I do not recall if I have ever been intentional about celebrating the advent season. I am not saying I have not been intentional in celebrating the birth of Jesus, but I have not been intentional in working through some sort of material the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. I hope that changes this year.
John Piper has released Good News of Great Joy, a daily reading of devotionals meant to lead and guide someone during this advent season. This short booklet of short devotionals is available for free Desiring God website in a digital format or you can get a fairly cheap paperback over at Amazon. I plan on spending time in these devotionals each day leading up to Christmas, starting on Sunday, December 1st. David Mathis, the executive editor at Desiring God, has this to share about this little book.
"Advent is for adoring Jesus. At least that's our angle on it at Desiring God. Advent is an annual season of patient waiting, hopeful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching marked by many churches, Christian families, and individual followers of Jesus. There's no biblical mandate to observe Advent. It's an optional thing--a tradition that developed over the course of the church's history as a time of preparation for Christmas Day. Many of us find observing Advent to be personally enjoyable and spiritually profitable . . . Our prayer is that this little devotional might help you keep Jesus as the center and greatest treasure of your Advent season. The candles and candies have their place, but we want to make sure that in all the December rush and hubbub we adore Jesus above all" (i-ii).
And then John Piper shares a very specific goal he has for this short book.
"What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most--to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son. What I want most for Christmas this year is to join you (and many others) in seeing Christ in all his fullness and that we together be able to love what we see with a love far beyond our own half-hearted human capacities. This is our goal in these Advent devotionals. We want together to see and savor this Jesus whose first 'advent' (coming) we celebrate, and whose second advent we anticipate" (vi).
Would you consider joining me this Advent season as we look to marvel at the glory of our King Jesus?