I'm super strict about giving Thanksgiving its place in the spotlight before moving on to Christmas, but I wanted to share this with you all before Advent begins.
I've been searching for that perfect Advent devotional for years--one that chronicles the Christmas story from beginning to end without sappy/boring/unrelated anecdotes stealing the limelight. I've found countless books that include cute little stories that only sort of relate to the daily scripture readings, and scripture readings that only sort of relate to Christmas. Anticipation? Check. Hope? Check. The birth of our Savior? Eh, that shows up on Christmas day. Maybe. That perfect Advent devotional doesn't seem to exist--or, if it does, I haven't found it yet (if you have, let me know, please!).
So, I finally created my own. It's cobbled together with Old Testament prophesies listed in Halley's Bible Handbook for the weekday readings and pieces of the Christmas story for Sunday readings. I struggled to stretch the selections through Epiphany, so the passage for January 6 is Jesus' baptism, which apparently is what some churches celebrate on Epiphany, as opposed to the visit of the magi.
I must also note that I am not a Bible scholar, so this is by no means a "perfect" Advent devotional. I might discover partway through that it's not worth using, or I might decide to tweak a few things and try again next year. In any case, having spent several hours putting this together, I decided to share it.
I recommend reading the notes and cross-references in a study Bible as you read each day's passage(s), or consulting a concordance or handbook like Halley's Bible Handbook (if you have this one, check out the section between the Testaments on prophesies about Christ). If you decide to use this list of readings, please send me comments, questions, and suggestions for improvement!
Click here to view the 2016 Advent devotional!
Please print double-sided to save paper (this is best done from the preview page that loads directly from the link--opening the document in Google Docs will mess up the formatting, unfortunately. . . .)