First Sunday of Advent – HOPE

First Sunday of Advent – HOPE

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Introduction:

ASK: If you knew you were going to have a visit from a really special person, like a king, how would you prepare?

SAY: At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our King. And these weeks leading up to Christmas we prepare our homes, we decorate and put up a tree and buy presents for loved ones. But how do we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ birth?

That is what we call “advent.”  Advent is the time we spend preparing our hearts for Jesus’ arrival. One way we will prepare during advent as a family is using an advent wreath.

SHOW AND TELL: Show your family the advent wreath you have prepared and talk about the symbols:

  • circle: eternal, without end
  • evergreen boughs: eternal
  • color purple: royalty
  • color pink: joy
  • color white: purity
  • light: Jesus came to be the light of the world, to give light to the darkness

SAY: Each of these candles has a special meaning and we’ll learn what each one is as we light one each week leading up to Christmas.

 

Week 1: HOPE (Prophecy)

ACTIVITY: Turn off all the lights and make it as dark as possible. Discuss the darkness and how hard it is. As much as you are able, light the candle and do the reading and discussion with just that candle lit.

LIGHT THE CANDLE AND ASK: What do you hope for during this Christmas season? (Everyone share.)

SAY: The candle we light tonight is called the “hope” candle. For a long time God’s people waited for a savior. They hoped that God would keep his promise and send a Savior.

READ: Operation No More Tears” from The Jesus Storybook Bible (prophecies from Isaiah 9, 11, 40, 50, 53, 55, 60)

SAY: We know that God fulfilled his promise to his people because we know that he sent his Son Jesus to earth as a baby. That is what we celebrate this Christmas. And we have hope too, because we know that God will keep his promises to us: promises to care for us and keep us safe. Promises to love us, and to return someday to make all things right again.

ACTIVITY: Slowly add more light to the room. Light a fire in the fireplace. Turn on the Christmas tree. Turn on some lights. Share how the light makes you feel.

SING: Sing verse 1 of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” or “O Come, Emmanuel” and as you are able, explain some of the lyrics and how they apply to the Bible passage.

PRAY

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