Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man—the provocative and essential claim of Christianity. The true reason for every ringing bell and holly bough, for every tree wrapped in lights.
But if we’re honest, sometimes that reason can feel like a well-worn memory—one familiar enough that it becomes easier and easier to forget its power and urgency. In the weeks before Christmas especially, we feel compelled to make the coming of Jesus a central focus in our lives, but how do we accomplish that amidst the frenzy of the surrounding culture? How do we avoid making the celebration of Christ’s birth feel like one big to-do list.
For centuries, Christians have observed Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, as a time of preparation to receive the promised Messiah—not only as the child conceived of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary but also as the King who will one day return.
Though there’s no mention of Advent in the Bible, it remains popular for a good reason: It reminds us of our need for a Savior and prepares us for His arrival. We hope these weekly readings, prayers, and questions for reflection will help you enter into the weeks leading up to Christmas in a newer, richer way.