December 2012

Celebrating Advent

The four weeks before Christmas Day, is called the season of advent. These days are busy, exciting, and chaotic, but they offer us a great opportunity to focus on our Savior! Here are some ideas to try this advent season.

Advent means “coming.” Lighting candles on an advent wreath each Sunday points us to the coming of Christ. Each Sunday (and/or during the week) light candles and read the Bible verse that corresponds to the theme.

Sunday 1: purple candle, prophets candle, theme: hope. Isaiah 9: 1--7

Sunday 2: purple candle, angels candles, theme: peace. Isaiah 11: 1-9

Sunday 3: pink candle, shepherds candle, theme: joy Luke 2: 1-20

Sunday 4: purple candle, Bethlehem candle, theme: love. Matthew 2: 1-12

Decorate a Jesse tree. Traditionally, the decorations are symbols for Old Testament stories/people who point ahead to Jesus. For example, Noah might get an ark or a rainbow, while King David might get a slingshot or a sheep. As each ornament is made and hung on the tree, the story is re-read in light of Jesus’ coming. Another variation would be to take the names of Jesus in the Bible and create ornaments using bubble letters to color or “shrinky dink” material. Names for Jesus would include: Light, Bread, Vine, Way, Truth, Life, Son of God, Immanuel, Lamb, Priest, Prophet, Word, Lord, Savior, Christ. (If you want to learn more about creating a Jesse Tree, just check out the web—a search will lead you to lots of great ideas.)

Celebrating advent doesn’t have to be overwhelming to parents—an art project, a weekly lighting of candles, a conversation about the why of Christmas….may have eternal value! Check out our Advent Calendar for activities and Bible readings that will add meaning to your Christmas celebration.

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