If you’re not careful, Thanksgiving comes, and the Christmas crush is on. And it does just that. It crushes us with the busyness and the stress and all that we’ve got to get done and check off our list. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing is over, and we’ve missed the miracle that is Christmas.
And that’s why it’s important to slow down and consider the rhythm of the Advent and Christmas season. Advent, at its core is about waiting. Specifically, it’s about waiting in expectation, and remembering that God comes through on his promises.
You might be in a part of the story right now where you can’t see how all the pieces are coming together, God’s working right now amid the waiting. While you’re waiting on God, God is working his plan in your life.
Here are the Top 4 studies from trusted teachers on the waiting season of Advent.
1. Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope – Louie Giglio
A season overflowing with anticipation, Christmas comes the same time each year with great hope and promise of a baby born long ago. But this season meant for joy is often consumed by busyness, pressure, mixed emotions, and is gone as quickly as it came.
What is it all for?
In this four session study, pastor Louie Giglio reminds us that it’s in the richness of Advent – a season of expectant waiting and preparation – that we find our answer. And it is throughout this waiting season that we prepare our hearts to greet December 25th with joy, peace, hope, and refreshed promise in our newborn King.
Here’s Louie talking about the series:
2. Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here – Max Lucado
No one expected the Messiah to come the way he did. Yet the way he came was every bit as important as the coming itself. The manger is the message.
Because of Bethlehem, God knows what it’s like to be human. Because of Bethlehem, when we talk to him about tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we no longer have marks on our record…just grace.
For some, Christmas is a time of excitement, celebration, and family, while for others it is a time of loneliness, grief, and loss. No matter what this season holds for you, the promise of Christmas will bring you a lifetime of hope.
Max Lucado guides you through the Advent season:
3. The Case for Christmas: Evidence for the Identity of Jesus – Lee Strobel
During his faith journey, Lee Strobel investigated the real meaning behind all those nativity scenes he saw outside of churches. In this four-week study, Lee reveals what he discovered from consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy as he sought to separate the truth from the tradition.
Regardless of whether the center of your Christmas decorations is the nativity set on your mantle or the presents under the tree, The Case for Christmas study invites you to look beyond the familiar traditions of the season, challenge you to examine the evidence for yourself, and consider why Christmas really matters and why it’s still so relevant today.
Watch a clip from the first session:
4. Who Needs Christmas – Andy Stanley
Rediscover the improbable story of Christmas.
Four thousand years ago, God promised he would do something through the bloodline of Abraham. Two thousand years later, Jesus was born. And two thousand years after that, we’re still talking about it.
The story of Jesus’ birth was not what anyone expected: a baby . . . born in the armpit of the Mediterranean . . . to save us from sins that no one thought we needed saving from.
This Christmas season, join Andy Stanley as he unpacks why the improbability of the Christmas story is what makes it so believable. No one could have or would have made it up.
Watch the trailer for Who Needs Christmas: