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Anticipating Advent


Abingdon Press and The Upper Room have new devotional books for Advent 2013, which will begin on Sunday, Dec. 1. Among them is one suitable for a churchwide study and another aimed at families.

Advent A to Z

Sharon Harding and John Indermark's book Advent A to Z can help children learn about Advent and prepare for Jesus' birth. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 26, activities help children explore a different Advent-related word each day. (Abingdon Press, also available as an e-book)

Advent Calendar of Devotions

Advent: A Calendar of Devotions 2013 by Deborah Westbrook will help people step back from the bustle and stress of the season and prepare to rejoice in God's gift, Jesus Christ. A Scripture reading, brief message and prayer are part of each devotion. (Abingdon Press)

Embodied Light: Advent Reflections on the Incarnation

A four-week study by Melissa Tidwell, Embodied Light: Advent Reflections on the Incarnation invites pondering the mystery of incarnation and considering how to follow the fully human yet fully divine Jesus with one's whole self. It offers answers to two questions: What does it really mean that God became human? How can I embody God's love in my own life? (The Upper Room)

Finding Bethlehem in the Midst of Bedlam

Christmas or confusion, Bethlehem or bedlam . . . which will you choose this year? The truth is Christmas always happens right in the midst of confusion says James W. Moore, author of Finding Bethlehem in the Midst of Bedlam. Youth and children's components make the five-session study suitable for churchwide use on the four Sundays of Advent and the one following Christmas Day. Each chapter includes discussion questions, a prayer, a focus for the week and six daily Bible readings. Brittany Sky Stanley developed the children's study that delves into Luke's Gospel. Mike Poteet's youth study will help teens experience the hope of Christ amid the commotion, confusion and challenges of their day-to-day lives. (Abingdon Press, also available as an e-book)

God's Gift of Love

Donna E. Schaper wrote the book and Nan Duerling the included leader's guide for God's Gift of Love, based on the Revised Common Lectionary readings for Year A. Schaper offers the opportunity and challenge for readers to appreciate and live in the amazing gift of God's love, both in Jesus' birth and in Christ's second coming in the fullness of time. (Abingdon Press, also available as an e-book)

Compiled by the Rev. Kathy Noble, editor, Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine,, a publication of United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.