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

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.

photo of sun on snowy trees

Waiting for the Second Christmas

By Dwight Blough

Now that Christmas is past, we enter a new advent season – a time of holy expectation of a second Christmas, the birth of the Son of God in us, the birth of the kingdom of God for the whole world.

Christmas balls in a box

From “For the Time Being”

By W.H. Auden

To those who have seen The Child, however dimly, however incredulously, The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.


The Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach

By Colin Fields

New for 2014: The Plough Music Series is a regular selection of music intended to lift your heart to God. Each installment will focus on a single piece worth pausing to enjoy.