What is Advent?
Celebrating Advent involves intentional preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. For Christians, the Advent 2021 season reminds us not only of Jesus’ birth, but of His eternal presence and eventual second coming.
When Does Advent 2021 Start?
In most Christian communities, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year, Advent 2021 begins on Sunday, November 28th and concludes on Friday, December 24th.
What Does Advent Mean?
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means “coming.” Within the early Christian church, Advent was a season of preparation for the upcoming church season of Epiphany. Over the centuries, the modern Evangelical celebrations of the Advent season arrived.
Advent is meant to be a time of hope, faith, joy, and peace. The Advent season remind us that God sent His Son to this world so that we might have a relationship with Him. Yet, Jesus also suffers with us and helps us navigate our pain.
During Advent, Christians celebrate and reflect upon Christ’s first coming. While at the same time, the Church looks forward in eager anticipation to Christ’s second coming. When Christians and families celebrate Advent, they unite in a generational tradition of celebration and anticipation of Jesus’ second coming.
What are the 4 Themes of Advent?
The Advent season takes place over four weeks, with each Sunday marking the beginning of a new week of Advent. Each week of Advent contains a special theme. Throughout Christian churches, there are a variety of synonyms for these themes. Here are four of the most common Themes of Advent within Christian churches and families:
Why is Advent Important?
One day, I called my daughter. She said, “Dad, let’s do things different today. When you come home and go through the door, I’m going to jump, and you’ll catch me!”
As I hung up, I was so excited to go home and experience this moment with her. Sure enough, as I walked through the door, she was in the air, and, fortunately, I caught her. What an incredible moment for me. I loved her anticipation of my arrival as her dad. She fully trusted I would catch her. And fortunately, I delivered.
Have you ever been asked, “Why do Christians celebrate Advent?” My question is, “Why wouldn’t Christians celebrate Advent?”
Advent reveals God’s faithfulness in His promises. The world needs genuine hope as creation longs for Jesus’ return. Advent helps us look beyond our current problems. Instead, we can focus on God’s promises.
Without Advent, we don’t get the opportunity to consider the beginning and end of our invitation on earth and the bigger invitation of being with Jesus forever.
In my private counseling practice, there is a significant increase in social anxiety, panic disorder, and depression. It’s clear that we need Jesus. Through Advent, we can prepare our hearts for Jesus’ eventual return.
by: Dr. Danny Huerta
Advent 2021 is about Anticipation
Our brains are naturally influenced by the overwhelming feelings of anticipation. Especially by anticipation of what we truly believe is going to happen in the future.
For example, when a child receives a gift, they anticipate with excitement the next opportunity they get to receive a gift again. In fact, we love anticipating vacations, weekends, dessert, and many other things. Within the Advent season, we can ask ourselves: What do our soul anticipate?
In Revelation 22:7 we read, “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophesy of this book.”
Indeed, He is faithful and will be returning soon. The fact is that the preparation of our heart is up to us. Then, we can continue to cultivate our faith, patience, preparation, and trust.
Advent provides an opportunity to look forward with anticipation through a filter focused on hope, faith, joy, and peace. Unfortunately, the world is searching for these four themes through things that were not designed to satisfy our souls. Through Advent, there is reassurance of His return.
by: Dr. Danny Huerta
What is an Advent Calendar?
Long ago, Christians decided to celebrate the gift of Jesus during a special season called Advent.
About 160 years ago, people in Germany used chalk marks on their doors to count the days of Advent. Soon after, people began to light candles or give little presents during the special time. Clocks were even made to count the days.
One mother placed candies onto a numbered board so that her son, Gerhard Lang, could have a treat each day of Advent. When Gerhard grew up, he printed 24 little pictures that could be placed on a calendar for each December day through Christmas Eve.
Shortly after the war, another German man named Richard Sellmer began to make Advent calendars. His first calendar, made in 1946, was called “Little Town.” This long piece of cut cardboard shows a little village with numbered doors and windows.
Advent calendars are in many shapes and sizes. Most are rectangular pieces of cardboard with a Christmas picture on the front. Each numbered door opens, from December 1 to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Each gift reminds us of the greatest gift of all—Jesus Christ our Savior.
Advent Calendar Craft
Advent Calendar for Kids
This holiday season, your family can make your own Advent calendar for kids! Follow the instructions and count down the days to celebrate the coming of Jesus.
by Catherine L. Osornio
Advent 2021 Guide
Throughout its history, the Advent season uses a variety of wreaths, candles, and prayers as a part of the spiritual preparation for Jesus’ arrival. Learn more about how Advent uses these images and items to help Christians and families prepare for Christmas. Approach Advent 2021 together as a family by focusing on the Lord’s return!
Within Advent, there are four primary candles with their own unique significance and meaning. One of the four candles is lit on each Sunday during the Advent season. Then in some Christian traditions, there is a final fifth candle usually lit during a Christmas Eve service.
The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. This Advent candle prepares us for Jesus’ arrival. We are reminded that there is hope because Jesus is coming!
The second candle represents faith, and this Advent candle is often referred to as the “Bethlehem Candle.” This purple candle serves as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s faith as they journeyed to Bethlehem. For our families, this Advent candle reminds us that we can have the same faith in our own lives.
The third candle symbolizes joy. This Advent candle is the only pink candle, and it represents of the joy of the world during the birth of Jesus. For Christians, the third Advent candle reminds us to celebrate Jesus’ arrival.
The fourth candle represents peace. This purple Advent candle reminds our families to focus on the angels’ proclamation of “Peace on Earth!” On the fourth and final week of Advent, this candle emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ arrival.
Finally, the fifth Advent candle is often referred to as the “Christ Candle.” Usually lit on Christmas Eve, the white Advent candle represents purity and the life of Christ.
Whether you are at your church or with your family, Advent wreaths are one of the most identifiable symbols during Advent. Alongside Advent candles, the Advent wreath guide Christians through the season.
Your family can buy a ready-made Advent wreath or make it on your own. One way is to make a paper Advent wreath. Or your family can make a traditional Advent wreath with these steps:
Advent 2021 Prayers
Through prayer, we develop and grow our relationship with God. Especially within the Advent season, Christian families can use Advent prayers to celebrate and reflect on Jesus’ arrival.
Here are some ideas for Advent 2021 Prayers that you and your family can use to grow your relationship with God.
Advent Prayer of Thankfulness
Thank you for sending your Son to this world so that we could believe in Him. Thank you for providing hope in a hopeless world and providing a path to relationship with You. Help us to love others who do not know you, so that we can share the good news of Jesus’ arrival this Christmas season.
Advent Prayer of Hope
Help us to be ready for when Jesus returns. Thank you for saving us from our sin. We confess that we do not always have hope. Prepare our hearts to be filled with joy and hope for when Jesus returns!
Advent Prayer for the Holidays
Help our holiday season to be focused on You and Your love. Please guide our interactions with family and friends to be filled with joy and service. Help us focus on You and the gift of your Son, Jesus, during the holidays.
Welcome to Advent 2021
However you and your family may be celebrating the Christmas season, we hope that you feel God’s love during Advent 2021. For more resources on how to navigate the holidays with your family, check out our variety of resources.