Something that churches all over the world have done since around the 5th century to prepare for the birth of Jesus is to observe the season of Advent in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
Advent simply means “coming,” and is a season where we refocus ourselves and wait expectantly for the “coming” of Jesus into the world as an infant and celebrate that event and what God has already done. But it’s also a season where we anticipate and look forward to the day when Jesus
will come again, when this Kingdom we’ve been talking about for the past several months will be fully established on earth, once and for all, and Jesus will take His rightful place as King.
We know it’s not easy to remain focused on Jesus throughout this busy season. Despite our best intentions, we get swept up in the world’s messages about the season – busyness, spending, stress, etc.
It takes practice to turn away from the noise and stay focused on Jesus.
With that in mind, last year we created a Scripture plan to read throughout the Advent season. The plan also includes a weekly practice.
- The daily time in Scripture brings our hearts and minds back to what is true and most important.
- The weekly practices are small acts to help us focus on the themes of Advent – hope, peace, joy, and love. When we involve our physical bodies in something – even in small ways – the concepts are embedded in our minds and hearts in a different way.
The Scripture reading plan and practices are available in the YouVersion app. It’s called Practices of Advent (from Blackhawk Church.) You can also download and print the reading plan to keep in your Bible.
For families with children, Blackhawk Kids also has a Christmas Countdown you can use together as a family. It includes:
- A calendar including daily Scripture readings
- A paper Christmas tree
- Stickers that relate to each reading
- A daily discussion guide with questions and activities
Grab one at your site or download/print one here.
We hope these tools help your heart and mind stay focused on Jesus this season.