The word Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means the arrival of someone notable or important. During the four-week season of Advent, which leads up to Christmas Day, we gather together to remember the greatest arrival of all – God in human form. Over the next few weeks, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of a tiny baby wrapped in a manger.
Advent is a time for reflection, a time to evaluate where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to be, both as a family and as individuals. It is a time to share stories of the blessings and the hardships. It is a time to slow down in the busyness of the Christmas season and savor the present moment. Advent is a time to hope for what is to come.
Traditionally, the church has marked the Advent season by lighting one candle each week to represent the characteristics of Jesus: peace, love, joy and hope. We hope that each week as you light a candle and follow the readings in this book, you may begin to see how those characteristics of Jesus also reside in you. You may begin to see that you too are part of the larger story.
This devotional is an opportunity for you to reflect. The following pages can be read out loud to your children, quietly to yourself, or with a friend or spouse. Ultimately, we hope that this tool helps you build a deeper relationship with those God has placed in your life this Christmas and to the God for whom this season exists. Our theme this year is to “travel light” – to pack in this season only what is necessary, only what is good, only what makes this season (and our lives) richer.
From all of us at The Grove, we wish you a Merry Christmas.