Experiencing Advent

By Chad Allen, Lead Pastor of Cuyahoga Valley Church

The word “Advent” comes from Latin word meaning “coming.” The message of Advent in its most simple form is that Christ has come, and He is coming again. It has a dual nature; combining the reflection of God’s people past waiting for the first coming of the promised Messiah with God’s people now waiting for the second coming of the promised Messiah. Advent is a season of waiting, expecting, and hope.

The message of Advent in its most simple form is that Christ has come, and He is coming again.

Advent traditionally begins four Sundays prior to Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. For hundreds of years Christians have used an advent wreath to symbolize their hopes for the coming of Christ. The evergreen wreath usually symbolizes eternal life and God’s unending love and mercy. There are various interpretations and views as to the color of the candles used in the advent and their meaning, but there is no one “right way” to practice the advent lighting.

The basic practice of lighting a candle each week for Advent centers around a stated understanding of the past and present waiting on Christ. Along with a reading, Scripture verses, and a prayer, the candles are lit as a symbol of remembering Christ’s birth and reflecting on His future coming.

For this advent season, we have selected the following themes for each week as we light our advent candles:

  • 11/26 — ‘Tis the season to be Grateful
  • 12/3 — ‘Tis the season to be Generous
  • 12/10 — ‘Tis the season to be Patient
  • 12/17 — ‘Tis the season to be Hopeful
  • 12/24 — ‘Tis the season to be Worshipful

As we embrace the season of Advent as a caring community. Here are some our of top picks for downloadable Advent guides to consider for your personal and home life.

Free Downloadable Advent Devotionals

  • Family Pick
    This guide is designed to help you point your family toward Jesus throughout this Christmas season. Use these devotions, activities, and discussion questions to interact with your kids as we celebrate the birth of Christ.
    LifeWay Kids Family Advent Guide
    –  Weekly Family Guide to Advent
  • Focused Pick
    To help you focus your attention on the heart behind this special season, Ekklesia 360 created this four-week devotional guide to walk you through Advent. Each week focuses on a specific aspect reflected in the birth of King Jesus—hope, peace, joy, and love. As you journey through this devotional, take time to think through the questions, spend time in prayer, and make time to participate in the activities that involve your family. Our prayer is that as you turn your eyes to the coming Savior this Christmas season, your hearts will be transformed as you remember the birth of the King who came to save us.
    Born the King –  Weekly Guide to Advent
  • High-Intensity Pick
    Created by the Village Church, this book will walk you through the entire Church Calendar. It’ll walk you through the seasons of Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Through readings, prayers, songs, fasts and other practices, these seasons reorient our hearts and minds toward the Christian story.
    Seasons: Enter the Story of Jesus – Daily Guide to the 2017-2018 Church Calendar