Christmas & Advent survival kitby Kenny Lamm, BSCNC Worship Consultant
The celebration of Advent begins this Sunday. The purpose of this season of the church year is to look toward the coming of Christ to earth — a season focused on waiting. It is a time of preparing for the glory of Christmas day. Today, I want to share with you a few resources to help you in your celebration of Advent. Some will help you in your worship planning; others will help you in your church and family devotionals.
Songs for Worship
- Top 25 Contemporary Hymns for Christmas from LifeWayWorship.com
- Top 25 Traditional Hymns for Christmas from LifeWayWorship.com
- Comprehensive List of Christmas Hymns from LifeWayWorship.com – traditional and contemporary arrangements
- Top Christmas Songs from PraiseCharts.com
- PraiseCarols 1 and PraiseCarols 2 from PraiseCharts.com
- Christmas Carols for Acoustic Worship
- Great Congregational Christmas Arrangements from HymnCharts.com
- New Christmas Music Roundup (2015)
- Billy Graham’s Advent Devotional. Free ebook.
- The Dawning of Indestructible Joy. Daily Readings for Advent. by John Piper. Free ebook.
- Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. Free ebook.
- Advent Family Devotional (14 days) by Matt Capps, pastor of Fairview Baptist, Apex.
- Making Meaningful Christmas Memories. Focus on the Family has several pages to help family celebrations.
- CRU Advent Devotional Online. CRU also has a downloadable ebook.
- LifeWay online weekly devotionals
- Downloadable Family Weekly Devotional Guide from The High Calling. (2015 guide, but great content)
- YouVersion app Advent Reading Plans
- Also check out the numerous resources at Resources4Worship.org to search for drama, video, readings, etc. to help in service planning.
- Great resources from our Methodist friends.
- Scripture Study, Worship Links, and Resources from “The Text This Week.”
- Advent: Resources for Celebrating the Season from LifeWay
- Advent Resources from RCA
An excellent post titled, Advent: The Lost Art of Celebrating the Waiting by Timothy Paul Jones. In it, Jones writes:
Even on this side of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, there is brokenness in our world that no cart full of Black Friday bargains can fix; there is hunger in our souls that no plateful of pumpkin custard can fill; there is twistedness in our hearts that no terrestrial hand can touch. “The whole creation,” the apostle Paul declared, “has been groaning together for redemption.”
In Advent, Christians embrace the groaning and recognize it not as hopeless whimpering over the paucity of the present moment but as expectant yearning for a divine banquet that Jesus is preparing for us even now. In Advent, the church admits, as poet R.S. Thomas has put it, that “the meaning is in the waiting.” And what we await is a final Advent that is yet to come. Just as the ancient Israelites waited for the coming of the Messiah in flesh, we await the consummation of the good news through the Messiah’s return in glory. In Advent, believers confess that the infant who drew his first ragged breath between a virgin’s knees has yet to speak his final word.
Get the full post here.