As a Resource Project Manager for Life Teen, I have had the opportunity to manage some incredible book projects. From “100 Saints Every Catholic Teen Should Know” to “Inspired: A Bible Companion for Teens” to “XY,” each book I have worked on has brought me such joy knowing that it will bless the lives of the teens who read it. In addition to these books that can be used year-round, Life Teen releases a companion each year that is designed to help teens journey through the season of Advent. In the past, this companion has been story based, offering personal reflections from a variety of writers and questions for further reflection. While these companions have helped many people enter deeper into the Advent season, I felt called to try something new this year, to try something unique and innovative.
Been There, Done That
Given that Advent takes place each and every year, it is easy for us to enter into the season with a “been there, done that” attitude. We have heard the story of the Nativity more times than we can count and could probably tell it in our sleep. We know there was no room at the inn, so Jesus was born in a manger. We know the shepherds and the wise men visited baby Jesus. We know the wise men offered gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We know the birth of our Lord was a significant moment in history and is foundational for our faith. So, rather than focusing on the well-known story of the Nativity, we decided to take a new approach to Advent this year.
We’re Going to Wreck Advent
“Create. Destroy. Redeem.” is the most innovative Advent companion we have ever created. The result of many, many brainstorm sessions, “Create. Destroy. Redeem.” shifts our attention to the Beatitudes this Advent season. While it may seem rather random to incorporate the Beatitudes during Advent — the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives us the Beatitudes is not actually included in any of the readings during Advent — it actually makes a lot of sense. The Beatitudes are the undoing of the world we have created, a world that needs to be wrecked so the Kingdom of God can be built. Likewise, the birth of our Savior at Christmas is the un-wrecking of our world, as the brokenness we have caused in our world is redeemed through Christ, who makes all things new. This idea of wrecking is central to this year’s Advent companion.
Create. Destroy. Redeem.
Combining daily challenges that invite teens to literally destroy their companions with reflection videos on the Beatitudes, “Create. Destroy. Redeem.” is an interactive way for teens to enter into the Advent season and prepare themselves for the coming of Christ at Christmas, to prepare themselves for the un-wrecking and redemption of our broken world.
Ranging from serious to silly, the daily challenges encourage teens to embrace some of the more secular aspects of the Christmas season while growing in their faith and understanding of the Beatitudes. Although the companion can be used individually, it easily lends itself to group use and is a great way for teens to build community with one another during the Advent season. Each member of the Life Teen staff will also be using the Advent companion this year and will be sharing their experiences on Life Teen’s Instagram story (@lifeteen). Teens are encouraged to follow along and share their own experience using #LTAdvent.
My hope for teens who use this companion is that they are able to find joy in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, taking time each day to destroy their companion and allow the Beatitudes to reorient themselves toward the coming of our Savior at Christmas.
If your teen is ready to wreck their Advent, order them a copy of “Create. Destroy. Redeem.” today!