Christians around the world intentionally reflect and prepare their hearts for Christ’s coming in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. This practice is known as Advent. Different cultures have developed many customs and traditions over the years to mark the season, from calendars to wreaths and candles.
I didn’t grow up attending a church that observed Advent. But as an adult, I discovered taking time to engage in the practice of Advent helps me to slow down and purposefully celebrate Jesus’ birth and exercise gratitude for God’s continued presence in my life every day.
As a parent, I wanted to find a way to make the practice of Advent come alive for my children, and I found an Advent storybook adventure series that does just that.
The Jotham’s Journey series is a four-book adventure series for parents to read to their children during Advent.
Each book tells the story of Jesus’ birth from a different perspective.
Only one book is read per year, providing enough material for four years of Advent storytelling if you read them all.
Every day, there is a chapter for the family to read together and a devotional to reflect on.
The first book in the series is Jotham’s Journey.
It tells the story of a ten-year-old Jewish boy who becomes separated from his family. He journeys through ancient Israel trying to find his nomadic family of shepherds, making new friends, narrowly escaping danger and ultimately discovering the miracle of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
Each chapter tells a little more of the story with countless cliffhangers that leave children and parents wanting more. The story culminates on Christmas day with excitement and anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ and what His arrival means for all of humanity.
My family is going on our sixth year of reading these Advent stories together, and we look forward to it every year.
As a parent, I love that this series helps my children cultivate a daily practice of spiritual reflection and anticipation during Advent. I pray that as they grow, the daily exercise of hope and expectation during Advent will fill their hearts at Christmastime and every day of the year.
If you want to try something different with your children this Advent season, consider the Jotham’s Journey book series.
May God bless you and your family as you prepare your hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas!
Book 1: Jotham’s Journey
Book 2: Bartholomew’s Passage
Book 3: Tabitha’s Travels
Book 4: Ishtar’s Odyssey
Image from Jotham’s Journey.