Getting Ready!!

As soon as the dishes are put away on Thanksgiving Day, I will be finding my Advent wreath!

Check out this 2009 “First Week of Advent” activities:

The first Sunday of Advent is known as the Prophecy Candle which symbolizes God’s planning for Christ’s birth long before it actually happened.  This week’s Advent activities will have a “get organized” theme.

God planned the birth of Jesus.  He picked the family and tribe in which he would be born.  He arranged the timing of his birth, the place and eventually Jesus’ death.  God has already destined Jesus’ second coming…. or second Advent if you will…..God announced his plans long before it actually took place.  Just like the second coming….. He has already announced how the end will come……

So, here’s my pondering question…… Do you plan your Christmas?  Would it be a perfect Christmas without all the planning you do ahead of time?  Around my house, we are planning Christmas in like…..January!!  So this week let’s plan our hearts to be centered around Christ during our Advent activities!!

First Sunday Home Ceremony:

At our house, we like to have this Ceremony prior to dinner.  The table is set and we gather around the table.  Our ending prayer will bless the meal.

1.  Describe Isaiah:  Who was Isaiah?  What did he do?

2.  Talk about the Book of Isaiah.

3.  Read Isaiah 11:1-10

4.  Talk about the passage.  What did it mean??

5.  Light the first candle

6.  Sing a Hymn.  May I suggest, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

7.  End in Prayer

First Week’s Activities:

During the week, we try to do the activities just after dinner.  As the kids are clearing the table, I am gathering my notes and my activity objects.  Then we gather around the table to do our activity.

Monday:

Item:  A brick

Readings:  (We each get a scripture)  Nehemiah 1:3, 2:18, 6:15-16   Malachi 3:1  and Revelation 22:20

Discussion:  The brick represents the Wall of Jerusalem.  The wall was all around the city.  The wall was torn down and all of God’s people were scattered and taken as slaves into different lands.  In order for Jesus to be born, the Bible says that the people would return to Jerusalem.  And 400 years before Jesus’ birth, the rebuilding began.  When the wall was finished, the waiting for Jesus began.  It took many many years for the people to be ready for Jesus.  Are we ready for Jesus to come to us this Christmas??

Tuesday:

Scripture:  Proverbs 4:26

Items:  pencils and paper

Activity:  The Bible says that we should plan things carefully.  Just like God planned things very carefully for the first Christmas, we are going to plan for this Christmas.  We each have a piece of paper and a pencil.  When we are done, we are going to discuss the ideas we have written about Christmas and we will make a plan….. and stick with it!

Three things we did last year for Christmas that I’d like to do again.

Three new things I’d like to try for Christmas.

Wednesday:

Scripture:  Matthew 25

Item:  Dirty Clothes (really nasty dirty)

Activity:  Plan a special gift for someone outside of your ring of family and friends.  Perhaps, it is the lady who checks you out at your local grocery store.  Perhaps, it is for a family in a homeless shelter.  Perhaps, you can contact your local school and get information about a student who needs items.  Or focus on a shut in from your church……and I don’t think you have to shower them with gifts…. perhaps just a little reminder that they are loved.

Thursday:

Scripture:  3 John 13-14

Items:  Things to make a Christmas card.

Activity:  Make Christmas cards for family and friends who live far away.  John wrote to his friends that he could not be with them…. so we are sending God’s message of Christ to our family and friends far away.

Friday:

Scripture:  Luke 1:1-20

Item:  Envelope with card in it… the card will read:

What was it like for Zechariah to be unable to speak?  To help us understand what he felt, we are going to eat supper without speaking…. total silence.  There will be no talking.  His silence was broken only by prayer after his son John was born….. ours will be broken by prayer after we eat.

Activity:  Eat in silence.

Discussion after prayer:  retell Zechariah’s story.  Read verse 20.

Saturday:

Scripture:  Matthew 2:1-11

Activity:  Star gazing

Discussion:  Talk about the Magi seeing and following the star.  Talk about how God had to plan the star to shine.  It appeared at the right time and at the right place.  Take the family outside and really look at the stars.  Go inside and have hot chocolate!!  YUMMY!!

I  really hope you will join us in celebrating the Advent season.  You will be amazed how you and your family will make lasting memories that will last a life time!

God Bless…..

*** resources:  Christmas Out of the Advent Box, by Benjamin R. Husted25 Days, 26 Ways, by Ace Collins ; and The Advent Jesse Tree, by Dean Lambert

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