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For Educators

Advent Devotions

by Janet R. Knight

       You can buy Advent wreaths or make your own by setting four candles in a circle and surrounding them with greenery. Advent wreaths usually have three purple candles and one pink candle or four purple candles. (The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent.) A taller, white candle (the “Christ candle”), representing Jesus, goes in the center of the wreath.

First Sunday of Advent

One: Advent begins today.

All: Advent is a time when we wait for Jesus.

Light the first candle.

One: God’s people waited a long time for the Messiah to come.

All: And each year we wait for Jesus to come again into our hearts and homes.

One: The prophet Isaiah wrote, “No one has ever heard,

All: And no one has ever seen any God besides you.

Leader: You work for those who wait in faith and trust.”*

All: So we wait in faith and trust. We know Christmas Day is coming!

Together Time: Cut sheets of paper into 1” strips. Cut enough for each family to have one or two strips for each Sunday of Advent and for Christmas Day and Epiphany. On each of today’s strips, write Wait. Then write or draw pictures of ways you can wait quietly for Jesus to come into your heart and home. Make a chain out of the strips, and keep it in a special place—around your Advent wreath or nativity scene or on your Christmas tree.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to make time each day to wait quietly for Jesus. Amen.

*From Isaiah 64:1-9.

Second Sunday of Advent

One: Today begins the second week of Advent.

All: It is a time when we wait in hope for the good news that Jesus brings.

Light the first and second candles.

One: The prophet Isaiah wrote, “‘Comfort my people,’ says your God.”

All: The One who is coming “will feed his flock like a shepherd;

One: “He will gather lambs in his arms…;

All: “And gently lead the mother sheep.”

One: “Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength

All: “And will mount up with wings like eagles

One: “And will run and not be weary and walk and not faint.”*

All: So we wait with hope. We know Christmas Day is coming!

Together Time: Write hope on each of this week’s strips. Draw a picture of or write about one of the images from Isaiah. Form a chain and attach it to last week’s chain.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for sending your Son to bring hope to the world. Amen.

*Isaiah 40:11, 30-31

Third Sunday of Advent

One: Today begins the third week of Advent.

All: It is a time when we listen for God’s call to us.

Light the first two candles and the third candle.

One: The Lord is coming! Make a straight path for him!

All: He will bring good news to the poor and sight to the blind! He will release the captives and let the oppressed go free!

One: God said, “I the Lord love justice. I will bring justice and righteousness to the world.” *

All: And so we hear God’s call to us and hold it in our hearts. We know Christmas Day is coming!

Together Time: Write Listen on this week’s strips. Then write or draw on each strip what God is saying to you and your family. Attach your chain to last week’s chain.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to listen for your words to us. Amen.

* From Isaiah 61:1-4, Luke 4:18; John 1:23.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

One: Today begins the fourth week of Advent.

All: It is a time when we think about how we will answer when God calls us.

Light the first three candles and the fourth candle.

Read Luke 1:26-38.

One: An angel of the Lord appeared to Mary.

All: God wanted Mary to do something hard.

One: Mary knew that people wouldn’t understand.

All: She knew that people might become angry.

One: But Mary said Yes!

All: And so we think about how we will answer God. We know Christmas Day is coming!

Together Time: Write Yes on each of this week’s strips. Then write or draw on each strip a way you and your family can say Yes to God. Make a chain of your strips and attach it to last week’s chain.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to say Yes to you, as Mary did, even when it’s hard for us. Amen.

Christmas Day

One: Christmas is here!

All: Jesus, the Light of the world, is bringing us Good News!

Light all of the candles, including the Christ candle.

One: Good news!

All: A baby has been born!

One: Good news!

All: This baby will grow up to teach us how to live as God wants us to live.

One: And so we say—

All: “Thank you, God!” and “Welcome, Jesus!”

Together Time: Write Thank You and Welcome on several strips. Make a chain of the strips and attach it to last week’s chain.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the greatest gift ever, your Son, Jesus! Amen.

Note: The Christmas season continues until Epiphany, January 6. Keep your wreath out until then.

Epiphany (January 6)

One: Jesus is here!

All: And a bright star leads us to him.

Light all of the candles. Read Matthew 2:1-12.

One: The wise men followed the star,

All: even though they didn’t know where it would lead.

One: The wise men followed the star,

All: even though they didn’t know if they would be safe.

One: We follow a different kind of light.

All: We follow Jesus, the Light of the world.

One: Arise, shine, for your light has come!

All: Come, let’s follow the Light!*

Together Time: Write Follow on several strips. Then draw symbols of light on each strip. Attach your chain to last week’s chain.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to follow Jesus and to be a light to others. Amen.

*Isaiah 60:1

 

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