Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Advent and Christmas resources

My friends from the Evangelical Center for Spiritual Wisdom have compiled a great list of spiritual resources to help you enter in more fully to the Advent and Christmas season.  Check out some of these great ideas:

For Advent


Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent
by Enuma Okoro (Upper Room, 2012)

God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas 
 Anthology of prayers, readings and meditations by authors Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris, Eugene Peterson and Luci Shaw. (Paraclete Press, 2007) 

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas 
Anthology of sermons by George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, R. Kent Hughes, Alistair Begg, John Piper, J.I. Packer and others. (Crossway, 2008) anthology 22 authors

Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom
by Walter Wangerin, Jr. (Zondervan, 1999)

Online Resources:

Advent Music:

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
O Come, O Come Emanuel
O Come, Divine Messiah
Breath of Heaven

For Christmas

We already have many practices and traditions we engage in for Christmas. Here are a few that might be new to consider:

  • Practice intentionally thoughtful giving – consider the impact of your gifts from all sides, both on the recipient and the makers and sellers of the gift.  
  • Practice simplicity. Intentionally plan to do less instead of more. Carve out intentional time for silence, solitude and rest.
  • Remember those who are away from family on Christmas—soldiers, relief workers, missionaries, etc.—by writing to them or sending them a care package.
  • After Christmas Day, spend some time reflecting with God on the gifts you were given and how you received them. What do your reactions tell you about the condition of your heart? 
  • Celebrate Boxing Day, December 26, by giving a gift to those who provide you with a service, and giving to the poor and those in need.
  • Epiphany, January 6, marks the end of the Christmas season and celebrates the coming of the Magi. Spend some time reflecting on how your heart wants to respond in love, like the Magi, to the great gift of Christ.

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