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Advent resources

advent-resources

These days the decorations are up, the Christmas music is playing and the ads are on TV before Advent even starts. However it is still good to try and do something in the weeks before Christmas to give space to reflect and keep God in our lives. In fact it is all the more important in order to counteract the tendency to busyness and stress. Advent is a time when we wait and hope, wait in anticipation of celebrating Jesus coming to this world, his coming again and of seeing God at work in our world.

Hear Rowan Williams reflecting on Advent.

Advent Books Some new books out this year

Advent For Everyone; A Journey Through Matthew by Tom Wright
Tom Wright takes you into the heart of the Gospel of Matthew, exploring the key themes of watching, repenting, healing and loving. Packed with vivid anecdotes and stimulating insights into Matthew’s portrait of Jesus.

Because of Bethlehem; Love is Born, Hope is Here by Max Lucado;
Because of Bethlehem there is hope in the world. Max Lucado was inspired to write a book singing of his love for every little bit of the Christmas period: the decorations, the food, the presents, the carols, the candles, the lights and nativity stories of mangers and angels and baby Jesus.

Names for the Messiah; An Advent Study by Walter Brueggemann;
In Isaiah 9:6, a divine utterance is given to us using four royal titles–Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Names for the Messiah ponders each title and how the people understood it then, how Jesus did or did not fulfil the title, and how Christians interpret Jesus as representative of that title.

Online reflections

Sacred Advent by popular Jesuit site ‘Sacred Space’
Children’s Society Advent Calendar from the organisation we support at Christingles
Advent Wonder by Stewardship. Emphasis on generosity
#AdventChallenge by Bible Society. Daily challenges to do acts of kindness inspired by the bible

Something different for children (or adults!)

Try making a Nature Nativity
The Real Advent Calendar from Fairtrade Chocolates and the story of Christmas
Build you own online Advent Calendar

Stuff and Christmas?

After our sermon series on ‘Stuff and the Bible’ perhaps you are wondering how you can make Christmas less about stuff and hassle. Two websites exploring this are: AlterNativity and Advent Conspiracy

Other ideas:

  • Buy Fairtrade gifts, eg from Traidcraft
  • Buy Alternative Charity gifts or better still put them on your Christmas list!
  • Agree with your family to do a ‘Secret Santa” (ie. each person just buys for one other person) and set a spending limit.
  • Make your own presents
  • Give gifts of time and doing something together rather than ‘stuff’

Have you any other ideas? Let us know.

Wishing you a blessed Advent and Christmas.