“I have always loved Christmas time and one reason I have is because growing up, Christmas wasn’t just one day. My parents used the time of Advent to build anticipation and tell the story of Christmas over and over again until the we couldn’t wait until Christmas morning when we could celebrate Jesus’ birthday, with a birthday cake and all!
I have carried this love of Advent and Christmas with me and into our home and family. We have all kinds of special Embree family Advent traditions but what makes the time most meaningful in our intentional celebration of Christ’s coming.
A few years ago, in order to make this time more meaningful, I collected a number of prayers, Scriptures, and activities for the family to experience together throughout the month. These brief readings and prayers do not take a lot of time (can easily be done at the dinner table) but they help to frame Advent and the celebration of Christ’s birth in the larger story, the meta-narrative, of Scripture.
I hope that your family or your church family will be able to use them too and celebrate together the coming of our Prince of Peace!
Our Christmas “Advent”ure
This Advent Season, gather your family each day for a moment to read a Scripture, say a prayer, or do an activity below and add to your “Reverse Advent” basket.
2 – Make a your First Advent Candle. Use a paper towel or toilet paper roll as the candle. Wrap it or color it in purple and write the word “HOPE” on it. Create a “flame” using orange construction paper or just color one on white paper. Cut out and attach to the top with tape. You’ve just lit your first Advent Candle. The theme for this week is HOPE.
3– Read Luke: 1:26-38
4 – Pray this prayer together:
God of hope, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope, the rock we stand upon,
be the center, the focus of our lives
always, and particularly this Advent time.
5– Isaiah 7:10-1
6 – Read Matthew 1:18-24
7 – The Advent Theme for this week is Hope. What are some things your family hopes for?
8 – Read Isaiah 11:1-10
9 – Make a your Second Advent Candle. Use a paper towel or toilet paper roll as the candle. Wrap it or color it in purple and write the word “LOVE” on it. Create a “flame” using orange construction paper or just color one on white paper. Cut out and attach to the top with tape. You’ve just lit your second Advent Candle. The theme for this week is LOVE.
10. Read Micah 5:2
11. Read Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
12. Read Isaiah 2:1-5
13. Pray this prayer together:
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the paths of thine Only-begotten Son:
that we may worthily serve thee with hearts purified by His coming: Who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen
14. Read Matthew 3:1-6
15. God is Love. Our theme for this week reminds of His great love for us. How does our family show and experience God’s love?”
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