How to focus on Christ during Advent
Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet most of us spend little time preparing our hearts to celebrate Him. Why is this? Partly because we don’t know how.
In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, Asheritah Ciuciu leads readers through the four weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love). Each week:
- Begins with an interactive family devotional that equips readers to celebrate Advent together
- Offers five daily reflections that focus on that week's name of Jesus
- Includes suggestions for fun-filled family activities or service projects
This devotional can be used by readers in their own personal worship times or as a tool to engage in family worship during the busy holiday season. Either way, participants will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is.
By focusing on the person and character of Jesus throughout the Advent season, readers will prepare their hearts so that when they admire the live nativity, sit in the candlelight service, or wake up on Christian morning, they can join the faithful who sing from the bottom of their hearts, "O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!"
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About the Author
ASHERITAH CIUCIU is an author, speaker, and blogger. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares personal stories and practical tips on www.OneThingAlone.com. She's also a regular contributor to FortheFamily.org and Ungrind.com. Asheritah is married to Flaviu and together they raise their spunky children in northeast Ohio.
What People are Saying About This
As someone who grew up in a Christian home but in a denomination that did not celebrate Advent, I have been looking for a biblical guide to worship in anticipation of Christmas since I first heard of the tradition several years back. Finally, Asheritah Ciuciu has written the devotional I had been longing for. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus will be a book I will go back to each Christmas season and will be a hallmark of the holiday for years to come.
Erin Odom, Author of More Than Just Making It and You Can Stay Home With Your Kids
The real joy of Christmas comes through the slow unwrapping of God’s great gift to us, Jesus Christ. Through beautiful reflections and guided prayers in Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, Asheritah facilitates this savoring of Christ. I can’t wait to take my children through this book!
Christine Hoover, Author of Searching for Spring: How God Makes All Things Beautiful in Time and Messy Beautiful Friendship
At a time when so many Christians are prone to miss the beauty of the reason we celebrate Christmas, lost in the shuffle of expectations and busyness, Asheritah reminds us with depth and clarity of the One who came to bring the joy of salvation. This is a treat to share with your family during Advent season as you prepare your hearts for Christmas.
Mike Castelli, Lead Pastor, The Chapel in Green
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is a gift to readers. Through beautiful insight and attention to detail, every devotion deepens our understanding of who Jesus is, and why we celebrate Him not only in the Advent season, but in every season of our lives. This will be a staple during Advent, one we will read year after year. It’s a book that invites us to rediscover the depth of Jesus’ love for us, through the understanding of His many meaningful names, which all point to the love of God the Father, through His Son, Jesus, Light of the World, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God.
Kris Camealy, Author of Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting
I have seen a lot of Advent devotionals, but Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is first in the class. Combining substantive theological truth, creative ideas, and personal warmth, Asheritah Ciuciu invites her readers to join her in celebrating the Advent season by focusing their minds and their hearts on Jesus. I heartily recommend it!
Daniel J. Estes, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Cedarville University
What a gift! Sharing her heart for Jesus in this delightful Advent devotional, Asheritah’s Unwrapping the Names of Jesus lovingly leads families and individuals to celebrate, worship, and adore Him.
Carmen Beasley, Women’s Ministry Director, The Chapel in Green
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is easy to follow and use, but conveys a depth of truth sure to impact every member of your household. If you are searching for something new to study this Advent, look no further and get this excellent book. Then unwrap the names of Jesus with your family and celebrate together the greatest Christmas gift of all time—our Savior!
Marty Machowski, Pastor and Author of Dragon Seed, The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New, and other gospel-centered family resources
There is no better time to examine the multifaceted personality of our Savior than in the days leading up to Christmas. Asheritah Ciuciu eloquently pulls back layer after layer of His personhood and His purpose, revealing His character and His kindness, as she unwraps the names of Jesus.
Wendy Speake, Coauthor of Triggers and Life Creative, writing about faith and family at WendySpeake.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Seasonal devotionals approach their subjects from different perspectives and through varying approaches. This Advent devotional assigns a theme to the four weeks: Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love. Each week begins with a prayer service. Every day focuses on a name of Jesus: Jesus is the Resurrection and The Life, The King of Kings, The Light of the World and The Christ (Messiah) to use the first week as examples. It suggests several Scripture citations to illustrate the Name of the day. The week ends with an Action Plan associated with its theme. Spiritual growth results from being open to experiencing God in many ways. I found this to be a different but helpful guide through Advent. Read it day by day and let it lead you to Our Savior.
I have always been intensely interested in the names of Jesus and God. They aren’t just names they have much deeper means. I couldn’t wait to read this book! Right away the cover drew me in. It is so pretty and festive! I love the title too! Christmas is associated of course with the giving and opening of material gifts. While is nothing wrong with giving and receiving gifts, unfortunately it has become the focus of the holiday instead of Christ’s birth. We forget to “unwrap” the greatest gift we will ever receive, Jesus! There are 4 weeks devotionals divided into five days each and one for Christmas day. Everyday centers around a name of Jesus. The 4 sections begin with an introduction and lighting the advent candle. Verses to read, discussion questions and a suggested Christmas carol to sing. These are a great start for the ones that follow. The daily devotions are short but well written and include scriptures. At the end of all of them is a prayer, a challenge and more scriptures to study. (I like that!) When you finish the 5 days, there is more!! Listed are service focused activities to choose from that your family can together that focus on Christ. This book is beautiful inside and out! It adds so much meaning to celebrating Christmas! It would be great for a family, group, or personal study to be used year after year! I wish I could give Ms. Ciuciu’s book 6 stars! I found it inspiring and a great blessing! I received a free copy of this devotional in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
With the plethora of Advent devotional books released in recent years, it is becoming more challenging to find one that is just the right fit. For me, I've found that Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu is exactly what I've been looking for. I became familiar with Asheritah as she followed me on Instagram and I returned the follow. When I saw that she had written a book designed for Advent, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, Asheritah begins by stating, "We spend much of the holiday season creating our own little winter wonderlands: cookies and cards, lights and decorations, carols and get-togethers. But what exactly are we doing to prepare spiritually? Most christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet few of our calendars would reflect that priority" (pg. 10). From this point forward, Asheritah's daily readings and weekly activities take readers through the various names of Jesus presented in Scripture and reminds them of who Jesus is and the importance of what He has done for those who trust in Him for salvation. Each daily reading is Christ centered and Scripture saturated which to me, is much needed and so encouraging, especially during this busy season. I also appreciate that the book is beautifully designed and have enjoyed placing it on display with my other Christmas decor. As I read through the book, I noticed that since the daily readings are all about Jesus, this devotional truly could be use apart from Advent if one were desiring to study what the Bible has to say about who Jesus is. If you're interested in receiving a 3 day sampler of the devotional, you can sign up by visiting Asheritah's blog at https://onethingalone.com/advent/t. I highly recommend Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and look forward to reading it annually. I received Unwrapping the Names of Jesus compliments of Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Wow, what an a timely and awesome devotional!!! Unwrapping the Names of Jesus offers a fresh perspective on the true meaning behind Christmas. In reflecting and meditating on the names of Jesus found in this book, I was awakened to just how wonderful and powerful the name of Jesus truly is!!! There is no doubt that this book has inspired me to celebrate advent this year, in preparation for Christmas day. I look forward to doing the activities and challenges with my daughter, as we embark on a new holiday tradition that I hope will be passed on for generations to come.
Normally, I don't feel like I rave about book covers. I've been known to be drawn to a book on a shelf in a store by its cover on occasion, but it's been a while since a cover has so drawn me in. I can't stop thinking about how pretty this book is. More importantly, though, this book is about more than just a beautiful cover. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus carries that beauty into the simple message shared through the pages. Ciuciu has created a beautiful book that will remind you of the names of Jesus. For five days each week, you'll be able to sit down and ponder a name of Jesus, be challenged to think differently about how that name impacts our lives, pray, and be invited to dig deeper into scripture. I am looking forward to years in the future when we can do the devotional as a family. At 3, my daughter isn't ready yet. But, in the future, we will definitely walk through it as a family. Ciuciu has included a section at the beginning of each week for you to sit down as a family and really walk through the story of Christmas. With a scripted narrative, you will walk through the reason for each calendar, answer questions, and read scripture as a family. I imagine this would be a great family tradition, and one that will help you focus on Jesus rather than all of the hustle and bustle culture tells us to be doing! I also love the challenges at the end of each week. Ciuciu provides several ideas for ways for your family to live out the theme of the week. Things that will get you out of your house to interact with other and share the love of Christ. Simple things to do in your home that will help you focus throughout the season. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author. This review is my own, honest opinion.
UNWRAPPING THE NAMES OF JESUS An Advent Devotional By Asheritah Ciuciu Advent – a time of preparing for the coming of the messiah, celebrated on the days before Christmas. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This book is divided into four weeks of discussion, devotions and activities. The first day consists of reading of scripture and discussions as a family. Next there are five days of devotions including a scripture verse, a short devotion on the topic for that week and then a prayer. The topics are different each week include Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love. The seventh day is a list of activities that can be done individually or as a family. At the end of the four weeks, there is a special Christmas day devotion for all to share. All of this can be done in a group session as well as a family. The first day of each is done on a Sunday and consists of lighting a candle, Prayer and scripture readings. This book makes learn about Jesus very easy and easy to understand why we should be celebrating this advent season, it will give a new meaning to the reason for the season. The author has setup a web site with helps and downloads to add to the experience. I think this will be a great way for the family or a small group to share this time of year, it is well written, easy to read and informative. A great way for the family to share a blessed time at Christmas. I received this book free from Moody Press Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
The dedication page of this Advent Devotional shares the true spirit of Christmastime: For all those longing to recapture the joy of Christmas… I love devotionals. I love Christmastime. I love this devotional. Though the book is small, and the messages are simple and quickly read, and the impact they make lasts throughout the day…week…and entire Advent season. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is divided into four parts, representing the four weeks of Advent. Each week includes devotions for the five weekdays, and an extended end-of-the-week summary/bonus section. The book closes with a Christmas section, leaving you with a renewed joy and understanding of Christmas. The theme for each week is as follows: Week 1: Hope Week 2: Preparation Week 3: Joy Week 4: Love Christmas Bottom Line: This book packs a punch. It’s filled with meaningful, lifting devotions and fun family activities to enjoy during the season, to light a fire of joy in your spirit. Many thanks to MPNews for my complimentary copy.