Best 2023 Advent Bible Reading Plan with Free Printable

During Christmastime, it is easy to get caught up in the busyness of the Christmas season. In the midst of traditions such as decorating a Christmas tree, we can forget to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. 

This Advent Bible reading plan helps us focus on God’s Word and His beautiful gifts to us during the Advent season – despite the busyness of the season.

Contents

What is Advent?

While you may see a chocolate Advent calendar or one made out of Legos serving as a countdown to Christmas in the secular world, Advent for the church is more than just a countdown to Christmas.

The word “advent” is from the Latin word for “coming” (adventus). In simplest terms, it describes the arrival of Jesus as a baby in the manger. During the month of December followers of Jesus around the world reflect on the nativity story and what the birth of Christ means for our faith. 

Jesus’ birth and the Christmas story are best reflected in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:1-21). If you attended Sunday school class as a child, you probably learned the real meaning of Christmas in the New Testament.

However, the Old Testament contains God’s promises concerning the coming Messiah in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. So the Sundays of Advent comprise the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. In 2023, Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd, and ends on Christmas Eve.

What Part of the Bible Should I Read During Advent?

The true story of Christmas is contained in these portions of the Bible: 

This Advent plan that walks us through daily Scripture readings for your Advent study time. It is a great way to know the real reason for our Advent journey this holiday season.

Why Do Christians Read Scriptures During Advent?

Christmas exists to celebrate the birth of our Savior! Reading daily Scriptures is not a random tradition of Advent. Rather, those words remind us why this special season exists: to celebrate the birth of the promised Messiah that God foretold from the beginning of time.

Glittery decorations are very festive and contribute to the beautiful things of Christmas. However, we celebrate the best gift of all in the true reason for the season: Jesus Christ.

He came to offer the hope of eternity with Him for all who believe that He came, lived a perfect life, died, and rose again to secure a place with Him in heaven. 

How to Celebrate Advent

Traditionally we gather at church or at home around an advent wreath with four candles in the wreath and one candle in the center. These candles represent Jesus Christ as the light of the world. Traditionally, three outer candles are dark purple, one is lavender and the center candle is white.

Although you may enjoy a traditional Advent wreath you can also use any five candles and be as creative or simple as you like for your family or church!

How to Use These Advent Resources

There are Scripture readings each day of Advent: December 3-24, 2023. You can read these on your own or with your family. 

If you have a little more study time some days, read the Bible verses and chapters surrounding the daily readings to better understand the context of what you are reading.

On Sunday, gather your family (friends, roommates, Bible study group) together (or you can certainly do it alone) and read through that week’s Bible passage list while lighting the next candle on your Advent wreath. This provides a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of the season, rather than ticking off items on a Christmas shopping list.

Advent Bible Reading Plan

I’ve created this FREE DOWNLOAD containing the Advent reading plan, Just print it out and tuck it into your Bible to read during Advent. Print it out and by all means, share it! 

Connect to my ministry Facebook page to read the short daily Advent devotions that go with each day’s Scripture. Here are the days of readings from Scripture at a glance: 

  • December 3: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
  • December 4: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)
  • December 5: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
  • December 6: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:23)
  • December 7: “And the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.'” (Luke 1:26-27, 31)
  • December 8: “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'” (Matthew 1:20)
  • December 9: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.” (Luke 2:8)
  • December 10: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'” (Luke 2:10)
  • December 11: “And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God. (Luke 2:12-13)
  • December 12: “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
  • December 13: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
  • December 14: “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see that which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:15-16)
  • December 15: “So they hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:16)
  • December 16: “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:17-18)
  • December 17: “All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:18-19)
  • December 18: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem…wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.” (Matthew 2:1)
  • December 19: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)
  • December 20: “And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.” (Matthew 2:11a)
  • December 21: “Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11b)
  • December 22: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1, 4-5)
  • December 23: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11)
  • December 24: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

Bottom Line

An Advent Bible reading plan provides a meaningful way to reflect and center your heart on Jesus during the season of Advent. If you get behind on your daily Bible readings, simply skip to the appropriate day – no need to make up. The key is being intentional about seeking Jesus during this season.

Don’t worry about doing it perfectly. Intentionally setting aside time to spend with Jesus in His Word is the greatest gift of Christmas! 

Merry Christmas!

Related Posts:

About the Author
 
Although Donna is a sought-after Bible teacher, her path from being unchurched to becoming passionate about sharing Jesus was not easy. Go here to read her God-breathed journey, “From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker.” 

If you want to send Donna a quick message, then visit her contact page here.

{Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, the ministry may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!}

Popular Christmas Words From A-Z (Free Game Sheets)

Christmas is the biggest, most celebrated, and holy holiday season in the world. In the United States of America, it is a cherished time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, decorate a Christmas tree, hang Christmas lights, and invite family and friends for Christmas dinner. 

A lot of merrymaking activities accompany this special time of year. Have you ever taken the time to make a list of Christmas words that make up your Christmas vocabulary?

Here is a holiday word list (plus free game sheets for your holiday gatherings) containing a lot of Christmas words that are the most beloved from each letter of the alphabet.

Letter A

  • Advent
  • Advent Calendar
  • Angel
  • Away in a Manger
  • Announcement (the birth of Jesus)
  • Anticipation
  • All (is calm, all is bright)
  • Antlers
  • Attend (church and Christmas gatherings)
  • Acknowledge (our need for a Savior)
  • Aroma
  • Appreciate

Letter B

  • Bethlehem 
  • Birth (of Jesus)
  • Blessed
  • Bells
  • Believe
  • Blitzen (Santa’s reindeer)
  • Boots (snow and ski)
  • Baking
  • Born
  • Buying (gifts)
  • Bows
  • Boxes (to hold gifts)
  • Boxing Day
  • Best (time of joy)

Letter C

Letter D

  • David’s star
  • Dasher (one of Santa’s reindeer)
  • Dancer (one of Santa’s reindeer)
  • Deck the Halls
  • Decorations
  • December
  • Dressing
  • Deliver (Christmas presents)
  • Dashing (through the snow)

Letter E

  • Epiphany (Three Kings Day)
  • Emmanuel (“God with Us”; the name given to Jesus)
  • Elves (Santa’s helpers)
  • Eggnog
  • Eve (the day before Christmas)
  • Eat
  • Evergreen (Christmas tree)
  • Entertain (hosting Christmas gatherings)
  • Excited

Letter F

  • Frankincense
  • Father Christmas
  • Family
  • Fireplace
  • French hens (the third gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
  • Fellowship
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Friends
  • Forgiveness
  • Freezing 
  • Fruitcake

Letter G

  • God
  • Glad Tidings
  • Grace
  • Great Joy
  • Gift Exchange
  • Good Tidings of Great Joy
  • Glory (that shone around the shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth)
  • Gifts
  • Gabriel (the angel who told Mary she will give birth to Christ, our Savior)
  • Gratitude
  • Gingerbread
  • Gravy
  • Give
  • Generosity
  • Geese-a-laying (sixth gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
  • Games
  • Golden Rings (fifth gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

Letter H

  • Holy
  • Ho Ho Ho
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Hymns
  • Hot Cider
  • Holiday
  • Home
  • Heavenly Host
  • Hope
  • Ham
  • Hugs
  • Happy
  • Hark

Letter I

  • Incarnate
  • Infant
  • Ivy
  • Icicles
  • Ice Skates
  • Illumination
  • Inn (Mary and Joseph found no room in the inn)
  • Invitations

Letter J

  • Jesus
  • Jerusalem
  • Joy to the World
  • Jack Frost
  • Jingle Bells
  • Joseph (Mary’s husband)
  • Jubilation
  • Joy
  • Jolly
  • Jingle Bell Rock

Letter K

  • King
  • Kris Kringle
  • Kiss (under the mistletoe)
  • Kindness
  • Kids

Letter L

  • Love
  • Lamb of God
  • Loved ones
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Letter to Santa
  • Lights
  • Let It Snow
  • Logs
  • Lords-a-leaping (tenth gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

Letter M

  • Merry Christmas
  • Mary
  • Manger
  • Magi (wise men who visited Jesus)
  • Magical
  • Majesty
  • Miracles
  • Myrrh (one of the three gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men)
  • Mistletoe
  • Music
  • Memories
  • Maids-a-milking (eighth gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
  • Mrs. Claus
  • Mercy

Letter N

  • Nativity
  • Noel
  • Night Before Christmas
  • North Pole
  • Naughty and Nice
  • Nutcracker
  • Nutmeg
  • Newly fallen snow
  • Nuts
  • Nostalgia

Letter O

  • O Holy Night
  • Observance (public holiday)
  • Ornaments
  • Occasion
  • Open gifts
  • Oven

Letter P

  • Peace
  • Plum pudding
  • Prayer
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Popcorn string
  • Proclaim
  • Poinsettia
  • Praise
  • Partridge (first gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
  • Punch (festive drink)
  • Polar Express
  • Pear tree
  • Pipers piping (eleventh gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
  • Peppermint
  • Prancer (one of Santa’s reindeer)
  • Pie

Letter Q

  • Quiet (of new fallen snow)
  • Quince pie (traditional Christmas dessert)
  • Quality (time with family and friends)
  • Quantity (abundance of food and gifts)

Letter R

Letter S

  • Savior
  • Snow
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Shepherd
  • Santa Claus
  • Snow angel
  • Sleigh bells
  • Silver bells
  • Secret Santa
  • St. Nick
  • Snowman
  • Sacred
  • Season’s Greetings
  • Share
  • Sledding
  • Spirit
  • Sugarplums
  • Spicy flavor
  • Stockings
  • Santa’s helpers
  • Santa’s workshop
  • Songs
  • Snow globe

Letter T

  • Today (in the City of David, a Savior has been born to you)
  • Thanks
  • Three kings
  • Triumphant
  • Tree
  • Trumpets
  • T’was the Night Before Christmas
  • Twinkling
  • Tannenbaum (a fir Christmas tree)
  • Toy soldier
  • Toyland
  • Tiny Tim (a character in Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”)
  • Trim the tree
  • Toys
  • Tradition

Letter U

  • Unity
  • Unselfish
  • Unwrap
  • Up on the Rooftop
  • Understanding

Letter V

  • Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus)
  • Vacation
  • Vocalists 
  • Visions of sugarplums
  • Vanilla
  • Volunteering
  • Visiting

Letter W

Letter X

  • Xmas (abbreviation for Christmas)

Letter Y

  • Yule log
  • Yuletide
  • Youth

Letter Z

  • Zealous (Christmas-time enthusiasm)
  • Zest (citrus shavings for festive recipes)
  • Zalig Kerstfeast (Merry Christmas in Dutch)

Free Game Sheets

Christmas has many meanings for each of us! What can you add to this list? Print out the master list for you, then print out the blank sheets for each of your guests. Print double-sided to save paper! Give a prize to the one who comes up with the most.

DOWNLOAD GAME SHEETS (2 pages)
DOWNLOAD GAME MASTER SHEET (2 pages)

Related Posts:

About the Author
 
Although Donna is a sought-after Bible teacher, her path from being unchurched to becoming passionate about sharing Jesus was not easy. Go here to read her God-breathed journey, “From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker.” If you want to send Donna a quick message, then visit her contact page here.

{Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, the ministry may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!}

Advent: Sometimes It Takes Speechless Moments

Over the past week, I’ve been pondering the story of Zechariah in Luke 1. One of my pastors preached an excellent Advent sermon this past Sunday on Zechariah. And it got me to thinking.

Sometimes we experience moments that leave us speechless.

You know, those almost incomprehensible life stunners that silence us:

… a blessing too immeasurable to grasp

… a heartbreak too deep to comprehend

… a long-awaited dream coming to fruition

… a tragedy too senseless to understand.

When was the last time you experienced such a moment?

For me, it was that horrible day when Dad called long distance to tell me he had cancer. Then again two and a half years later as I tried to give the eulogy at his funeral.

The blood thundering in our ears drowns out all else. Pulse racing. Knees weak. Head spinning as we attempt to grasp the enormity of those moments.

We tend to remember exactly where we stood and who stood with us when we couldn’t stand anymore.

Ordinary days take on high definition clarity at such moments. Vivid details that stun our mind and silence our mouth.

It happened to Zechariah.

After decades of serving as a priest in the temple, the lot fell on Zechariah for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to burn the incense in the Holy of Holies. His moment was momentous enough, but God wasn’t finished.

Zechariah disappeared behind the temple curtain. For a long time. Perhaps the people worried. After all, he was pretty old.

But he wasn’t in there alone. A surprise visitor dropped in.

To his astonishment, Zechariah stood face to face with the angel Gabriel. They talked about Zechariah’s tired prayer regarding a forgotten dream: a child of his very own. Gabriel told Zechariah,

Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” Luke 1:13

His brain couldn’t grasp what his ears heard, so Zechariah doubted the message and the messenger.

And lost his voice for over 9 months.

God silenced Zechariah until the truth of His promise was revealed in His perfect timing: that Zechariah wouldn’t just be any ordinary father, but father of the forerunner to the Messiah.

Zechariah didn’t choose to go silent. We normally don’t either.

Sometimes it takes speechless moments to still our rambling mouths so we can hear God’s rich, boundless promises.

During a Christmas season that clamors for our attention, how do we hear and follow God’s guidance?

We listen to His Word in the silence.

Whether our momentous moments are full of joy or sorrow, God isn’t finished with us. Regardless of anything else, God still walks with us.

Leading.

Guiding.

Always.

If you’re experiencing a season of stunned silence, instead of adding noise, pause. Pull out His Word. Read about the hope of the world born for you in a manger. Trust that God loves you. Know that He hears you.

Even in the silence.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.” Luke 1:13