Christmas and Advent Readings

painting of candle and white pointsettias

How would Christ want us to prepare for Christmas? In what way might he want us to remember his birth? The question before us is this: Will the Child come into the dusty, dirty cavern of our lives? Or will we just unthinkingly immerse ourselves in Christmas sights and sounds, content that all is shine? This is the central concern of the articles and meditations collected below.

Books: Christmas and Advent Readings

Watch for the Light English

Watch for the Light

By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and others

Selections from the world’s greatest spiritual writers provide inspiration for the most widely celebrated holiday of the year.

The Shepherd's Pipe English

The Shepherd's Pipe

By Georg Johannes Gick, Trans. Jere Brunner

This unpretentious yet hauntingly mystical cycle of poems, now set to music, revolves around the stable on Christmas Night. The commonplace things participate in the miraculous birth, as do the everyday people who come to worship. Read the poems, listen to the songs, or download the sheet music and sing it yourselves. Deutsch

When the Time was Fulfilled English

When the Time Was Fulfilled

By Various Authors

The meditations in this collection witness to the fact that the birth of Jesus is more than history – it is a reality – but only for those who feel their need and are personally ready to come to the manger.

Articles: Christmas and Advent Readings

A painting depicting Christ lying naked and helpless on the stable floor with ox and ass looking upon him.

The Real Stable

By Giovanni Papini

"It was not by chance that Jesus was born in a stable," Papini writes, reflecting on the significance of Jesus' birth in the lowliest and filthiest of places.

A detail of the Mother Mary from Fra Filippo Lippi's painting, Adoration in the Forest.

The Motherly Spirit

By Eberhard Arnold

We must learn from Mary, the mother of Jesus, to hear the Word and believe it. Her motherly spirit teaches us to rejoice and serve in the humblest places.

Red candle

The Shaking Reality of Advent

By Alfred Delp

Advent is blessed with God’s promises, which constitute the hidden happiness of this time. These promises kindle the light in our hearts. Being shattered, being awakened – these are necessary for Advent. français Deutsch español

many long white candles

The Eve of Advent

By Eberhard Arnold

While violence floods the streets, Arnold writes, we await God's intervention in the injustice and suffering of our world. An Advent meditation.