Typically, we think of the time after Thanksgiving as the Christmas season, but really it’s Advent season when initially the world was waiting for a Messiah.
There was waiting and darkness. The world was a dark place, and that’s why we call Christ the light of the world. Advent is less about happiness and cheer and more about this longing and expectation of God to come and make things right because we live in a world that is broken.
In this season, we look back to when Jesus came the first time and prepare our hearts to receive Him when He comes again. The following is an excerpt from an Advent I put together that can involve the whole family and be shared and enjoyed with loved ones.
Week One: Hope
Read Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:1-17
Child’s Prayer: Jesus, thank you for always being faithful and keeping your promises. Help me to believe in you and to honor you by doing what I say I will do.
Adult’s Prayer: Father you are always faithful and true. Thank you for your faithfulness. Forgive us when we are unfaithful, forgive us when we do not keep our word. Help us trust your promises and place our hope in you.
Week Two: Love
Read Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-7
Child’s Prayer: Jesus, thank you for coming to earth to save us. Thank you for loving us so much that you would come to rescue us. Help me to love others the way I have been loved by you.
Adult’s Prayer: Father, thank you for sending your Son Jesus into the world to save us. Your love for us is amazing and undeserved. Forgive us for when we are unloving toward other people. Help us love others this week in a way that brings honor to you.
Week Three: Joy
Read Matthew 2:1-12
Child’s Prayer: Jesus, you are the King of the world. Only you can bring me true joy. Help me to worship you and to share the joy you give with my friends.
Adult’s Prayer: Father, we are tempted to try and find our joy in something other than you. Help us to not believe the lie that anything other than you satisfies. May we worship you this week and offer our gifts, talents and treasures to you knowing that you alone bring true and lasting joy.
Week Four: Peace
Read Luke 2:8-21
Child’s Prayer: Jesus, thank you for coming to the world to bring peace. Help me to be peaceful with others. Help me to not argue and fight with my brother or sister, my mom and dad, and my friends.
Adult’s Prayer: Father, thank you for your peace. We are often quarrelsome and rebellious because we want our own way. Forgive us and remind us of the peace we have with you through your Son Jesus. Enable us to bring your peace to the places where it is needed.
For Christmas Day
Read John 1:1-17
Child’s Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the perfect present. Help me to share what you have done with my friends.
Adult’s Prayer: Father, your Son is an incredible gift of hope, love, joy and peace. We do not deserve any of it, but you give freely. Thank you for your mercy and the glorious gift of your grace. May we live in a way that celebrates your goodness and testifies of your love.
Nate Karnes is a MOVE program director for Christ In Youth.