devotions-christmas-advent-week-three-joy (Week 3)

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/devotions-christmas-advent-week-four-love (Week 4)

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/devotions-christmas-advent-week-five-christ (Week 5)

http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/devotional-life/advent/day-1.html (devotionals for each day)

Free e-book from Dr. John Piper:

http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/devotional-life/advent/day-1.html

Resources for celebrating advent:

http://www.adventforeveryone.net/index.html

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/Advent-resources-for-celebrating

Articles on advent:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/yearning-for-his-coming-advent-is-soon-upon-us-85076/

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