Advent is my favorite time of year. I love the building anticipation of celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus through daily traditions and devotionals. Our daily traditions are many, and every year we add new things to do. One is in the form of an Advent calendar comprised of doors. Behind each door is a Bible passage, a hymn to sing, a children’s book to read, a tiny ornament to put on the Christmas tree, and an activity to do to celebrate our coming king. 

We also do a Latin Advent calendar, explaining the origins and meanings behind the vocabulary we use around this time of year. Another daily tradition is in the form of a daily video about advent passages and the history behind the Advent wreath. We have enjoyed doing the daily Advent devotional reading from “Come Let Us Adore Him” by Paul David Tripp. If you are looking for an easy place to start Advent traditions, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing this book and reading it together as a household or small group. It is a fantastic Advent devotional for individuals and families alike. It really prepares our hearts and minds for focusing on our Savior.

A few years ago, we added a lovely advent calendar about the Names of Jesus. It is BEAUTIFUL! I love the look of it strung on our wall, and I love the physical act of turning over the names over the course of the month. My favorite part is exploring the names of Jesus in depth with my kids. 

On December 2nd, we explored the name “I Am”. This can be a tricky name to understand since it doesn’t sound like a name at all. As the author eloquently wrote, “It sounds more like a sentence with a word missing, like ‘I am hungry’ or ‘I am hot.’ But when Jesus called himself ‘I am’ in John 8:58, he didn’t forget a word. Jesus knew exactly what he was saying. He was calling himself God. He was saying he was not just Jesus the man, but that he was also God. ‘I am’ was the name God was known by in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14). And so, when Jesus was speaking to the Jews, a group of people who knew their old testament very well, he knew that why would understand exactly what he was saying: that he is God… What a great name for Jesus: ‘I am’. It shows us that he is God. It shows us how forgiveness and eternal life is possible. Jesus is God himself. He was born and lived a perfect life, yet willingly died for us. He then rose from the dead proving once and for all that he is God. He is ‘I am’…”

The best part was the connection my 8 year old made when we were singing “Mary Did You Know” a few minutes later. There is a part that says, “Did you know that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb? The sleeping Child you’re holding is the great ‘I am’…” She suddenly shouts, “They are talking about Jesus! That’s His name! They are saying He is God!” I think my mamma heart almost burst with joy in that moment.