Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Week 4

Can you believe it is almost Christmas day?? Here are the last week of Advent scriptures, activities and prayers. I have loved hearing my kids say "Jesus is the light of the world" and repeat what each candle means as we light them each day. We have not done many of the activities, but I still feel thankful to have added more meaning to this season of waiting for our whole family.

Fourth Sunday: Love
Sunday, December 20 – Open box #21
light all four candles - Hope, Peace, Joy and Love

Read Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

The fourth candle (purple or blue) "CANDLE OF LOVE" symbolizes Christ love. God sent His only Son to earth to save us, because He loves us!
John 3:16-17
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Monday, December 21 – Open Box #22
Verse : 1 John 4:7-19
God's Love and Ours
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[a] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[b] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us.

Activity: Make Cheerio Christmas Trees – Read the Legend of the Christmas Tree by Rick Osborne or go here for some ideas of the First Christmas tree
Prayer: If there is any source of joy for us this Christmas, let it come from the WHOLE life which Jesus lived and gave FOR US! Let God's great love bring you joy and peace as we celebrate the beginning of His work here on earth
God, I need your love. I celebrate the love You so freely offer. I accept the gift of your love and thank you for its transforming power in my heart. I love you, Father, and celebrate your presence and power in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 22 – Open box #23
Verse: Matthew 28:19-20
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Activity: Take the opportunity, if you can, to print out some of these discussion starters to use during a meal or snack time or maybe after a Christmas reading. Some are fun and light; some are more thoughtful. I've tried to make them appropriate for many ages and you can take as much time with them as you like. Cut them out, fold once, put in a hat or box and then take turns pulling them out! Enjoy!
Prayer: We've learned a LOT this Advent season! As we wind down to the birth of Jesus and our family celebrations, now is a great time to discuss and reflect on some of the ways that all of this anticipation has played a part in these past few weeks.

New!Advent and Christmas Discussion Starters!

Wednesday, December 23 – Open box #24
Verse: John 9:4-5
4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Matthew 5:14-16 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Activity: Write a letter to Jesus and instead of asking Him for gifts, tell Him what you would like to give Him in the coming New Year. Gifts such as being nicer to your brothers and sisters, obeying your parents, studying your Bible, praying every day, and most of all loving Him with all your heart.

Thursday, December 24 – Open box #25
Verse: John 8:12
12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Draw a picture of a pretty package and label it "The Greatest Gift Comes from Above." Hang this picture on your bedroom door for a reminder of the Gift in Jesus.
Decorate a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him on Christmas Eve.
Prayer: Dear God,
What a beautiful world you have made for me. Thank you God for creating the stars and the moon and everything else in the world. Thank you God for making me and giving me the GREATEST GIFT of baby Jesus. Help me to remember Jesus tonight and to remember that HE is the reason for Christmas. I know you loved me God because of this special present you sent me in a manger. I love you too and I thank you for this special birthday that I am celebrating tonight. I may be leaving Santa some cookies tonight Jesus, but I am leaving you something much better! I am leaving my heart and my love for you Jesus! Merry Christmas God and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Friday, December 25 – CHRISTMAS DAY
The fifth candle (white) "CHRIST CANDLE" symbolizes the incarnation, the heart and reason of the season, God giving light to the world. Its location is in the center as Christ’s light is central and radiant. This reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! (in wreaths that have 4 candles, it is in the circle among the rest of the candles)
Verses: Psalm 100

Revelation 3:20-21

His birth was for his death; his death was for our birth!
John 1:29
29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 3
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul. Show me your paths and teach me to follow;
guide me by your truth and instruct me. (Psalm 25)


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