By Joel & Melissa Littlepage
Greetings! This post is written to share a few different kinds of resources to help prepare for and live into the Season of Advent. First, there are suggestions for seasonal practices for the household and the individual; Second, there are some learning resources; lastly, there are some musical resources. We hope that these ideas (and the ideas you come up with on your own!) enrich, nuture, and bless you and yours in this holy season as you wait for the Lord and prepare him room.
1. Household & Individual Practices for the Home
Advent is the beginning of the year in the Christian liturgical calendar, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to push re-set on some of our habits, particularly in our home and individual lives separate from Sunday morning worship.
Each week of Advent, the Sunday morning worship focuses on a different theme (such as joy, lament, sorrow, hope, etc.). We are encouraged to center and experience these themes not only with our church family on Sunday mornings, but also in our homes throughout the week, and on the streets of our neighborhoods as we are able throughout the Advent season.
This list of resources aims to equip worshippers with tools for centering these themes in their homes and on the streets throughout the week.
- Set aside a special time to decorate your home—whether it’s simply just a wreath on your door, or every square inch is covered with holiday decor—and reflect on the longing God’s people had for a Savior, preparing Him room, and how we prepare room even now as we long for Jesus’ return. Talk about this with your friends, family, and children. Talk about how it can be hard to wait, and consider listening to Rain for Roots’ “Waiting Songs” as part of this time.
Prayer & Devotion
- Set apart a central space for daily Advent worship and reflection—this will likely be your kitchen table.
- Advent wreaths or calendars are great visual and tactile tools.
- Make and begin practicing a plan for daily formation. Some options include:
Feasting & Hospitality
- Share a meal with someone you haven’t before, maybe once a week throughout Advent.
- Be particularly mindful of those in your life that desperately need a place of welcome and belonging. Invite them in and show them the ancient Christian tradition of hospitality ("love of the other").
- Historically in the Church, Advent has been used as a time of fasting before the great feast of the 12 Days of Christmas. In general, it is a common pattern in the Christian Year (and Christian life) to fast before you feast (Lent comes before Easter, after all). Consider skipping a meal during the day or restraining your diet in the weekdays and feast abundandly on Sundays.
- Practice living incarnationally in your place by serving your neighbors in love
- Visit those who are not able to be out and about (individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, or with ailments that prevent them from leaving their home).
- Here are some organizations to consider:
2. Learning Resources for Advent
Books (all of these are availble in Kindle format)
3. Musical Resources
Streaming Spotify Playlist
For the season of Advent, we have curated a playlist linked below. Keep in mind that you won't find Christmas Carols on this playlist because we are not yet in the Christmas season! Advent is the season of the Second Coming of Jesus and so the music of the season focuses on that idea and the themes around it: longing, preparation, confession, repentance, lament, hope, and patience.
Grace and Peace!
Joel & Melissa Littlepage