Advent is a traditional rhythm of the church where we remember Jesus’ birth in humility while we await His return in glory. In a season typically marked by consumerism and busy schedules, remind yourself and your family of the centrality of Jesus at Christmas. 

This year we are calling the church to make Christ front and center during the Christmas season through celebrating Advent. 

It’s easy! To participate in our 12 Days of Christmas Advent, simply follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Each day, we’ll post a new part of the Christmas story along with an activity for you to do. You’ll also have the opportunity to journal about your experience. The event starts on December 1st and ends on December 20th. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to deepen your faith this Christmas season!

Advent is for adoring Jesus. It 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 is optional—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 spiritually challenging, enjoyable, and beneficial.

The English word advent is from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” The advent primarily in view each December is the first coming of Jesus two millennia ago. But Jesus’s second coming gets drawn in as well. Sterling Wood Church will be celebrating Advent from December 1st – 20th.

Christians throughout the world have their different ways of celebrating Advent and various practical ways. Some light candles. Some sing songs. Some eat candies. Some give gifts. Some hang wreaths. Many of us do all of the above. Over the centuries, we have developed many good ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond merely the short twenty-four hours of December 25. The incarnation of the Son of God, “for us and for our salvation,” as the old creed says, is too significant to appreciate in just one day. Indeed, it’s something we will celebrate for all eternity.

Our prayer is that this advent season might help you keep Jesus as the center and greatest treasure of your Christmas. 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.

Why Participate?

Doing the Advent will not only draw you closer to Christ daily but help others as well. Some of the activities will open doors of opportunity to share Christ with others through thoughtful acts of kindness, promote the true meaning of Christmas and even open some doors to invite people to come to church with you! We are excited for what these activities will do in your life and those around you! So please be sure to share any stories you may have while going through the 12 Days of Christmas Advent. 

Also, Advent is for anyone! You don’t have to be a member to follow along!

How to Participate

We have decided to do a 12 Days of Christmas posts on social media. You can participate in this church wide Advent experience by following us on Facebook or Instagram, OR if you’re not on socials you can follow along below and download a PDF check list. 

12 Days of Christmas Advent

Prayer is central when celebrating and remembering Advent. This is why we ask you to commit to pray each day. Below you will find some prayer prompts to assist you. These prayer prompts flow from the daily devotional readings.

🌟✨ In the stillness of this season, let’s reflect on the divine promise from Isaiah 7:14: ‘Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.’ The birth of Immanuel, ‘God with us,’ reminds us of the profound love and presence of our Savior in our lives. 🙏👶🌟

Watch a Christmas movie (can be by yourself or you can host a movie night with friends), be sure to choose one that gets you to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas! Journal or share with someone what God revealed to you.

🌟✨ As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the promised Savior, let’s reflect on the profound words of Isaiah 9:6-7: ‘For a child will be born for us… He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.’ These titles reveal the boundless love and purpose of our King, whose reign brings justice, righteousness, and everlasting prosperity. Let’s find hope in His eternal promise. 🙏👑🌟

Take time to read Isaiah 9:6-7. Pray for the crisis in Israel. For His peace to reign, His justice to come and Hope to be revealed. Journal your thoughts.

🌟✨ In the humble town of Bethlehem Ephrathah, a prophecy of immense significance was spoken in Micah 5:2: ‘One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.’ This verse reminds us that our Savior’s coming was foretold from ancient times, and His birth fulfilled a divine plan for all of humanity. Reflect on the timeless promise this Christmas season. 🙏🌟

As you read Micah 5:2, reflect on the caption. Then plan something special for someone, just because you’re thankful for them. It can be a gift, a coffee, a special date, a card, whatever you choose to do for that person. Any act of kindness. Journal your experience and any thoughts.

🌟🕊️ Imagine the moment when the angel spoke to Mary, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’ These words from Luke 1:30-31 and 35 reveal the miraculous birth of Jesus, the Son of God. Mary’s faith and God’s divine plan remind us of the wondrous love and grace of Christmas. Let’s reflect on this sacred moment that changed the world. 🙏🌟

Take a moment to read Luke 1:26-38. Reflect on this moment in history. Journal your thoughts and anything God reveals to you.

🌟👶 In the embrace of Mary and Elizabeth, a profound moment unfolded, as described in Luke 1:41-45. Elizabeth’s baby leaped for joy, and she exclaimed, ‘You are the most blessed of women.’ The meeting of two expectant mothers, both chosen by God, reminds us of the extraordinary joy and blessings that come from believing in His promises. Reflect on the power of faith and the fulfillment of God’s word this Christmas season. 🙏💫

Read Luke 1:41-45. Plan to bake cookies, brownies or fudge for a neighbor or friend. This can be a great opportunity to open a door to share how the promises of God changed your life. Do this activity by yourself or with a friend or group! Journal your thoughts and experiences.

🙏🌟 Mary’s words in Luke 1:46-49 resonate through the ages, a testament to her humble heart and unwavering faith. ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,’ she declared. Her praise reminds us that God’s favor is for the humble, and His name is holy. Reflect on the blessings that come from embracing God’s will and the greatness of His works this Christmas season. 🌟💖

Reflect back to a time when God has done something great through you or for you. Journal your thoughts.

🙏🌟 In the midst of doubt and uncertainty, Joseph’s righteousness and faithfulness shone through. From Matthew 1:19-21, we witness his struggle and then the divine revelation that changed everything. Joseph’s obedience played a vital role in the fulfillment of God’s plan. Reflect on the power of trust, even when the path seems unclear, and how it can lead to unexpected blessings this Christmas season. 🌟💫

Take time to read Matthew 1:18-25. Reflect on Joseph’s situation, and think of a time when God challenged you to trust Him when things looked unclear. Journal your thoughts or anything God reveals to you. Then ask God to show you someone who needs encouragement today. Could be a sticky note or a kind word.

🌟🏠 The journey of Joseph and Mary, compelled by a decree from Caesar, led them from Nazareth to Bethlehem, fulfilling ancient prophecies of the birth of a King from the line of David. Luke 2:1-5 reminds us that God’s divine plan unfolds through the most unexpected paths. Reflect on the significance of their journey, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the symbolism of Bethlehem, the city of David, where the Savior’s story began. 🌟✨

Take time to read Luke 2:1-5. Journal your thoughts. Think about a time when unexpected paths led you to fulfillment.

🌟👶 In the humblest of settings, the most extraordinary event unfolded. Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son, our Savior, and laid Him in a manger, for there was no room at the inn. Luke 2:6-7 reminds us that greatness can emerge from the most humble beginnings. Reflect on the significance of this humble birth and the love that filled that stable. 🌟💕

As you read Luke 2:6-7 think back to your earliest moments as a Christian and where you are now. Journal your thoughts.

see the majesty of Christ born.

🌟🌠 Imagine the awe of the shepherds as they beheld the radiant glory of the Lord and heard the angel’s message in Luke 2:9-11. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the angel proclaimed, ‘for today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.’ Let the good news of great joy and universal significance resonate in your heart this Christmas. Reflect on the profound impact of the birth of our Savior. 🙏🌠

Read Luke 2:9-11. What is the meaning of good news and great joy to you? Journal your thoughts.

🌠🙏 The shepherds’ swift response to the angelic message in Luke 2:15-18 is a testament to their unwavering faith and the urgency of the good news. They hurried to Bethlehem and bore witness to the miracle of Jesus lying in a manger. Reflect on the shepherds’ dedication to sharing the message and the profound impact their testimony had on all who heard it. Let their story inspire you to share the joy of the Christmas story this season. 🌟💫

Read Luke 2:15-18. Reflect on the caption above. Journal your thoughts. Then take time to pray for the people in your life and the blessings God has given you. Pray for anyone the Lord brings to your mind and pray for those who may need the good news you already know.

🌟🌠 The journey of the wise men from the east, guided by a celestial star, led them to the very presence of the newborn King. In Matthew 2:1-2,9-11, we witness their unwavering faith, their pursuit of the divine, and their profound act of worship and gift-giving. Reflect on the significance of their journey and the treasures they offered to the Savior. Let their example inspire you to seek and worship the Christ child in your own way this Christmas. 🌠💖

Read Matthew 2:1-11 and reflect on the caption. The wise men gave gifts fit for a king! Think about what you give in your relationship with Jesus. Is it your time? Money? Relationships? What areas do you need to give more to Him? Journal your thoughts.
As we wrap up the 12 days, don’t let these devotions and journal entries collect dust. Allow God to use these times to propel you beyond just the Christmas season.

Playlists this Christmas

Many traditional Christmas songs are rich in theology and truth. Listen and worship throughout the holiday season.