Advent is the perfect time for families to gather together and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Using pictures of Jesus from Isaiah’s prophecies—the Light, the Branch, the Shepherd, and the Savior—brings to life the true meaning of Christmas.
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God spoke to his people through the prophet Isaiah, promising them a Savior. To communicate God’s message, Isaiah used striking, stunning, and surprising imagery—the “wonders” of his love! Isaiah pointed God’s people to the future, when one day, through his birth, death, and resurrection, Jesus would deliver his people from sin and sorrow forever.
Perfect for busy families with younger children, each week of Advent focuses on one of Isaiah’s images and has readings related to the week’s theme—Jesus the Light; Jesus the Branch; Jesus the Shepherd; Jesus the Savior—and, on Christmas Day, Jesus the Bread. Each week also includes fun stories, discussion questions, crafts, recipes, games, and suggestions for family service projects.
Written by Champ Thornton and illustrated by Jeremy Slagle, this four-week devotional will draw families closer to Jesus and to each other.
Champ Thornton is an associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. He has pastored in South Carolina and served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. He is host of In the Word, On the Go, a ten-minute podcast for families and is the author of several books, including The Radical Book for Kids, Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation, Radically Different: A Student's Guide to Community, Why Do We Say Good Night?, and Wonders of His Love. Champ and his wife, Robben, have been married since 1996 and have three children.
As a kid, Jeremy Slagle drew everything and anything he could think of. He was raised on Ed Emberley books, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Muppet Show. Jeremy lives and works in Columbus, Ohio as a graphic designer. He and, his wife, Becky, have two creative kids and a miniature poodle.
“In Wonders of His Love, Champ Thornton provides families with all the components of an excellent Advent devotional—powerful truth simply told and fun activities to help families create Christmas memories their children will remember the rest of their lives. The colorful illustrations will draw your kids into the study. There is no better Old Testament book than Isaiah to help us point our children to Jesus during this Advent season. Look no further for this year’s advent devotional.”
Marty Machowski, Pastor; author of Wonder Full, The Ology, Long Story Short, and other gospel-rich resources for church and home
“Embark on this Advent treasure hunt and you’ll discover Jesus in Isaiah! With daily Bible reading, lively illustrations, and loads of fun activities, Champ Thornton makes the gems of Scripture precious for your entire family. Get ready to strike gold in Wonders of His Love.”
Barbara Reaoch, Author of several books, including A Better Than Anything Christmas
“If you liked The Radical Book for Kids, you'll love Wonders of His Love. Champ's writing is incredibly winsome, and he knows just the kinds of activities—crafts, recipes, fun facts from history, and the music of Christmas—that families need to fill their Advent season with wonder. Best of all, you'll experience this adventure while your family takes a deep dive into Isaiah's prophecies about the coming Messiah. Don’t miss this book.”
Jared Kennedy, Managing Editor, Gospel-Centered Family; author of The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible and God Made Me for Worship
“Wonders of His Love is a truly lovely family devotional book. Everyone, from young children to teens to parents and grandparents will be encouraged as they think more deeply about the wonder of Christmas. One special aspect of this book is the way Champ shows how everyday situations and objects can point us to truths about who Jesus is.”
Gloria Furman, Author of A Tale of Two Kings and Labor with Hope
“Here’s an Advent devotional for families with young children that not only teaches them about Jesus and why he came but is interesting and fun. It’s concise, yet packed with Christ-centered teaching, crafts, activities, games, and Christmas carols. Whether you’ve never used a family worship guide at Advent before or are looking for a fresh one, Wonders of His Love is a great and easy-to-use resource.”
Donald S. Whitney, Professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Praying the Bible,and Family Worship
“With all the noise that competes for our attention during the holidays, it is easy to miss the reason why Christmas exists in the first place: God broke into our world, became one of us, and walked among us, all with a view toward ‘mak(ing) his blessings flow, far as the curse is found.’ If you and those you love are looking for a resource to help ground you in the Christ of Christmas, I highly recommend Wonders of His Love.”
Scott Sauls, Senior pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee; author of Jesus Outside the Lines and A Gentle Answer
“In this beautiful family advent devotional, Champ brings families, including the youngest children, into the wonder and surprise of Christmas. Very well done!”
Dane Ortlund, Senior pastor, Naperville Presbyterian Church, Naperville, Illinois; author of several books, including Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
“I love Advent devotionals, and I love children's books. So Champ Thornton's Wonders of His Love: Finding Jesus in Isaiah Family Advent Devotional speaks my love language. As always, Thornton has expertly merged truth with gentleness, seriousness with silliness, and wisdom with fun. Kids and parents alike are going to treasure this impactful little book.”
Hannah C. Hall, Bestselling and award-winning children's author
“Advent is an annual opportunity to awaken us to the wonder of the incarnation. Wonders of His Love is a beautiful, well-crafted book that helps your family slowly meditate on Jesus during this most important season. From vivid illustrations to compelling prose, your children will be drawn to the manger, drawn to the hillsides where the shepherds first heard the news, drawn to the night that changed the world. As you slow down and plan your Christmas, make Wonders of His Love a part of your family worship this year.”
Daniel Darling, bestselling author of several books, including The Characters of Christmas
"The Bierigs have already taken this book out for a test drive, and it won't disappoint! With a focus on Isaiah, Champ's Wonders of His Love remedies the lack of Old Testament Advent material out there for kids. The hymnody is rich, the readings are accessible, and the questions invite fruitful theological conversation. With the additional arts and crafts element, there is even a choose-your-own-adventure feel. I encourage all to take up and read!"
Samuel L. Bierig, Dean of Spurgeon College, Midwestern seminary
“Champ Thornton has a gift for making big concepts accessible—a gift he has faithfully used to help countless families connect with God’s Word. Now with Wonders of His Love, he has set his sights on the glorious Advent promises of Isaiah. Through this fun and engaging devotional book, Champ gives families an easy way to enjoy spending time together in God’s Word this Christmas. You’ll delight to see the wonders of Jesus, our long-awaited Messiah.”
Scott James, Author of books for children and families, including The Littlest Watchman, Where Is Wisdom?, God Cares For Me, The Expected One, and The Risen One
“This book is a great gift for the church and perfect for Christmas! It is beautifully and thoughtfully designed to capture our imaginations, and Champ Thornton does a masterful job walking everyone in the family through big theological ideas in accessible and very exciting ways. Most importantly, Wonders of His Love will help your kids fall see Advent and Christmas as they were meant to be seen—through God’s Word pointing us to his greatest promise: his perfect Son, who offers perfect salvation for imperfect people like you and me.”
Ryan Lister, Professor of Theology, Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon: author of The Presence of God and Emblems of the Infinite King; director of doctrine and discipleship for Humble Beast
“One of my favorite seasons is Advent. As a family, we always try to pause and meditate on Christ’s coming to us. I love to look with them at the Old Testament promises and see how Jesus completes them. Champ Thornton’s new book does exactly that through the book of Isaiah. It is simple, profound, creative, and beautifully put together. I now know the first book I will pick up this Advent season to walk through with my kids.”
Patrick Schreiner, Associate Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Champ Thornton does a masterful job of showing how Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophesies about the long-awaited Messiah. This gospel-rich Christmas resource is written in a way young children can understand and includes fun family activities to help the ideas come to life. We’re excited to share this wonderful resource with our kids this Christmas!”
Sarah and Deepak Reju, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC. Deepak is author of On Guard, and coauthor of The Pastor and Counseling and Build on Jesus, and Sarah is author of Jesus Saves
"Thornton has done it again. Wonders of His Love combines kid-focused exposition of Scripture, activities, songs, and humor to gather your family around God’s Word. You and your children will have fun and grow in faith each day as you read Wonders of His Love this Christmas season.”
Todd R. Chipman, Teaching pastor, The Master’s Community Church; assistant professor of biblical studies, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Wonders of His Love is a feast of the tastes, sounds, sights, and colors of Christmas. Drawn from the holy words of scripture itself as well as from treasured traditions of old, this book offers families ways to celebrate Christ’s birth that will carry on for generations to come.”
Karen Swallow Prior, Research Professor of English and Christianity & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books
“A truly wonderful gift for families, Wonders of His Love: Finding Jesus in Isaiah equips and helps children young and old navigate the story of redemption. The insightful devotions, engaging crafts, fun filled activities, and thoughtful questions will not only create precious family memories but forever instill the promise of the greatest gift for our greatest need- Jesus.”
Deborah Harrell, TCK Resources Team Leader, Serge; author What’s Up? Elementary; coauthor of What’s Up? Discovering the Gospel, Jesus and Who You REALLY Are and the Gospel Centered Parent.
“With Champ Thornton's Christ-centered Advent devotional, families can move beyond the tinsel of Christmas into the habit of daily worship, keeping December for hope and trust in Jesus. By God's grace, this family practice will become a habit to continue—around the table or at bedtime—the rest of the calendar year.”
Jen Pollock Michel, author of A Habit Called Faith and mother of five
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This is an informative and entertaining collection of devotions and activities for families during the advent season. Each week has five short devotionals meant to be read aloud. They are designed so that children can easily understand them. There are crafts and interesting discussion questions included too. Each week centers on a passage from Isaiah. Week one looks at Jesus as the light of the world. (Isa. 9:2) The five lessons for the week include having children walk in the dark and later reflecting on what it means to be a light to others. Other Isaiah passages reveal Jesus as the Branch who gives life, the Good Shepherd who leads and carries us, God with us who calms our fears, and the Bread of Life who feeds us. The fifth day of each week includes fun activities for kids like making ornaments, baking sugar cookies, going on a scavenger hunt, painting, singing carols, and helping others. There are some interesting asides too. One discusses whether Jesus was actually born in an animal stable. Another informs children of the real (saint) Nicholas. I liked this advent devotional. It's great for families as they prepare hearts to receive the Messiah afresh. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
If you’re looking to put more Jesus in your children’s Christmas, Wonders of His Love is a wonderful family-friendly biblically-based learning and activity book to accomplish it. Author Champ Thornton weaves five “wonders” into weekly lessons for Advent. The first four are for each week of Advent and the last is for Christmas day. Each begins with a main scripture from Isaiah, followed by a 1 to 2-page informative summary that uses terms and examples that children will understand. The messages are further developed through the use of educational and interactive tools. Questions help children think through the concepts as they apply to their lives (How can you shine your light this week?) and the activities are great for families or classrooms. They include songs, crafts, recipes, games, and suggestions for family service projects. Educational material includes interesting historical facts (the meaning of X-mas) as well as general facts (nocturnal animals that can see in the dark). Wonders of His Love would be great for families or classrooms and the hardcover makes it a thoughtful gift for Christian families with young children. The optimal age range would be 5-8, but older and younger children in a family would also be able to enjoy and participate in the activities. Jeremy Slagle’s colorful illustrations help hold the interest of younger readers. Our Christian Book Reviews: The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books – adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. Our specialty is books on faith and new Christian book releases. We’re proud to be included in the Top 20 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
discover Jesus through the book of Isaiah. It is such a beautiful revelation. This advent book is a fun treasure hunt for children and adults alike! It's packed full of bible verses, fun actives, crafts, recipes, historical facts, and music. Wonders of His Love is the perfect advent calendar for families to dive deeper into God's word and illuminate eyes to the truth that the whole Bible points to Jesus, our Hope, and Light of the World.
I'm always on the look out for good advent devotionals for families with children of all ages. This one looked wonderful and thought I'd check it out. Thornton structures the book with four week sections and a Christmas Day section. His purpose is to spend each week diving into the book of Isaiah to discover the wonder and awe of Jesus' birth. Each week consists of five days worth of reading and concludes with additional activities. Days one through four provide scripture reading, insights from Thornton, and questions to discuss as a family. The fifth day concludes with a hymn. Following the fifth day, each week concludes with a family craft, other activities and additional readings. The book as a whole is definitely written with younger children in mind. The writing is taught where young children can understand and the crafts and activities provided are geared towards younger children. These could be modified on your own for children that are a bit older. The illustrations are beautiful but not what I expected for an advent book specifically meant for younger children. I was hoping for illustrations that depicted the scripture readings but instead they were much more simplistic. There were a lot of "christmasy" pictures such as ornaments, wreaths, candles, etc. I think the children would have enjoyed much more pictures that included the people and scenes from each scripture reading. Overall, the book is a wonderful addition to a young family's advent reading. I received an e-copy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for a honest review.