Advent Family Guide

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WEEK 1

Light in the Darknessphoto-1434873740857-1bc5653afda8

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2

“Now those people live in darkness.
   But they will see a great light.
They live in a place that is very dark.
   But a light will shine on them.”

QUESTIONS

What is something that is dark, bitter or sad happening in the world right now?

What is something dark, bitter or sad happening in our lives?

What could we ask God to do about it?

PRAYER

Parent:  Lord, You are the light of our world.

Children: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Parent: O God of promise, we make ourselves ready to worship together as we wait for Your wondrous rescue plan to be finished. Help us to grow as we hear Your Word and live in Your love.

Children: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Parent: May the light of Your love always shine in our hearts.

Children: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Amen.

Individual prayers: Invite everyone to offer up one prayer of their own. Pray for Jesus to be a bright light in the dark place you said earlier.

Song Options 

The Friendly Beasts (Pre-K class is learning this)

O Come O Come Emmanuel 

Extra Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

WEEK 2

SHEPHERD WHEN I’M SCAREDc24c5c8d34de80e6db93eb72eac68c84

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40:9-11

“Jerusalem, you have good news to tell.
   Go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, you have good news to tell.
   Shout out loud the good news.
Shout it out and don’t be afraid.
   Say to the towns of Judah,
   “Here is your God.”
Look, the Lord God is coming with power.
   He will use his power to rule all the people.
Look, he will bring reward for his people.
   He will have their payment with him.
The Lord takes care of his people like a shepherd.
   He gathers the people like lambs in his arms.
   He carries them close to him.
He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.”

QUESTIONS

What is something you are scared of? What things are your friends scared of?

What makes you feel most safe when you are scared?

Do you think the little lamb in this picture feels afraid, why or why not? Do you think God is really like this shepherd?

Now ask one of your kids to read aloud the words of Jesus from John 10:11: [Jesus said] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

PRAYER

Parent (or older child): We can hardly believe that such a mighty God would come to us as a baby in a manger.

We can hardly believe that the great big God is really a shepherd that would do anything to keep his little ones safe.
Thank You, thank You, thank You Jesus that you love us this much.

All Together: Thank You, thank You, thank You Jesus that You love us this much.

Individual Prayers: Invite everyone to offer up a prayer of their own. Thank Jesus for loving us, and ask Jesus to keep you safe from the scary thing you mentioned earlier.  

Song Options

Jesus Loves Me

Good Shepherd

Extra Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

WEEK 3

RESCUER OF THE WEAKpexels-photo-167964

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61:1-4,

“The Lord God has put his Spirit in me.

   This is because he has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor.

   He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken.

He has sent me to tell the captives they are free.

   He has sent me to tell the prisoners that they are released.

He has sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness

   and the time when our God will punish evil people.

He has sent me to comfort all those who are sad.

He has sent me to the sorrowing people of Jerusalem.

   I will give them a crown to replace their ashes.

I will give them the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow.

   I will give them clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness.

Then they will be called Trees of Goodness.

   They will be like trees planted by the Lord and will show his greatness.

They will rebuild the old ruins.

   They will build up the places destroyed long ago.

They will repair the ruined cities

   that were destroyed for so long.”

QUESTIONS

Where is there brokenness, sadness, or unfairness in our neighborhood, school, or world? Who do you know that has experienced this kind of big brokenness, sadness, or unfairness?

Where have you seen God making new things out of the broken and sad?

How is God making new in our family? How is God using our family to make new?

PRAYER

Parent: God, You have made us kind and brave. You have made us friends, not bullies, to those who are all alone. You have made us to be just like You.

All Together: Jesus, shine Your light in me.

Parent: You have taught us to heal the sick. You have given us so much we can share with those that don’t have enough. You have made us to be just like You.

All Together: Jesus, shine Your light in me.

Parent: You have made us loving and powerful, we can bring a smile to the saddest people.  You have made us strong and brave, we can do ANYTHING with you. You have made us just like you.

All together: Jesus, shine Your light in me.

Parent: We can pray this because Jesus rescued us and now He rules the whole world.

All together: Amen.

Individual Prayer: Invite everyone to offer up a prayer of their own. Tell God about the brokenness, sadness, or unfairness mentioned earlier. Ask God to make it new. Ask God to use you in making things new.

Song Options

Go Tell It On the Mountain

Joy to the World

 

Extra Reading: Luke 1:46b-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

WEEK 4

THE CHILD IS HEREkate-krivanec-212734

SCRIPTURE

In your Bible, look up these passages and read together: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7; Luke 2:4-20.

QUESTIONS 

What kinds of thing can babies do on their own? What kind of things can’t babies do?  Why do you think God would come to us as a little baby?

We’ve read a lot of different names for Jesus during Advent: how many names for Jesus can you think of? Which name for Jesus is your favorite?

If this little baby could grow up to rule the whole world, rescue us all, bring peace on earth, and show us the face of God, what kind of things do you think God would want you to grow up and do?

Has our family or someone we know experienced God’s power, peace, goodness, or fair judgment this year?

PRAYER

Parent: Father Who Lives Forever, because of Your never-stopping, never-giving-up love for Your people, You sent Your Son Jesus as a baby to break the power of all darkness, sadness and fear.

All Together: Jesus, shine Your light!

Parent: Mighty God, because of Your never-stopping, never-giving-up love, Jesus was crucified and dead and buried. He was dead but now He is alive again! Now He reigns with You from heaven, the Prince of Peace—the ruler of the whole earth!

All Together: Jesus, bring Your peace!

Parent: Wonderful Counselor, the very same Spirit that is in Jesus now lives inside of us, and is bringing us completely to life. . . Jesus, breathe on us that our lives may shine as bright as the Christmas star and that our joy would be as loud as the angels that sing, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is now filled with his glory.”

All Together: Glory to God! Christ has come! It’s Christmas!

Song Options:

Go Tell It On the Mountain

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

The Friendly Beasts

The Little Drummer Boy

Silent Night

Extra Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

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