5 Favorite Christian Advent Resources

5 of the best free Christian advent ideas, calendars, and devotionals. Start a new family tradition, teach your children the true meaning of Christmas, or add to your Bible readings with these resources. via /ChristiLGee/

With so many advent options, you might feel a little overwhelmed at all the choices.

Many of the options out there require you to sign up to download the printable or book. So we signed up and previewed the resource for you!

We looked for options that weren’t overly complicated and would serve those who were simply looking for help focusing their heart or leading their children. All five are Scripture-based, but also go further in directing your thoughts.

If you don’t already have a favorite resource, check out this list. Or if you do have a favorite, see if there is something you want to add.

5 of the best free Christian advent ideas, calendars, and devotionals. Start a new family tradition, teach your children the true meaning of Christmas, or add to your Bible readings with these resources. via /ChristiLGee/

Outline of the 5:

A. For Individuals:

  1. Devotional reading: View online
  2. Devotional reading: Downloadable PDF
  3. Journaling prompts and online community

B. For Families:

  1. Jesus’ lineage (Stories of people from Matt. 1)
  2. Names and attributes of Jesus (Object lessons)
A. For Individuals:

1. Devotional: Online

Name: “Advent: Born Is The King”

• Access: shereadstruth.com/plan/advent-born-is-the-king
• Publisher: She Reads Truth
• Format: This is the 2015 plan, which is now fully available online.
• Focus: General OT/NT telling of the prophecy and fulfillment

Includes: Scripture & short reflection

Quotes from the Publisher:
“Being born isn’t what made Him a King. The Prince of Peace made Himself low, taking on flesh to be Immanuel, “God with us.” The Maker became the Messiah. The Lion became the Lamb. … Join us as we look to the stories of the Old Testament to see that Jesus is Truest & Best, and as we read anew the narrative of His birth.”

My Notes:
She Reads Truth delivers their new reading plans one day at a time. They do have a 2016 version Christ was born for this, but we love the ability to read ahead, catch up, or skip over content that doesn’t resonate. Last year’s plan allows you to do just that.

2. Devotional: Download

Name: “Good News of Great Joy”

• Access: desiringgod.org/books/good-news-of-great-joy
• Publisher: Desiring God (John Piper)
• Format: PDF or EPUB
• Focus: A mixture of the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth with deeper theological underpinnings about the Christ-child-turned-Savior and how worthy He is to worship. (Luke, Matthew, Hebrews, John, Romans, 1 John, and more are used as the source book for the opening Scripture reflection.)

Includes: Scripture & short reflection

Quotes from the Publisher:
“This book of Advent meditations aims to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season. These readings are excerpted from the ministry of John Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God’s free devotional app.”

“So, “O Come, Let Us Adore Him” is perhaps the theme song of these Advent readings. These meditations are all about adoring Christ, the Lord. In spots, you’ll hear strands of “O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” and in others, “Hark! The Heralds Angels Sing.” And, of course, we’ll have a cameo from the magi. But the figure at the center is Jesus—the baby born in Bethlehem, the God-man in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, destined for Calvary, sent by his Father to die and rise again for his people.”

My Notes:
Anyone familiar with Desiring God doesn’t need notes from me (~smile). This is the deepest of the suggested resources in our list.

(Also see “The Dawning of Indestructible Joy” here.)

3. Journaling prompts

Name: “Advent Illustrated”

• Access: adventillustrated.com
• Publisher: SaraLaughed.com (Blog)
• Format: Online calendar, Facebook group, Instagram challenge
• Focus: Scriptures go from creation through Jesus’ birth with a focus on illustrating the readings.

Includes:
• Online calendar with Scripture and creative journaling prompt
• Private Facebook group to share, discuss, and encourage
• Hashtags to share your journaling on Instagram

Quotes from the Publisher:
“Advent Illustrated is a four-week Bible journaling challenge taking place online. … The idea is to connect with the Bible in a new and creative way. There are no requirements for participation; you can journal in a Bible or a notebook, you can do every day or just once a week; you can share to our Facebook group or keep it to yourself.”

My Notes:
Although I don’t do an art journal, my daughter does and I’ve watched how the connection with creativity has enhanced her love for Scripture. I love the concept of the Facebook group where you can connect with others who love the Word and the challenge to share your Scripture art on Instagram.

B. For Families:

1. Jesus’ lineage

 Name: “Genealogy of Jesus (Abraham-Jesus)”

• Access:  jessicalynette.com/genealogy-of-jesus
• Publisher: JessicaLynette.com (Blog)
• Format: Downloadable PDF booklet or access each story via a link online
• Focus: 24 people from Matt. 1 presented in chronological order + Jesus on day 25

Includes:
• Story summary about the character
• Main idea

Quotes from the Publisher:
“The stories are just a very brief glimpse into the lives of these men and women. Their failures and inability to save themselves from their own depravity all beg for a Savior … and God chose this family line to send His only Son into. The Son that would die to pay the price for our sin, and then rise again because death could not hold Him.”

My Notes:
This mom also painted clothespins to represent each character and uses them alongside each reading. She mentions her children love searching for the right character each day and adding it to the display stand while she reads the story.

I have always taught the Bible chronologically to children and there are 20-somethings out there now who tell me it made a big difference in their understanding of the stories as ONE story. One of the churches we ministered with put up a “Jesse tree” and taught about the lineage of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It was always a favorite time for the children.

This resource highlights Jesus as the Savior of ALL sinners and introduces children to Bible characters in time and space.

2-Names of Jesus (Object lessons)

Name: “Knowing Him by Name”

• Access: PDF here
• Publisher: Focus on the Family (Thriving Family)
• Format: Downloadable PDF booklet
• Focus: 25 Names and corresponding attributes of Jesus

Includes:
• Scripture
• Object lesson
• Short summary for parents to teach as the takeaway

Quotes from the Publisher:

{Excerpt as an Example}
Day 4: Son of David
Activity: Find photos of grandparents, great-grandparents or other distant relatives. Talk about things that have been passed down to your children: beliefs, interests, talents, heirlooms. Discuss how family names are passed down, too.
Lesson: Jesus was called the “Son of David” not because His dad’s name was David but because His ancestor was King David, a special king whom God had chosen to rule over Israel. God had said that the Savior of the world would come from David’s family line. And that Savior is Jesus!

My Notes:
Especially with younger children, introducing a concept with an object lesson can be a powerful way to not only get their attention but make a memory. This resource — although not chronological — is a wonderful set of activities that set the children up to absorb a foundational truth about Christ.

This is the 2012 version of Thriving Family’s advent. We were not impressed with the recent years’ products, as they seem to be a lot of busy work for the parent with less deep truth for the children. You can’t easily find the 2012 version without having first subscribed to get the recent version so grab the direct link above if you want to check this one out.

My daughter also liked the one from 2014 but it is not available as a free download any longer. (Journey to the Manger, $6.99 on CBD)

Final Thoughts on Advent:

The word is from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” Although there is no biblical mandate to participate in advent, churches and Christian families often choose to use the four weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare hearts to “receive the king.”

It’s about choosing to develop a mind full of wonder, a heart overflowing with expectation, and a soul ready to embrace Christ: newborn baby, crucified Savior, and coming King.

However you do that, you will be blessed.

 

One of the best ways to celebrate advent is to do what Jesus did: love others!

We created our own inspiration guide to help you GIVE AWAY some of the hope and encouragement that advent is adding to your life.

More Info on Joy Spreaders

It’s a 7-day guide organized around different groups of people in your life to inspire.

Joy Spreaders Encouragement Guide

Get the FREE encouragement guide JOY SPREADERS
filled with ideas and artwork
you can use to spread joy and hope this Christmas season!


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Christi

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One Comment on “5 Favorite Christian Advent Resources”

  1. Thanks for this great list of resources, Christi. I’m passing this along to help #spreadtheshine. :-)
    Hugs and blessings to you and yours this holiday season, my friend.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

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