Christmas is coming. So is Advent.

Some of you are part of churches or groups or families that might like to use a resource to prepare for Advent together. Like a book club. Like a small group.

Though it’s the beginning of October, sometimes we need to make plans, have conversations, and place orders to have books ready for November 27, the first Sunday in Advent 2022.

Advent is a season to help us get ready for Christmas. By spending time slowing down our busy schedules, we can prepare our hearts and minds to remember Christ’s first coming and to anticipate the second. Or we can open calendar boxes with chocolate.

That’s in a usual year.

Since 2020, all our routines have been disrupted. We could use some help with making sense of the year. And Advent is a perfect season for looking back and looking forward.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know that I’ve created three resources to help with Advent.


Saint John of the Mall: Reflections for the Advent Season is a collection of conversations with an old guy at the mall who may be Saint John. The readings are short, about 400 words. At the back of the book is a list of discussion questions. (For a sample, read “Saint John and the Cubs fan.“)


Giving the Year Meaning: A Healing Journal for Advent is more of a journal that walks you through Advent with reflections and activities designed to help you find meaning and healing. Rather than wise sayings or interesting stories, this is daily questions and writing spaces that will invite you to reflect on things we may have missed during the year and then take steps to remember and recover those things.

For example, some of us have forgotten to smile. Some of us have missed out on comforting others in their pain because of our own distraction. Some of us have gotten pretty upset with others. Some of us have forgotten what did work.

The journal runs from November 28 through December 31, one entry every day. To allow the same journal to be used for several years, there are Sunday readings separate from the daily activities.

It can be completed alone or as part of a family or other group conversation.


And for a simple ebook (on Kindle) of short readings, see Anticipation: An Advent Reader.

(And if you are doing this as a group and would like me to join you by Zoom, let me know.)