This Advent, I’m working my way through a couple of new resources.
The first is a compilation of Bonhoeffer’s writings arranged as a daily devotional for Advent, Christmas [all 12 days!], and Epiphany. It is titled God Is in the Manger, is translated by O. C. Dean, Jr. and compiled/edited by Jana Riess, and is –so far– a wonderful read. Basically, each day offers about a page of devotional thought based on Bonhoeffer’s writings, an excerpt from his letters/sermons/etc. related to the topic of the day, and a passage of Scripture likewise related.
The second is a video and study guide combo put out by the Colson Center and BreakPoint. It is titled He Has Come, is put together by John Stonestreet and T. M. Moore, and was accompanied by an Advent-inspired CD. It came in the mail this morning, so I’ve only gotten my feet wet so far. Nevertheless, it seems promising.
Additionally, Lindsey designed and constructed a calendar to help the kids count down the days to Christmas. We’re working pretty heavily with them, helping them to understand the significance of Advent as a season of preparation and reflection. Each day, we’re reading Scripture from the lectionary, counting the days that are left, giving them “surprises” (i.e., small, sweet treats), singing hymns and carols, and praying specifically about significance of Christ’s incarnation and imminent return.
So far this has been the greatest experience I’ve had through Advent in quite a number of years. A bit of intentionality, focus, and reflection surely do strengthen the heart.