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Our team favourite Advent resources

Our Favourite Advent Resources

With Advent season is about to commence, our team would like to share a few of our favourite advent resources. Before we dive in, lets journey together to explore the topic of Advent.

What is Advent?

Advent candles and decorations

Advent is a time of profound spiritual reflection and preparation. It anticipates not only the birth of Jesus Christ but also encompasses the anticipation of Jesus’ second coming. This season is marked by lighting candles, reading scriptures, and embracing the themes of hope, love, joy, and peace, which represent the spiritual journey towards Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth​​.

When is Advent Celebrated?

Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 and lasts until December 24. This period, encompassing four Sundays, leads up to Christmas, the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth​​.

Who Celebrates Advent?

Millions of Christians worldwide, from various denominations, observe Advent. While the specifics of Advent traditions may vary among Christian denominations, its central message of anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ is universally recognised​​.

The History of Advent

The tradition of Advent originated in the early centuries of the Christian Church. The term “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming” or “arrival.” Over time, the observance of Advent evolved. One of the earliest references to a preparation period before Christmas can be traced back to St. Athanasius in the 4th century.

The Western and Eastern branches of Christianity observed this period differently. The Western Church, particularly in Rome, laying the groundwork for the modern Advent season​​.

Advent Tradition and Practices

Week 1: Hope or Promise

The first Sunday of Advent focuses on hope, often symbolised by the “Prophet’s Candle,” which is coloured purple. This candle reflects the hope and expectation of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who foretold the Messiah’s arrival. The theme of hope in this week is about trusting in God’s promises and anticipating the Saviour’s arrival to save humanity from sin​​.

Practices: During this week, believers are encouraged to read scriptures that speak of hope and God’s promises, such as Isaiah 9:6-7. Lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath is a ritual that symbolises the light of hope piercing through darkness.

Week 2: Preparation or Waiting

The second week of Advent is themed around preparation or waiting, represented by the “Bethlehem Candle.” This purple candle symbolises the preparation of hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus, as foretold by prophets like Micah and enacted by John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord as described in Luke 3:4-6​​.

Practices: This week involves engaging in prayers and readings that focus on repentance, forgiveness, and preparing one’s life for Jesus. Lighting the second candle serves as a visual reminder of the ongoing preparation for Christ’s birth.

Week 3: Joy or Peace

The third week of Advent is characterised by joy and peace, marked by the lighting of the “Shepherd’s Candle,” which is usually pink. This candle signifies the joy experienced by the shepherds upon hearing the good news of Jesus’ birth and reflects the broader joy of salvation offered to all humanity​​.

Practices: Participants often read scriptures that emphasise joy and peace, such as Philippians 4:4-5. This week is a turning point in Advent, moving from preparation to rejoicing and celebration.

Week 4: Love or Adoration

The fourth Sunday’s theme is love or adoration, symbolised by the “Angel’s Candle.” This final purple candle of the Advent season represents the love of Christ that culminates in the Christmas story. It is a time to focus on God’s love and the Good News of Jesus’ birth​​.

Practices: The fourth candle is lit, and readings typically revolve around themes of divine love and adoration, with John 3:16-19 being a central scripture. This week is a period of deep reflection on the love that Christ brought into the world.

2 Purple advent candles lit

The Christ Candle

Some traditions include a fifth candle, the “Christ Candle,” usually white, lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This candle symbolises Christ’s purity and the fulfilment of the Advent period, representing the arrival of Jesus as the light of the world​​.

Why is Advent Important?

Advent serves as a time of expectancy and preparation for Jesus’s arrival, both in the historical context of his birth and in the anticipation of his return. It offers a period of rest and reflection amidst a season often overwhelmed by materialism and busyness. In more liturgical traditions, Advent is a profound time to recognise the world’s current brokenness and yearn for its future healing through Christ’s second coming​​.

The cycle of the Church’s year, including Advent, represents the ongoing progress of God’s plans for creation, inviting believers to participate in God’s larger project of renewal and salvation​​.

How Do We Approach Advent?

Approaching Advent requires an intentional mindset, one that embraces anticipation, reflection, and active participation. It is not simply a countdown to Christmas, but a spiritual journey that allows us to deepen our understanding of Jesus’ birth and His eventual return.

Engaging in shared practices such as lighting the Advent candles, setting up a Nativity scene, or participating in Advent prayers and hymns can also enrich your Advent experience. These shared traditions not only connect us with the Christian community worldwide but also remind us of the centrality of Christ in the season.

In essence, the approach to Advent involves preparing our hearts to welcome Jesus. We use this time to renew our faith, and anticipating the fulfilment of God’s promises. It’s about moving beyond the commercialism of the season to embrace its true meaning – the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Nativity scene

Our Favourite Advent Resources

With just a few more days before the start of advent, we have gathered some of our favourite advent resources. We hope that these resources help us to centre down and remind our hearts that Christ is the reason for the season.

1. BibleProject Guide on Advent

Screenshot of Bibleproject's Advent guide

BibleProject is brilliant in explaining big Bible concepts in creative ways, mainly through videos. The videos are engaging and interesting. This is an extensive collection, ranging from the meaning of Advent, the importance of Advent, Advent reading plan, Advent video series etc. These Advent resources are great for children and youth ministries (from middle primary school age), family devotional, small bible study Group and personal study.

There is a fun “Test Your Knowledge” quizzes as you scroll along!

2. Names of Jesus Printable Advent Calendar

Screenshot from

We particularly love this idea of introducing the names of Jesus. In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asked His disciples; “Who do you say I am?” As we celebrate the birth of Christ and anticipate His return, it is a good time to reflect and remind ourselves of who Jesus is. 

These printable cards have numbers 1-24 for each day of December, until Christmas Eve. Everyday, you can flip a card around to reveal a new name of Jesus, and the reference verse for meditation. 

They are versatile and useful for different settings, be it in small Bible Study groups, family devotion or personal. They make beautiful Christmas decorations too!

3. 25 Devotional Readings for Advent

Screenshot showing Good News of Great Joy devotional from

“Good News of Great Joy”  is a free downloadable 25 devotional reading for Advent by John Piper. The devotionals are short and makes an easy read, but profound in its richness and Biblical truth. 

The words “working in us that which is pleasing in his sight” describe what happens when God writes the law on our hearts in accord with the new covenant. And the words “through Jesus Christ” describe Jesus as the mediator of this glorious work of sovereign grace.
So the meaning of Christmas is not only that God replaces shadows with reality, but also that he takes the reality and makes it real to his people. He writes it on our hearts. He does not lay his Christmas gift of salvation and transformation under the tree, so to speak, for you to pick up in your own strength. He picks it up and puts it in your heart and in your mind and gives you the seal of assurance that you are a child of God.

Excerpt from Day 14 of the Good News of Great Joy

4. The Gospel Coalition Advent Concert & Music Playlist

The Weary World Rejoices virtual Advent concert from 2020 available on Youtube.

The 2022 Advent playlist includes two-thirds traditional carols (50 songs) and one-third newer original Advent and Christmas songs (25 songs), available on Spotify.

The Gospel Coalition shares quite a handful of Advent resources on their blog. Although from 2022, the resources are still as relevant today as the day it was then. There are recommended readings for both the adult and children & families. 

The Joys of Celebrating the Birth of Christ during the Advent Season

Advent is not just a countdown to Christmas; it’s a journey of the heart towards the celebration of Christ’s birth. This Advent, let us embrace the beauty and depth of this sacred season, preparing our hearts to joyfully celebrate the birth of Jesus, the light of the world.

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