Resources for Advent 2017

Have you planned how you’ll spend time celebrating the good news of Jesus this Advent season?

We want to help you engage this season intentionally, before it slips away.

Over the next several weeks we will be preaching through Colossians in our new series, Good News of Great Joy. We will also sing, light Advent candles, and read through the story of Christ’s first coming together. 

Beyond that, we would encourage you to spend a few minutes making a plan now to intentionally slow down and savor the goodness of Jesus though this season.


Advent Community Guide

This new guide from Saturate provides one devotional reading for each week of Advent, and one for Christmas Day. This resource can be used as a devotion for families or in gospel communities on mission. Each devotion contains a passage of Scripture, a brief reflection on that passage, sample prayers to guide the prayers of children and adults, and hymns to sing together to give voice to your praises and longings.

This resource coincides with the incarnation stories in The Jesus Storybook Bible. Coloring sheets for each week are available.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Advent Guide

A guided journey of wonder through The Jesus Storybook Bible tracing the beautiful story of God’s great love for us–from the very beginnings of the universe, to the birth of the baby who would rescue the whole world. This guide includes: a reading guide, printable ornaments, and activity ideas.

Desiring God

Desiring God has several great daily Advent devotionals and resources that aim to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season. 

Come Lord Jesus Come: A Devotional for Advent

This is a free resource by Nathan Sherman and Will Walker that contains daily devotions built around four themes, one for each week of advent; hope, peace, joy, and love.

Come Let Us Adore Him

Paul Tripp seeks to recapture our attention and reawaken our awe during Christmastime. Each day is structured like Tripp’s best-selling devotional, New Morning Mercies‚ with a compelling, gospel-centered thought followed by an extended meditation for the day. Each of the thirty-one devotions also includes a Scripture reading and notes for parents and children, equipping us to do the one thing that matters most each December — celebrate Jesus.

Advent Conspiracy

Check out the Advent Conspiracy website to read through the four tenants; worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. Browse through the site for a family devotional along with other ideas on how to engage this season with intentionality.


Christmas Day

On this Christmas Day we lit a candle for CHRIST and read the following from Matthew 1:18-25:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.


Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We remember the good news that He came to redeem us from our transgressions, and that with Him there is “plentiful redemption.”

He is our Savior. He is Christ the King!

As we remember His first advent we anticipate the second coming of Christ. For we know that He is coming again to bring the work of reconciliation to completion, and all things will be made new.

On this Christmas Day, may we celebrate well. Full of Christ, may we go and proclaim the good news of the person and work of Jesus Christ to a lost and broken world.

Merry Christmas!

The Fourth Week of Advent: LOVE

On the fourth Sunday of Advent at Redemption Church we lit the candle of LOVE, and we read Isaiah 40:1-11 (ESV):

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

Hear the good news that our LORD has come in love. His love is furious. He has lifted valleys and crushed mountains to reach out to us. He is mighty, majestic, and most glorious.

Yet, God’s love is also tender. Like a shepherd, He has gathers us as lambs into His arms. He carries us close to His chest; loving us dearly and deeply.

During this week of Advent, behold the love God has for us. As 1 John 4:9 (ESV) says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”

Please don’t skim over that verse. Don’t let familiarity rob you from feeling the depth of the love that has been manifested toward you. Surely, we can’t celebrate the birth of Jesus and not look toward the cross where He was “pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5 ESV). Jesus came to die in our place to lead us from certain death to life in the arms of our Father.

Beholding His love for us, may we love Him in how we love others. Reggie said it on Sunday, and it is true, “if we truly love people, we will point them to Jesus.”

Make this Christmas truly meaningful by spending some time to direct your heart’s focus on Jesus and giving others the best gift they can receive; Jesus.


Unwrapping God’s Presence: 3 Implications of Christ’s Incarnation

A Christmas Story is my favorite holiday movie. In the movie, Ralphie Parker is in eager pursuit of acquiring his “Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” After numerous mishaps, warnings, and let-downs, Ralphie’s father surprises him with the gift on Christmas morning. This nostalgic film evokes memories for me of when I received my first Red Ryder BB gun (and when I gifted a Red Ryder to my own son just last year…thankfully, no eyes have been shot out!)

The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year to wax nostalgic, connect with loved ones, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Often in the melee we find ourselves clumsily scrambling to unwrap the meaning, like Ralph in his pursuit of a bb gun. However, Advent graces us with the opportunity to dwell on the implications of Christ’s incarnation.

Throughout biblical history, God’s people anticipated the coming of the Christ. Numerous Old Testament prophets wrote expectantly foretelling his birth. The prophet writes in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This prophecy first refers to the birth of the prophet Isaiah’s own son Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz (whose name means “the spoil speeds, the prey hastens”) as a sign of God’s presence with His people during their military and political crisis a few hundred years before the time of Christ.

This prophecy also refers to the birth of Jesus, as the gospel writer affirms in Matthew 1:22-23, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew wrote his gospel just a few decades after the life of Jesus during a time of continue political oppression and religious expectation.

This “double fulfillment” affirms that God is true to His word and also tells us something of the person and work of Jesus. Jesus is God incarnate, God with us, God dwelling with His people. There are several implications of this good news for us today.

3 Implications of Christ’s Incarnation

First, God relates by His presence. Jesus is how we know God the Father (John 1:18; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:2-3). Not only did God dwell with His people as Jesus the incarnate Christ, God continues to dwell with His people (Matt. 28:20; 2 Cor. 13:14). This good news defeats our loneliness and isolation and causes us to live with great joy with God and others (Psalm 16:11).

Second, God saves us by His presence. The name Jesus means “the Lord saves” (Matt. 1:21). God does not rescue His people by some outside, detached means. Rather, the Lord Himself personally rescues His people (Isa. 41:10; John 3:16-17). The good news defeats our fears and doubts and causes us to live in faith.

Third, God empowers us with His presence. The spread of the gospel and the good deeds of the saints is empowered by the Holy Spirit dwelling in and with God’s people. (1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14). This good news defeats our inaction and indifference and fuels our obedience to live godly lives in service to others.

What is the state of your heart this Christmas season. Do you believe the good news of the presence of God with us? Are you responding in joy and repentance, in worship and obedience, in faith and action?

May this good news of Advent give us joyful faith, intimate hope, and bold obedience; for His glory, our joy, and the advancement of the gospel.

Christmas Tea

Redemption Women will be hosting our Inaugural Christmas Tea this Sunday, December 11th at 3 PM, at the Doris Building. Please join us as we celebrate this season of hope and joy together!

In true tea party tradition, we will have hot tea, scones, tea sandwiches, cookies, muffins, and more! Festivities will include an ornament exchange, games, door prizes, and fellowship.

Please plan to bring a wrapped ornament for the ornament exchange. However, if you are unable to bring an ornament for any reason, please do not let that hinder you from attending as there will be plenty of extra ornaments.

Childcare will be provided, but please RSVP quickly, so that we can accommodate the amount of children.

We hope you will join us for this joyful and whimsical celebration of the Christmas season!