This Advent season we will dive into a season of teaching called “The Christmas of Dreams”. In Matthew’s telling of the Christmas story, God speaks through angelic messages, dreams and visions. These messages are central to the story and the beginning of Jesus’ life. During advent, we’ll explore the importance of dreams and visions, not just for Matthew, but for all of us.

CHRISTMAS EVE GATHERINGS

Our Christmas Eve Gatherings are an incredible celebration to mark the end of Advent. This year we will have Gatherings at 3pm and 5pm. Childcare will be provided for kids ages 0-5.

ADVENT RESOURCES

Considering what we are living through this year, perhaps Advent and Christmas might take on new meaning and significance. We certainly need a season to be reminded that “the hopes and fears of all the years” have been met in Christ.  Here are some resources to help you experience the God who is with us.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Twenty-eight daily reflections paired with prayers and practices to honor our struggles during the holidays. Weekly resources make this Advent devotional suitable for group study as well

Featuring daily meditations for the complete seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, contributors Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris, Eugene Peterson, and Luci Shaw offer a tapestry of reflection, Scripture, prayer and history. These profound words are enhanced by classic and contemporary art masterpieces carefully selected by the editors.

From celebrated artist-storyteller Scott Erickson: 25 days of heart-stirring images and thought-provoking meditations to rekindle the wonder of God-with-Us in this season. Honest Advent creates a space for you to encounter the Incarnate Christ in unexpected places: like a pregnancy announcement in an era of political unrest and empirical bloodshed, the morning sickness of a Middle Eastern teenager, and the shocking biology of birth that goes far beyond the sanitized brand of Christmas as we know it.

“Advent is not about a sentimental waiting for the Baby Jesus,” Richard Rohr asserts. Advent is a time to focus our expectations and anticipation on “the adult Christ, the Cosmic Christ,” who challenges us to empty ourselves, to lose ourselves, to surrender.

An entry for each day in Advent with a graceful, grace-filled single word and simple prayer. Each reading offers a creative reflection rooted in scripture and engaging questions that stimulate anticipation of a meaningful Christmas season.

Reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the greatest gift — through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story (free download of each of the 25 ornaments available from Voskamp’s website, annvoskamp.com).

A wide-reaching collection, pulling from many authors (male and female), across continents, countries, eras, and denominations. The entries, both poems and essays, are not frivolous, feel-good Advent readings; they are deep, sometimes jarring reflections, many with a strong orientation toward social justice.

KIDS & FAMILY RESOURCES

2022 Advent Guide

Through this Advent devotional, we hold in remembrance the holy truth that God came to put things right. The ruler of the cosmos came to us, trapped in a squalling package of that most helpless human form—a newborn baby boy. He was born to save us—and he will—but first he must melt our hearts, appearing not as a sage or a philosopher or an emperor but as a shivering little child with no home. A refugee. He disarms us with his tender vulnerability and summons us to enter his world as little children, too. Now that 2022 has upended life-as-usual all over again, our inner desires and deepest needs are revealed. We see the world as it has always been. And we are here, waiting, longing, for the kingdom of God to break in. My hope and prayer is that this Advent Devotional will be a way for you to make the very act of waiting, holy. And as we anticipate Christ’s birth together, may we experience the stubborn hope of Christmas, joy in the midst of sorrow, a love that knows no bounds, and a transcendent peace amid a world on fire.

Download the guide here.

Download the calendar here.

Book Recommendation

Learn the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of the Donkey, Cow, Sheep, Shepherd, Angel, Camel, Wise Men, Joseph, and of course, baby Jesus. Find the book here. There is also a companion nativity set: Donkey in the Living Room Nativity

Book Recommendation

The beautiful, award-winning illustrations connect with the bestselling writing of Sally Lloyd-Jones so that the text of Scripture visually comes to life in the minds of children. The stories taken from the Gospels of the birth of Jesus are exceptional.  Get the book here.

Book Recommendation

This board book edition of Song of the Stars, written by New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones, is a Christmas book that explores the joy and excitement and celebration in all of creation at the coming of Jesus.  They’ve been waiting with eager longing for the coming of God’s long promised son, and when at last he arrives, the whole earth holds its breath: their Creator, Jesus, Emmanuel has come to the world that he made.  Mountains, trees, seas, skies, stars, animals—the rumor spreads that at last the time has come.  It’s time!  He’s here! Get the book here.