If you are looking for something to study or reflect on this Advent, whether in church, home group, school or for your own reflection, here’s some suggestions. Some are those I’ve used, others people have recommended (& thanks to those on Twitter for some of these!), some are brand new out this year. If you’ve got other faves or ones you’d recommend, let me know and I’ll add them in.
The Art of Advent – Jane Williams – 2018
This is new out this year from SPCK, is the Archbishop of York’s Advent book, and looks right up my street, with a painting a day to focus on, along with a reflection and prayer. The paintings range from the more traditional like della Francesca’s ‘Baptism of Jesus’ to the more modern He Qi or Dali. Beautiful and thoughtful, I am looking forward to delving into this myself!
Advent for Everyone: A Journey Through Luke – Tom Wright – 2018
Good old Tom Wright – always going to be a winner! New for this year and in the same vein as Wright’s ‘Everyman’ series and following on from his previous Advent books, this Advent devotional takes the reader through Luke with daily readings and meditations.
Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Christ – Fleming Rutledge – 2018
A bit more pricey and probably a denser read, though the blurb does refer to the authors ‘wit and wisdom’ this is new out this year from Fleming Rutledge.
£23.99 on Amazon and marginally cheaper for kindle
Those Who Wait – Tanya Marlow – 2017
I read this last year as part of the launch team and loved it. It is a wonderful reflection on waiting in different circumstances, structured around the lives of four biblical heroes (Sarah, Isaiah, John and Mary).
Each section includes really useful suggestions for personal devotion or home group studies, as well as ideas on using it as an Advent Devotional. Quite profound and moving at times I’d recommend this as a personal read or for a small group.
Waiting on the Word– Malcom Guite 2016
A collection of poems from across the Christian spiritual and English literary traditions and offers incisive seasonal reflections on it.
Canterbury Press £10.99 download or £12.99 in print
Songs for a Saviours Birth – William Philip – 2016
I reviewed this a couple of years ago and gave it 4 stars, how very generous of me. Philip navigates his way through the beginning of Luke’s Gospel via the medium of ‘song’ – from Elizabeth’s exclamation on meeting the pregnant Mary, through to the Virgin’s own ‘Magnificat’; from Zechariah’s post-dumbness-prophecy to the angel’s declaration of praise on the hillside; and finally Simeon’s emotional response to encountering the long awaited Christ.
Not too theological, or too long (at just 74 pages), an easy to read, but with enough depth to challenge, this is a book that is accessible for many. It is clearly written with the reader in mind, asking questions of us, even in places challenging us to engage our faith with contemporary issues.
The Little Book of Advent – Canon Arthur Howells – 2015
A collection put together by Canon Howells, this includes daily reflections, scriptures and prayer. I’ve not tried this but some nice stuff in there and it’s just £1.99 on kindle / or £4.99 in print from Eden.
The Meaning is in The Waiting – Paula Gooder – 2012
A few years old now (ABY’s Advent book for that year) but still well recommended
£7.50 kindle/ £5 paperback (randomly yes kindle is more expensive on this one!)
Journeying Towards Jesus – Fr Denis MCBride – 2010
Recommended via Twitter, this could work for groups or personal reflection. The book invites the reader to journey together towards a deeper appreciation of the true meaning of what we celebrate at Christmas.
in 2 mins from ‘Busted Halo’ a Catholic resource. Though I’d suggest the video is accessible across Christian denominations and could be used at church or school quite easily. Seems free but don’t quote me on that.
Is the Archbishop of York’s school resource for Advent looking at 4 different gifts. It is free to download with packs for different age groups and seems you could use in other environments too – at home with kids, in church groups etc
is a free resource for families to do at home together, with 26 devotions on key scripture passages for the Advent season. Simple activities and prayers means it is easily accessible and engaging – even if you just have a few minutes together. Download for fee or you can get print copies via CPO
A few years old now but still useful – aims to change the busyness of the season by giving you a chance to slow down and reflect. For each day until Christmas Day, it offers a small, family-friendly action that will help you focus on the true meaning of the Advent season. The theme throughout is thoughtfulness and generosity.
Booklets can be bought for £2.99 or £1.50 for the children’s version. there re also free schools resources to go with it.
I put this list together for an online Advent calendar we ran a few years back – it’s a list of short scriptures, one a day telling the Christmas story through Advent. Can be used in your own projects etc.
Behind Advent Unwrapped, ‘Stewardship’ also have a selection of previous years resources on their website