What is Experience Christmas?
Experience Christmas: Preparing Your Heart for the Manger Through the Stories and Songs of the Season is a twenty-five day Advent devotional. It seeks to create a multi-dimensional daily experience for readers who want more than the status quo this December.
The hustle and bustle and commercial distractions that often accompany this season make it possible to arrive at Christmas celebrations on the 25th filled to the full of good things, while still missing the very best thing of all. Experience Christmas is one way to change that this year.
Daily devotions are formatted to engage the reader through Scripture, reflection, and prayer, and also include the title of a specific Christmas song meant to complement the day’s reading. Sprinkled throughout the book are fictionalized vignettes highlighting some of the major players of the Christmas story, encouraging the reader to consider the humanity that can be found within the Biblical narrative.
The entire devotional emphasizes the value of making space during an incredibly busy season to slow down in anticipation of Christmas, pointing the reader toward personal engagement with the Christ-Child of the manger.
Who is it For?
Formatted for individual or group study, Experience Christmas is an incredible tool for both believer and seeker to engage the Biblical narrative in a new way.
Here are a few specific groups of readers I think would benefit from Experience Christmas this Advent:
Individual Believers & Seekers
Faith is a personal journey and our response to faith is as well. By no means is Experience Christmas meant only for believers or those who have a working knowledge of Christianity.
I believe anyone at any point of their faith journey who is:
- curious about Christianity and faith
- interested in better understanding the meaning of Christmas and Christ’s birth
- looking to make a concerted effort to prepare themselves for Christmas through Advent
- wanting to deepen their relationship with Christ this Christmas
can benefit from the inspiration and insight of this book.
Ministers & Ministry Leaders
Christmas tends to be one of the busiest seasons of the Church calendar. Ministers and ministry leaders spend long hours preparing for Christmas celebrations with their congregants, and can arrive at the final service tired and spent from their labor. Experience Christmas is a great way to invest back into their personal relationship with the Lord during an often taxing and stressful season.
Small Groups, Special Interest Groups, & Communities of Friends
A special trip or vacation is always more memorable when shared with someone you care about. Spiritual journeys are very similar. Reading and discussing Experience Christmas within a traditional Church small group or special interest group setting (like MOPS, Supper Club, playgroup) initiates a different level of engagement and introduces a measure of accountability to keep-at-it until the end. Even picking the book up to read with one other person – a friend or a spouse – can deepen understanding and meaning of the devotional.
Sometimes it’s just impossible to meet with someone (or a group of someone’s) face-to-face for regular discussion of anything. I completely get it – with a brand new baby and my husband pursuing his masters, this currently is where we live.
Find an online friend or group who will commit to reading the book alongside of you or join me during the month of December on Facebook where we’ll be chatting about each day’s reading.
I know there are still several calendar pages between now and December, but I want to encourage you to take a moment to consider how you want to approach Advent this year, and who you might want to invite on the journey with you.