Family Advent

One of the things I love about Christmas is celebrating advent with my family. There is something about the lights, the time off the kids have from school, and their wonderment that makes remembering what God did for us in sending Jesus to this world to live among us and bring us salvation such a special time. As a family we spend time weekly leading up to Christmas remembering different parts of the Christmas story. I thought I would share the format we are using this year in this blog post. I know it is late in the season and Christmas is almost here, but take a couple of the ideas and see if they work with your family. Merry Christmas and enjoy celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Day 1: Angel’s Announcement to Mary and Joseph

Read: Luke 1:26-38 (Mary); Matthew 1:25 (Joseph)
Question to Ponder: What do you think it was like to get a message from an angel? What does it mean that the angel told them about Jesus ahead of time?

Activity: Take a moment and write down one thing the Lord has told you or taught you this past year. Then share that thought with the family.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for working through ordinary people like Mary and Joseph and for their faith and trust in you. May we respond to the things you are trying to teach us in our lives in the same way they did to the message of Jesus’ birth. Thank you for all you did to tell us ahead of time that Jesus was coming in your word. Amen.

Day 2: Shepherd’s encounter with the Angels and Jesus

Read: Luke 2:8-20
Question: Why do you think the shepherds were so excited? What do you think it looked like to glorify and praise God?

Activity: Write a thank you letter to Jesus for all he has done for you. Be sure to thank him for who he is and share why you are excited to celebrate his birthday. Place the cards under the tree so we can read them out loud on Christmas morning.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming down to this earth as a human just like we are and for showing us how to live. We are excited to celebrate your birthday with you this month and look forward to the day we can celebrate with you forever in heaven. Amen.

Day 3: Wisemen Bring Gifts

Read: Matthew 2:1-18
Question to Ponder: What did each of the gifts the wisemen brought signify? Where they worth a lot?

Activity: Make an ornament to hang on the tree as a gift to Jesus. Write one thing you want to give him this year from your life. It could be sharing with others or anything you want.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of life that you have given us by coming to this earth, dying for us, and being resurrected from the dead so we can have that new life. Help us to be wise in our own lives like the wisemen were in how they responded to Herod. We give you our lives as you gave yours for us. Amen.

Day 4: Jesus’ Birthday

Read: Luke 2-1-20 & John 1:1-14
Question to Ponder: Why is Jesus’ birthday so important?

Activity: Tell the Christmas story using the nativity set as props. Each person takes turns reading a piece of the story and placing the nativity pieces in place. Then sing happy birthday to Jesus and each person takes turns reading their thank you notes to Jesus out loud. Close by singing “silent night” together & prayer.
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