Top ten advent resources for 2023

Plus a bonus resource (with a big discount!)

The lead-up to Christmas can be complicated. For some, the day arrives suddenly and is gone just as quickly. For others, December’s festive spirit is dampened by the stress of shopping, the busyness of work or the unease of family tensions.

But for many centuries, Christians have approached the Advent season as an intentional anticipation of the true story of Christmas, cultivating joy and thankfulness through a variety of practices.

Advent comes from the Latin word ‘adventus‘, meaning ‘arrival’, because the season commemorates the incarnation – the coming of Christ into our world as ‘Immanuel: God with us’.

While the exact origins of Advent are unknown, the tradition dates back at least to the fourth century in Europe. Like the season of Lent before Easter, the original emphasis of Advent was on preparation by means of fasting and prayer.

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Advent comes from the Latin word ‘adventus‘, meaning ‘arrival’.

Advent is traditionally celebrated over four Sundays in the lead-up to Christmas, with a slightly longer period for the ‘Nativity Fast’ of Eastern Orthodox churches. The Advent calendar goes back at least to 19th-century Germany.

So, one way to cultivate joy and thankfulness as we look forward to December 25 and backwards to the very first Christmas is with Advent resources.

To help you find the right resources for you, Eternity has gathered a list:

An Advent devotional book for the whole family

The Expected One, by Scott James

The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the Advent is a short and sweet family devotional. Scott James, author of several books for Christian families and children, illuminates the many promises fulfilled in Jesus, from his birth to his ascension, in these daily devotions.

An Advent email series for the social-justice-minded

Common Home Advent series for 2023 by Common GraceCommon Home is a series of daily emails for Advent 2023, featuring both written and creative devotionals and prayers from a diverse group of contributors, including Dr Louise Gosbell, Rev Dr Andrew Errington, Rev Dr Megan Powell du Toit and many more.

An Advent journal for the contemplator

Keeping Watch Advent JournalHow can we focus our attention on Jesus so that we not only anticipate his return but also his drawing near to us in our daily lives?

The Keeping Watch 2023 Advent Journal features thoughtful essays, Bible passages and activities that help readers engage with the ancient practices of Lectio and Visio Divina. The journal is available as a digital PDF or a printed paperback workbook.

An Advent video series for the art-appreciator

Arts & Faith: AdventArts & Faith: Advent provides a weekly video commentary on a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures.

Commentary is done by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, who teaches at Loyola University New Orleans and holds several degrees in theology, liturgy, religion, the arts and education. Use these videos as inspiration during the Advent season of hope and preparation.

An Advent calendar that meets the needs of others too

Baptist World Aid Advent CalendarThis classic Advent calendar from Baptist World Aid features daily stories and questions to encourage fresh reflection on Jesus’ birth, God’s gracious gift to us and how you and your family reflect his generosity.

All proceeds go to help meet the immediate needs of families living in poverty through Baptist World Aid’s ‘Where Needed Most’ fund.

An Advent meditation for adherents to an ancient faith

Advent Meditations from Practicing the WayCarve out an hour each week by yourself or with your community for Advent meditations provided by Practicing the Way. In this unique time of reflection and anticipation, savour God’s love and presence by focusing on the Christmas story and on God’s invitational heart with Scripture readings, reflections and guided prayers.

An Advent collection for different denominations

The Sign, by the Catholic Diocese of WollongongSeveral churches and denominations have put together Advent collections to help their congregations cultivate joy and thankfulness during Advent.

The Salvation Army Australia has created a Christmas Toolkit for 2023. The Uniting Church in Australia has collected Resources for Advent 2023. The Lutheran Church of Australia provides some Advent and Christmas resources. And the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong has produced The Sign Advent Program 2023: 80 pages of rich and accessible daily devotions from the beginning of Advent (3 December 2023) to the Baptism of the Lord (8 January 2024).

Bonus: An Advent book catalogue for the religious reader

Finally, don’t miss the abundance of Advent riches available at Koorong, all at 20 per cent off! With books written by Tom Wright, John Piper, Paul David Tripp and many others, you’re sure to find the right resource to help you commemorate the Advent season with a joyful heart and deep thankfulness to the Lord for the gift of Jesus.

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