An advent calendar made of small wooden houses.

5 Books to Prepare our Hearts During Advent

Advent is a season I am growing to love, but still trying to get a good handle on. I didn’t grow up around Christianity, so when I hear “advent,” I still think chocolate and calendars. Now that I am a Christian, I know Advent is about something more and better. It is about expectation and anticipation; preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to do that is with books. Whether alone or along with other members of my family, Advent books have helped me focus and enjoy the Christmas season all the more. So with the season beginning this weekend, here’s a look at a few different books that I would recommend as options for personal and group reading.

5 books to read during Advent

The Advent of the Lamb of God by Russ Ramsey. Russ’s beautifully written book is one I wish I read years before I finally did. Broken up into 25 readings, this book is an exploration of the sense of longing and anticipation that runs through the entirety of the Old Testament—an anticipation only and ultimately fulfilled in Jesus’s birth.

The Expected One by Scott James. For years, this has been our go-to book for family discussion. The Expected One features daily readings from Scripture, along with brief reflections and discussion questions designed to engage the whole family around the promise of the Messiah found throughout the Old Testament.

The God Who is With Us by Ronnie Martin. This is a new one in 2022, but it’s the one I’m actually most excited about engaging with this season. “Engage” is the operative word. This is no passive read. Alongside Ronnie’s insights and contagious joy over the birth of Jesus,1 this book offers plenty of room for us to write our own reflections as we read.

The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell & Catalina Echeverri. This an excellent book to enjoy with children to help them gain a better sense of the “bigness” of Christmas in a very accessible way.

Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller. While not a traditional Advent read, this book brought a greater sense of focus and worship to Christmas for me than most any other. It is profoundly theological and deeply encouraging.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

  1. Truly, no man I know loves Christmas the way Ronnie Martin loves Christmas. ↩︎
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