The Light Before Christmas is a thoughtful family Advent devotional that focuses on Christ as the light of the world.
The Light Before Christmas by Marty Machowski. New Growth Press, 2022. 96 pages.
Recommended for: All ages, particularly ages 4-12.
This devotional guide uses the Advent wreath and its four candles as the structure for looking ahead to Christ’s birth. But Machowski doesn’t stay with the traditional one-word references for each week (such as “joy” or “hope”). The Light Before Christmas, as you might expect, zeroes in on light as a metaphor and sign of Christ. A frame tale about Mia and her blind grandmother preparing for Christmas fleshes out the biblical stories and devotions. These interludes about Mia and her grandmother touch on various light-related elements such as spiritual versus physical blindness and rainbows. Three devotionals follow the story chapter each week.
The question for many family Advent devotionals is not “is it good?” but “what makes this one unique?” Thankfully, we have many wonderful options that help orient us to Christ’s incarnation amidst the hubbub of our cultural Christmas chaos. The Light Before Christmas is a great fit for families who want to reflect on Christ’s Incarnation, but who might not have time every single day. Instead, families can set aside some time on Sunday to read that week’s story chapter, light that week’s Advent candle, and perhaps sing that week’s Christmas hymn. Then, they can choose three additional days that week to read the remaining weekly devotionals together. Each devotional includes a short, effective object lesson, using household items; a reading from God’s Word; suggested ways to talk about the passage; and prayer suggestions.
This is a great family Advent devotional for families who like a little bit of everything (object lesson, singing, Bible reading, etc.), but who might be traveling, are busy with church and school activities, and/or simply want something a little different from the popular Jesse Tree type activities.
Overall Rating: 5
Worldview/moral value: 5
Artistic/literary value: 5
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Related Reading from Redeemed Reader:
Review: Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski, another great family Advent devotional.
Resource: Family Advent Devotional List
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