Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kid-Friendly Advent Readings

To read the beginnings of this family tradition as well as a list of supplies to make the wreath, click HERE.
The first Sunday of Advent this year is December 2nd. 
If you are late getting started or miss a Sunday, just catch up on a week night. We have been know to move our candle lighting to a Monday night from time to time if the kids are cranky on Sunday nights.
Okay, let's dive in!

Week One: Mary, the angel, and some very exciting news!

You will need: Bible, nativity figures or some other representation of Mary and an angel, advent wreath , candles, and lighter/matches
  • Read Luke 1:26-38
  • Light the first candle.
  • During the reading, point out to your child which of the characters are Mary and the angel, allowing them to hold the figures.
  • Questions for review and reflection:

  1. Who brought the good news to Mary?
  2. How do you think Mary felt? (Surprised, worried, happy, scared, sad?)
  3. What do you think if would be like if an angel showed up in your room to give you a message? How would you feel?
  4. What was the very exciting news that the angel brought to Mary?
  5. What exciting news does God want us to share this Christmas season?
  • Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the good news of Jesus' birth! Please help us to wait as expectantly as Mary did for the coming of your Son. May we always remember the true message of Christmas, and share that message with others through our words and deeds this Christmas Season! Amen.

Week 2: Joseph has an important dream.
You will need: Bible, nativity figures of Joseph and an angel, advent wreath, candles and lighter/matches.
  • Light the first week's candle
  • Read Matthew 1:18-25
  • Point out to your child the characters of the story and allow them to hold them when they come up.
  • Light the second candle.
  • Questions for review and reflection:
  1. What was Jesus' mother's name?
  2. Who was she supposed to get married to?
  3. How did the angel appear to Joseph? What did the angel tell him?
  4. What did the angel tell Joseph to name the baby?
  5. What other, special name did the angel say that Jesus would be called? (Remind your child of the meaning of Immanuel).
  6. Did Joseph obey what the angel told him to do?
  7. Are we supposed to obey God? What does obedience to God look like?
  • Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us how to obey you by showing us how Joseph obeyed you. Help us to listen for what you want us to do and obey you right away. May we remember to be obedient to your will at Christmas time and always. Amen.
Week 3: No room at the inn.
You will need: A Bible, something to represent a stable (from a nativity set or even a box), figures of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus in a manger, and a donkey, Advent wreath, candles, lighter/matches.
  • Light the candles from the first 2 weeks.
  • Read Luke 2:1-7
  • Point out the figures in the story and allow your child to hold them and place Mary and Joseph in the stable.
  • Light the 3rd candle
  • Questions for review and reflection
  1. Who had to make a long trip?
  2. Where did they go?
  3. Did they find a comfy place to stay while they were visiting Bethlehem?
  4. What very exciting event happened while they were in Bethlehem?
  5. Do you know what a stable is? Do you know what a manger is? (Explain these words, being sure to emphasize the fact that a stable is a common barn, and a manger is where an animal drinks. Also use wording to describe the "stinky" or unpleasant environment that a stable would be for sleeping) 
  6. Where were you born? (emphasize the comfort and cleanliness of hospital or birth center settings vs. a stable)
  7. When you were a little baby, where did you sleep? (again, emphasize the comforts of a home and crib). What would it be like to sleep in a barn?
  8. Why do you think that God would send his Son to be born in a barn?
  • Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you so much for the birth of your Son, Jesus! Although Bethlehem did not have room for Him, allow us to make room for Him in our hearts. We pray that we would not miss out on how special His birth was this season. Help up to remember His humble start and to stay humble ourselves. Amen.
Week 4: Shepherds and Wise Men
You will need: Bible, figures of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, shepherds, wise men, and various animals, some kind of star, Advent wreath, candles, lighter/matches
  • Light the previous 3 candles.
  • Read Luke 2:8-18 and Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
  • Light the fourth candle
  • Point out the figures in the story and allow your child to hold them and place them in their appropriate spots.
  • Questions for review and reflection:
  1. How did the shepherds feel when the angels appeared?
  2. What did the angels tell them to do?
  3. How would you feel if all those angels appeared to you?
  4. What did they do in response to the angels good news? (emphasize that they obeyed, worshipped AND told others)
  5. What did the wise men follow to find Jesus?
  6. How many gifts did they bring? Do you remember what the gifts were?
  7. What is the greatest gift of all time?
  • Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the gift of your Son! We know that He is the best Christmas present of all! Help us to respond to His birth the same way that the shepherds did, and worship Him the way the wise men did. Remind us of the lessons that we have learned from the shepherds and wise men, and help us to live our lives as a precious gift to you. Amen.

Christmas Morning: The Light of the World!
You will need: Bible, Advent wreath, candles, lighter/matches
  • Turn off all the lights, light the 4 taper candles and the center candle.
  • Read John 1:1-5
  • Questions to ask:
  1. Who is the light of the world?
  2. Who's birthday is today?
  3. What birthday gift will you give to Jesus this year?
  • Prayer: Jesus, we love you so much! Thank you for coming to this world to be our light! Help us to shine your light to the whole world, at Christmas and always. Be with us as we strive to live out the gifts we promised to give you this year. Happy Birthday Jesus! Amen.
  • Sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and allow the kids to blow out the candles as if they were the candles on a birthday cake!
It is my sincerest hope that this tradition has blessed your family this advent season. May the joy of the birth of Jesus permeate your heart and life at Christmas and always!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you! This is perfect as this is my first Christmas lighting advent candles and I wanted to include my son.