ADVENTure Blog Day 5 Advent Wreath

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. My brother and his family handed down the Advent Wreath tradition to my family. I’ve tweaked it a bit borrowing from resources here and there and again some language from Lisa Whelchel’s The ADVENTure of Christmas to fit my family and my kid’s understanding when they were younger. Now I share it with you to use and tweak for your family. You can start today!

Advent Wreath

It’s exciting to have special people come visit, isn’t it?  We clean the house, make special meals, and we may even count the days.

The season of Advent is all about looking forward to celebrating the Christmas Day.  Advent means “coming” –Christ’s coming to earth as a baby for us.

In days past, Christians would prepare their hearts to celebrate the arrival of God’s Son by tidying their lives up a bit.  They would remember the poor and perhaps even fast food.  They understood that when the holiday festivities began there would be plenty of time for enjoying delicious food and exchanging gifts.  But it was important to begin the reception by focusing on the reason for the party.

One of the ways we can join in the celebration is with an Advent wreath.

The circle of greens is a reminder of God’s unending love for us and the gift of everlasting life.

Each candle on the wreath is intended to signify a particular aspect of our relationship with God.  Four of the candles are purple, symbolizing royalty, the Kingship of Jesus.  The center candle is called the Christ candle and it is white.

(Everyone in your family may have a part in this special preparation for Christmas.  One child may light the candle, another may snuff them out.  A child may read the scripture passage or offer to pray.)

First Sunday in Advent – PROMISE (4 Sundays before Christmas)

We call the first candle PROMISE to remind us that God promised to send His Son Jesus to earth long before Jesus was born.

Read:  One day in a market a small child cried and tears ran down her cheeks.  Standing beside a mechanical horse, she tugs at her mother’s coat.  “You promised me!  You promised!”  “Be still,” her mother said.  “I don’t have any change.”  Parents sometimes forget a promise or fail to keep one.  But, God is not like that.  He keeps His promises.  A long time ago, God promised to send His people a Savior who would set them free from sin and death.  And He kept His promise!

Bible verses:  Isaiah 7:14; 9:6/Sing a Christmas Carol

Pray and thank God for His promises and for always keeping them. Especially pray for the promise of His Son and the promise of eternal life.

Second Sunday in Advent – LIGHT (3 Sundays before Christmas)

We will light two candles on our Advent wreath–the candle of PROMISE and the candle of LIGHT.  The candle of LIGHT reminds us of many things: the star that the Wise Men followed; that Jesus is the light of the world; that the light of God’s love is more powerful than the darkness of sin; and that the light of God’s love will show in our lives when Jesus is guiding us.

Read:  God used a very special kind of light to let the Wise Men know it was time for Jesus to be born.  They had watched the stars and skies for a long time.  Finally, the great and unusual light they were waiting for appeared in the sky.  The Wise Men got ready for the long journey over the desert, mounted their camels, and set out.

They thought Jesus would be found in a big city called Jerusalem where the temple was, and they went there first.  They almost got in trouble with the wicked King Herod, who didn’t like the idea of a new king.  But God warned the Wise Men in a dream to stay away from King Herod.  They kept their eyes on the bright star that led them to the place where Jesus was.  And they brought three gifts and worshipped Jesus.

Bible verses:  Matt. 2:1-2; 5-16; John 8:12/Sing a Christmas Carol

Pray and thank God for the bright star that led the Wise Men to Jesus.  “Help us to remember that You are the light of the world.”

Third Sunday in Advent – LOVE (2 Sundays before Christmas)

First we light the candle of PROMISE to remind us of God’s wonderful promises.  We light the candle of LIGHT to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Today we light the candle of LOVE to remind us that love entered our world through the birth of Jesus.  The baby came to die on a cross as punishment for our sins.  That’s amazing love!

Read:  Have you ever tried to walk or swim in the ocean against the tide?  Or have you tried to wade against the current of a fast-flowing stream?  The power of the rushing water makes it almost impossible to move in the opposite direction.

God’s love for us is very powerful—stronger than any ocean tide or stream current.  He doesn’t want us to fight against His love or try to ignore it.  He wants us to love Him, too.

God wants us to love Him more than anything or anyone else.  We can show love for Him by being kind, helpful and loving to others.

From now until Christmas, we could play a game that would help us show our love for someone in our family.  Let’s write our name on a slip of paper, fold it over, and mix up the slips.  Each one takes a slip.  Don’t let anyone else see the name you have!  Let’s keep it a secret until Christmas Eve.  From now until Christmas, we’ll try to do secret, happy things for the person whose name we choose. (i.e., make their bed, pick up their toys, do one of their chores…)

Since we don’t know who chose our name, we won’t know who is doing secret, kind things for us.  We might be surprised to find ourselves feeling thankful to everyone in the family because of the kind, thoughtful things one person is doing for us!

Bible verses:  John 3:16; Ephesians 4:32/Sing a Christmas Carol

Pray and thank God for his love.  Ask Him to help us love Him more and show our love for each other every day.

Fourth Sunday of Advent – HOPE (1 Sunday before Christmas)

God’s PROMISE to send a Savior took a long time.  As the candle of LIGHT flames, we remember that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  We light the candle of LOVE and remember that God loves us very much, so we love Him and others.

The fourth candle is called HOPE.  The candle of HOPE reminds us that God gave us a gift of hope—life forever with Him!

Read:  The Bible teaches us that if we ask Jesus to be our Savior from our sin, we have been adopted into the family of God and He forgives our sins!  When Jesus went back to heaven, after His resurrection, He said that He would prepare a place for us, and some day He would come for us so we could live with Him.  Knowing that Jesus has made a special place for us in heaven gives us hope.

When we hope for some big event, like a birthday party or vacation, we don’t forget all about it, do we?!  We don’t just wait for it but we try to be ready for it!  The candle of HOPE reminds us that we must be ready.  We don’t just want to be ready for Jesus at Christmas—we want to be ready for Him to return at any time.  The way to be ready for Jesus is to believe and love Him, tell others about Him, obey Him, and love one another.

Bible verses:  John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Luke 12:40/Sing a Christmas Carol

Pray and thank God especially for our hope of life forever with Jesus, and for the wonderful hope that is ours because we know Jesus will come again!  Remember:  God keeps His promises!

Christmas Day—The Christ Candle

Light all four candles reviewing their meaning.  Then light the white, Christ candle.  It’s Jesus’ birthday!

Bible verses: Luke 2 or John 1/Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!

Pray and thank God for Jesus’ life.

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