The King is coming! Jesus Christ has come and will come again. This is the hope of the Church who He purchased with His blood. It is the eager expectation and desire of His people. In His coming is our joy, for He is our treasure, our greatest good.
Advent, formed from a Latin word meaning “coming” or “arrival,” is about the coming of Christ. It’s the celebration of the first advent of Jesus and the anxious awaiting of His second coming. It has a rich history and great traditions. The season is a time for remembering and rejoicing, watching and waiting, and a time to reflect upon the promises of God and to anticipate the fulfillment of those promises with patience, prayer and preparedness.
We want to be a church that worships Jesus, not consumerism, this Christmas. To that end, we are encouraging families to work through a devotional together in their homes throughout the Advent season. The following is a companion guide to help you and your family celebrate Advent using the devotional. You can also download a printable version of this guide.
Devotional: Born a Child and Yet a King
What if you have younger children?
Pre-Advent Preparation (Week of November 23)
- Read the introductory material in the devotional and consider what it means to participate in the season of Advent.
- Become familiar with the way the devotional works and, if married, talk to your spouse about when and how you will use the devotional each week.
- Advent dates changes each year, and the devotional was originally made for the 2009 season. Follow the dates in this companion guide, and make a plan for this year’s Advent season, starting Sunday, November 30.
First Sunday of Advent (November 30)
- Traditional Theme: Hope
- Families, consider the following structure for each week (keep it simple, short, and enjoyable):
- Read the Bible passage or the equivalent chapter in The Jesus Storybook Bible. Trying to do both usually takes too long.
- Give the children this week’s coloring page and some crayons (giving them a new box of crayons can make it even more special).
- While the children color, read the “Devotional” and “Shedding Some Light” sections for the week.
- Sing the included hymn or another Christ-centered Advent or Christmas song.
- Pray together.
- Think through other ways your family can connect to the Story and celebrate Advent throughout the week.
Second Sunday of Advent (December 7)
- Traditional Theme: Peace
- If the structure worked well last week, follow it again. If not, mold it in a way that works for your family.
Third Sunday of Advent (December 14)
- Traditional Theme: Joy
Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 21)
- Traditional Theme: Love
First Day of Christmas (December 25)
- Consider beginning with the devotional on Christmas morning before opening gifts. One suggestion is to work through the devotional over a special Christmas breakfast.
- No coloring page is included for Christmas Day.
Epiphany (January 6)
- This is the traditional date Christians have celebrated the arrival of the wise men bearing gifts for Jesus (January 5 is the 12th day of Christmas, thus Epiphany is January 6).
- A coloring page is included for Epiphany.