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An Advent Challenge

I came across a description of Advent on an educational website. It caused me to stop and think. It says: “Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Celebrating Advent typically involves a season of prayer, fasting, and repentance, followed by anticipation, hope, and joy. Many Christians celebrate Advent not only by thanking God for Christ’s first coming to Earth as a baby, but also for his presence among us today through the Holy Spirit, and in preparation and anticipation of his final coming at the end of the age.”

The words in bold are the ones I felt Jesus highlighting to me. I found myself confessing that whilst I do lots of preparing for Christmas, I am not sure I am so good at ‘make myself ready.’ And in my experience it is not ‘typically’ a season of prayer, fasting, and repentance. Maybe that is why it sometimes feels like really hard work to get to the hope and joy of Christmas. And somehow, whilst we are busy celebrating baby Jesus, and possibly thinking about his second coming, we forget that Jesus is present among us right now, today and always. 

I wonder if Jesus has some challenges for us all this Advent season. What would it mean for us as an Inspire family to actually make this a season of fasting and prayer and repentance? Maybe it would make the celebration of Christmas even more magnificent this year.

I am going to be using my Advent Devotional Countdown to Christmas with Jesus this year to help remind me that Jesus IS with me, and to cultivate the disciplines of fasting, prayer and repentance. I’ve bought a new copy of the journal so I can start with a clean page on Dec 1 🙂 


Countdown to Christmas with Jesus is designed to help families*, biological and spiritual, to seek Jesus and step out in sharing the good news of Christmas through the Advent season. For each day through Advent, there is a rhythm of devotions that includes prayer, reflection on scripture and a creative activity designed to help you take this exciting journey together.

The beautifully illustrated accompanying journal provides space to make a note of what God is saying through the scripture, prayers and activities. 

Why not give it a try yourself and/or buy it as a gift for someone else? If you already have the devotional dig it out and buy a new journal so that you can work through it again and discover the new truths and wonders of this Advent.

We would love to hear how the Lord encourages you. Send us an email

*Although designed with children and families in mind we have people of all ages and stages of life receiving God’s blessing through this devotional and journal.

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