Since the 1800s, people have used Advent calendars to count down to Christmas. German Lutherans were amongst the first to start this tradition. They would count down the days using chalk marks or lighting candles. The first Advent calendar to be produced was by Gerhard Lang in the early 1900’s. A German newspaper helped popularize the idea by including an advent calendar insert for its readers and while printing of calendars subsided during World War II due to a shortage of cardboard, President Dwight D. Eisenhower helped ramp up popularity in the United States when he was photographed opening an Advent calendar with his grandchildren. The photo ran across several national newspapers.
The advent tradition continues today. If you celebrate Christmas, you’re celebrating the advent of Jesus. (The word “advent” means “arrival.”) Some churches also celebrate a season called Advent, which roughly coincides with the month leading up to Christmas. The Advent calendar is a folk tradition used both by people who keep the formal season of Advent, and also by people who are simply counting down to the advent of Jesus, or Christmas. Whatever your practice, an Advent calendar is a great way to get excited for the holiday. And ONE NIGHT is a great option for an Advent calendar.
ONE NIGHT tells a story in 24 parts. Each part of the story is hidden behind a numbered door (1 through 24) that you open to reveal an illustration and text. You can open one door each day, from December 1 through December 24, counting down to Christmas. Or you can binge-watch, by reading all 24 parts in one sitting, like an illustrated book.
The Book of Luke (2:8-20) says that on the night of the first Christmas angels visited shepherds tending their flocks and told them to visit their newborn savior. ONE NIGHT reimagines the story through the eyes of one of the shepherds. Set against the turbulent backdrop of ancient Judea under Roman rule, ONE NIGHT follows the shepherd as he risks his flock to journey through the countryside in search of the baby Messiah — and the elusive promises of worldly and spiritual redemption.
There is a long and diverse artistic tradition of imagining the story of the shepherds. In ONE NIGHT the creators tried to capture what it would have really been like to be there the night Jesus was born, and how a regular person might have tried to make sense of that extraordinary event. The story is intense, exciting — and even a little spooky. It’s a feeling that’s echoed in the stunning visual art. Rendered in the style of a classical draftsman, ONE NIGHT feels like an ancient document, full of timeless drama and mystery.
Whether you know the Bible inside out, or you haven’t read it since you were a kid, the creators hope ONE NIGHT will surprise and move you with its riveting portrayal of its characters’ search for goodness and a better world.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12
Give someone an advent calendar. It could be an One Night or another version. It could be your child’s teacher, a relative, your small group leader or pastor. It could even be a hostess gift for someone hosting the holiday party. Pray and ask God to show you someone in your life that might need some encouragement this Christmas or someone who might find joy in rediscovering the Christmas story. As you pray, ask God to show you a good time to give it to the person and share how reflecting on the advent story leading up to Christmas
Begin praying for the Christmas season. Pray and ask God to show you people in your life that need to hear about the true meaning of Christmas. Pray for boldness to invite them to church and open hearts that they would be willing to come. Many churches have outreaches and special Christmas events where they share the Gospel. Pray for the people attending that they would come to know Christ and also ask God to show you anyone in your life that you need to invite. Pray for those that have lost friends or family members around that time of year. It can always be a difficult time for those that have lost someone.
Reflect on the meaning of Christmas throughout the year. Christmas is just one calendar day. While some might complain about Christmas decorations being up too early, it can be a fun reminder to remember the real meaning of Christmas. Take time this week to think about what God did for you as He sent His son to be born knowing that He would later have to pay the price for our sin on the cross.
For more info or to order your own, click here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192543870/1699752876?ref=556163&token=8ca52137
We received an ONE NIGHT Advent calendar from Frontgate Media. All of our thoughts and opinions are our own.