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Advent Devotional


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This devotional is meant to be used to the max. Draw, write, cut things out, rip out pages – do whatever it takes to make this time very personal for you, those you live with, extended family, and friends. Get everyone to interact with one another and ultimately to hear what God has to say to each of you. Every household looks different, but that does not matter. Even living alone, you can discover all kinds of things about Christmas you may not have known. Why is this devotional called Fearless? As God approached His people concerning the arrival of His Son, it was said, “ Do not be afraid...” Enter this Christmas season fearless and filled with faith in a God who is passionate about having a relationship with each and every person.
There are six weeks to this devotional. The first week can be done at home or as a Worship Service. There are then four weeks of Advent and a final devotional you can do Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Published in: Spiritual, Education
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    My name is Esther and I help to lead the Children and Families work at Waikanae Baptist, New Zealand. We would like to thank you for this resource. It has been an excellent gift to give to both our non-church families and our church families. The ideas used are fun and creative. Please thank the team who designed 'Fearless' from us. It is fabulous.
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Advent Devotional

  1. 1. • Rolling Hills Community CHuRCH 3550 SW Borland Road · Tualatin, OR 97062 | Supervising Editor: Gary Strudler Creative Contributors: Tim McDonald, Michael Novelli, Dayna Stamnes, and Jeff VandenHoek Design/Creative Editor: Regina Hutchinson Editorial Support: Carolynn Wheatcraftand thanks to the volunteers who assembled this devotional. © Rolling Hills Community Church 2010-2011
  2. 2. About this Devotional This devotional is meant to be used to the max. Draw, write, cut things out, rip out pages – do whatever it takes to make this time very personal for you, those you live with, extended family, and friends. Get everyone to interact with one another and ultimately to hear what God has to say to each of you. Every household looks different, but that does not matter. Even living alone, you can discover all kinds of things about Christmas you may not have known. Why is this devotional called Fearless? As God approached His people concerning the arrival of His Son, it was said, “ Do not be afraid…” Enter this Christmas season fearless and filled with faith in a God who is passionate about having a relationship with each and every person. There are six weeks to this devotional. The first week can be done at home or as a Worship Service. There are then four weeks of Advent and a final devotional you can do Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.Each week has • sHARing Hear how others in the family have experienced Christmas. • REwinD Review what you experienced the week prior and give an opportunity to follow up on commitments family members have made. • nARRAtivE Here is the Scripture written out from various sources. Tell it with enthusiasm and passion. Your children may have special books they want the Christmas story read from. • REplAy Some options will be given here to retell the Bible story in creative ways. • REflECt Discuss and discover truths from the story. • REsponsE Experiential ways to personally connect God’s Story to my story. • BlEssing End by giving your family a blessing from the Bible.
  3. 3. wHy tHis mEtHoD? This devotional is designed around a learning method called Bible Storying. It’s purpose is to create a place for us to discover and join God in His Story. Did you know that most of the Bible is written as stories? Jesus was a Master Teacher as a storyteller. With stories, we discover who God is and His relationship with His people. We have the opportunity to personally relive the story and not just recall information. The Holy Spirit can then speak to us about how to be disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. The storying process allows us to retell the story several times through exploratory questions and creative means that engage all learning styles. It draws in everyone, young and old alike. Everyone can give input and we become cojourners in the spiritual journey of discovering our place in God’s Story. You will discover that young and old alike can learn from one another about God and His ways.wHAt is ADvEnt? The season of Advent is the four Sundays just before Christmas. It prepares our hearts for celebrating Christ’s birth on Christmas Day. There are various traditions that families and churches follow to make this time meaningful, including creating an Advent wreath, opening daily calendars, and the weekly lighting of candles. Reading different portions of the biblical account is practiced as well. You can go online and find different traditions that may suit your family more than others. For this devotional, you will see that the candle lighting ceremony is incorporated each week. The lighting of candles usually signifies that something important is about to happen. There is a reason to light each new candle, but candles from the previous weeks are lit as well, so as to build anticipation of what is about to happen. Memories are made and Christmas becomes more meaningful. ENJOY! DRAw, wRitE, Cut tHings out, Rip pAgEs, tHis is youRs!
  4. 4. in tHE BEginningsHARE Have one or both of the parents share their earliest memory of Christmas. What was special about it? What emotion do you remember most? What traditions do you still do today?nARRAtivE Jesus was always in God’s perfect plan to restore a relationship with Him; it did not just happen at His birth. Though the prophets did not have the full picture about the arrival of the Messiah, what each gave was very significant. Though not a complete narrative, you can look at these different prophetic verses and their fulfillment concerning Jesus’ birth. #3 Isaiah 9:6-7 Ephesians 1:21 #2 Isaiah 53 Isaiah 7:14 #1 Hebrews 10:1-22 John 1:14 Isaiah 7:14 Luke 1:28-35 #4 Micah 5:2 Luke 2:4-7
  5. 5. image of puzzle heart REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy in REmEmBRAnCE Many times Christmas ornaments have a special meaning or significance for us to remember or to tell others about. Each person in the family can decorate an ornament to tell what it means personally that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. Larger ornaments are on the next two pages, which can be torn out for younger children.
  6. 6. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
  7. 7. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
  8. 8. week #1 - HopE prepare the way of the lordBiBlE stoRy Luke 1:5-25; 57-80Zechariah in the Temple and the birth of John the BaptistnotE: Do somEtHing DiffEREnt tonigHt to pEAk EvERyonE’s AttEntion. Make it an “unplugged” night where there is no electricity or a night where electronics are not allowed. As Zechariah had to do without the use of words, have this be a night when you do without something important.sHARing Hope is wishing for something to happen. Have someone share a story of a time when they were hoping for something at Christmas and it happened.REwinD REviEw pREvious wEEks’ stoRiEs AnD REsponsEs • Last week, you decorated a prophesies that were said about Christmas ornament to remember Jesus before he was born. How do who Jesus is. In what ways do these prophesies give you hope? you hope to celebrate Christmas How can you share this hope with differently this year? others this week? • During the Sunday services last • Light the candle for this week. week, we lit the Christ candle (the Let the children know that we will one in the center) and saw how be talking about someone God Jesus was part of God’s plan from was sending to give the Israelites the beginning, long before Christmas hope and to get them ready to be day. Re-light another Christ candle rescued. and take turns naming the different
  9. 9. nARRAtivE Zechariah was a priest who was married to Elizabeth. They were an older couple who pleased the Lord by obeying Him. Sadly, they were not able to have children of their own. There was a day when Zechariah had the chance of a lifetime. He got to enter the Holy Place of God’s temple. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Zechariah was shocked and very much afraid. The angel said to him, “Zechariah don’t be afraid! God has heard your prayers and your wife Elizabeth will have a son. Give him the name John. He will make you very happy and everyone will be so excited for you. John will have the job of getting people ready for the Messiah. He will teach parents how to be more thoughtful of their children and how everyone is to obey God.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I believe this? Do you know how old we are?!” The angel answered, “I am Gabriel and I was sent to tell you this good news. Since you don’t believe me, you won’t be able to say a thing until all this happens. Trust me, everything will take place just as it is supposed to.” Outside the Temple, people were getting worried because Zechariah was in the Temple so long. When he finally came out, Zechariah could not say a word. He and Elizabeth went home. Soon, just as Gabriel had told him, Elizabeth was going to have a baby boy. After the child was born, it was time to give him a name. Everyone just expected him to be called Zechariah because that was his dad’s name. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John.” The people did not think this was right and so they motioned to Zechariah to find out what he wanted to name his son. Zechariah motioned for a writing tablet and on it he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was shocked. Zechariah then realized he could speak and he began praising God. Everyone wondered what God was going to do with this special child. John would grow up and speak for God, telling everyone that they did not need to be afraid of God, because He would forgive their sins if they confessed them to Him. People without God were living in the dark and God was going to shine a light in the darkness so there would be a path for everyone to come to Him.
  10. 10. REplAy REtEll tHE BiBlE stoRy in A CREAtivE wAy ACting out stuff nEEDED • Get a box and fill it with bathrobes, kitchen towels for headdresses, sandals, etc The box will be used to store costumes that can be used for the remainder of the month. Have everyone take a part and get dressed up to act out today’s story. Since Zechariah lost his ability to speak, act out the story without any words. If you want, you can give out sections of the story and have family members act it out in charades. Maybe your family does not like to act things out. Try a Pictionary-type game instead, where each person selects a different section of the story and draws it while other family members try to guess what is happening.REflECt DisCuss AnD DisCovER tRutHs fRom goD’s stoRy • Who were the main characters in today’s story? • What do you think it was like for Zechariah to have an angel visit him in the Temple? • How do you think God speaks to us today? • Gabriel gave Zechariah some great news – what was it? • In regards to this story, I like it that… • The baby was born and given the name John. What was so special about what he was going to do? • What special job do you think God has for you to do? • Something new I learned today about God’s Story is …
  11. 11. REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy#1 Joy BoX Look around your house and name the things that have brought you great joy. How did these things bring you great joy? Who in your life needs to experience that kind of joy this Christmas? How could you share these things with someone this Christmas? Are there some things that God may have you give to someone else so they can experience the joy you have? Pray about one thing to share and see what happens when you share joy with another person!A DiffEREnt iDEA Give each child a certain amount of money and goshopping, filling up a bag or box that can be givenaway. Many places have an Angel Tree where youcan purchase a gift for a child with no other means toreceive a Christmas present.
  12. 12. #2 JERusAlEm nEws What do you sense God wants you to do with today’s story? Pretend that your local newspaper is writing an article because you are bringing HOPE to your community. Write a headline and the beginning of an article based on what you believe God is calling you to do. (There is an extra blank newspaper article in the back of this book).
  13. 13. BlEssing Personalizing the words that Zechariah prayed over John, a prayer for your family could be: God has prepared a way for you to come to the Lord. Through Jesus, you will find hope. May God’s tender mercy be upon you. May you receive the light of Jesus so you don’t have to sit in the darkness. pHotos Have each person take a picture of what they really like about Christmas and share.
  14. 14. week #2 sHinE: Jesus is the light of the worldBiBlE stoRy Luke 1:26-56Gabriel visits MarysHARing Have someone share a story about when they were able to help someone else without getting rewarded for it; they did it just because they knew it was the right thing to do.REwinD REviEw pREvious wEEks’ stoRiEs AnD REsponsEs • Review the stories and light the candles from the previous two weeks: Emmanuel lesson and the birth of John the Baptist. Work together to retell these stories. • If you were able to give some things away this past week, share that experience with the rest of the family. What surprised you? What did you discover about yourself through that experience? • Light the candle for this week. Let the children know that we will be talking about shining for Jesus. Though it was not going to be easy, Mary was willing to be used by God. Just like Mary, we can “rejoice in God my Savior” and let Jesus be evident to everyone else by what we say and do.nARRAtivE God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman named Mary who lived in the town of Nazareth. Mary was engaged to Joseph who was from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “Don’t be afraid. God has chosen to bless you. You will become pregnant and have a son. You are to give him the name Jesus, which means ‘God saves,’ and not only will He be the greatest of all men, He will become a king whose kingdom will never end.” Mary was confused by Gabriel’s words and she asked him, “How can this happen? I am not even married!”
  15. 15. He answered her, “This will happen supernaturally, by the Holy Spirit, so your baby will not only be your son, but He will be called God’s Son. Remember, nothing is impossible with God!” Mary said, “I want to serve the Lord! May everything you have said come true.” Suddenly, Mary realized that Gabriel was gone. A short time later, Mary went to visit Zechariah and Elizabeth. When Mary went into their home, Elizabeth said to her, “God has blessed you more than any other woman! That little baby inside you also has God’s blessing. As soon as I heard you come in, my baby leaped for joy inside me. Do you want to know why the Lord has blessed you? It’s because you believed that He will keep his promise.” Mary praised the Lord with her whole heart. She understood that this was not about her, but about God and what He was doing. He always shows kindness to those who will worship Him and who show kindnessREplAy REtEll tHE BiBlE stoRy in A CREAtivE wAystoRywHEEl Come up with fouR drawings or phrases that retell the story of Mary being visited by Gabriel, God’s messenger angel. DRAw or wRitE them on the fouR sECtions of the storywheel below. On the nEXt pAgE you will see the other part of the wheel, with the notch or window for the pictures to show through. Cut out tHE wHEEl AnD tHE winDow. If you have a brad, connect the two parts of the wheel together so the story unfolds as the wheel is turned. Take turns telling the whole story after the wheel is done.
  16. 16. stoRywHEEl
  17. 17. REflECt DisCuss AnD DisCovER tRutHs fRom His stoRy • What amazes you the most about this story? • Does anyone know what position Gabriel has in the Army of Angels? Of all the angels, I wonder why God would send him to talk to Mary. • When Gabriel first approached Mary, he told her not to be afraid. I wonder why What would your response have been? How was Mary going to be part of God’s Story? • How would you respond if an angel came to your bedroom one night? • Mary’s response was to worship God and be willing to do whatever God asked of her. As we approach Christmas, how would God want us to worship Him as a family? • Why is it important to you that God came to live with us? • How might God have you be part of the God Story this Christmas season?REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy Take some time tonight to be quiet and still before the Lord. After hearing this story about Mary discovering she is going to the mother of Jesus, God’s only Son, what is God asking of you? Is God asking you to be a light in some dark places? What would make you afraid? Can you hear the angel saying, “Do not be afraid”? Is there something you are really hoping for this Christmas? How can you give up that expectation? Is there something you need to be praising God for even though it is a difficult situation?#1 tHy woRD stuff nEEDED: • Access to ITunes to download the song Thy Word by Amy Grant Fear is one of the biggest things that stops God’s light from shining through us. The angels that appeared before the different people in the Christmas story kept telling them to not be afraid. Listen and respond to the song sung by Amy Grant. What is making you afraid right now? How might God and others come alongside you to build trust and begin removing the fear? Is there a Bible verse you need to memorize this week to help you when you are afraid?
  18. 18. Cut out tHE wHEEl AnD tHE winDow
  19. 19. Silly!This page is alreadybeing used by thefront side of me.Have fun!
  20. 20. #2 it’s in tHE CARDs • Shuffle and deal several playing cards to each person. Based on the suit of the cards they received, each person is to “play” a card and answer one of the following questions. You might want to play several rounds of this before the evening is over. • Clubs: Is there someone who needs to know the real meaning of Christmas? Is there something you can give them that would help them understand what Christmas is about? It might be a nativity set, an ornament, a special Christmas card, or a Bible. • Hearts: What is a feeling you had when listening to today’s story? • Diamonds: What is something really important to you that you learned from the story? • Spades: What is something you feel God would have you do based on what you heard from the story? BlEssing Taken from Mary’s response to Gabriel: May you have a heart filled with praise and joy in God our Savior. May you see how God continues to do great and wonderful things for you. Be a light for Jesus so all the world will see that there is a God who loves them.
  21. 21. week #3 Joy: Joy to the world the lord Has ComeBiBlE stoRy Luke 2:8-20Shepherds are visited by angels and see JesussHARing Joy is a feeling we have when we are expecting something good to happen. When did you feel joy today? Have different family members share about what it’s like trying to go to bed on Christmas Eve because you are expecting something really good to happen on Christmas morning. Some might share how their hopes for Christmas have changed because of doing this devotional together.REwinD REviEw pREvious wEEks’ stoRiEs AnD REsponsEs • Light the first three candles and have different family members take turns telling the stories behind each one. • Remind everyone about being the light and not being afraid to let Jesus shine through us. How were you able to be a shining light for God this past week? • This week we will light the fourth candle and see who gets to experience the joy of Jesus’ birth.nARRAtivE It was a very dark night. The only light was the twinkling of the stars in the sky above. Outside Bethlehem, a group of shepherds gathered in the night to watch over their sheep. All of a sudden, there was a bright light which seemed to come out of nowhere; God had pushed away all of the darkness. An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, terrifying them! But the angel comforted them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news which will bring everyone great joy! Today in Bethlehem, where King David grew up, God has sent One who will save you and restore your relationship with Him. He is the Lord, the Messiah you have been waiting for. You will know who He is because you will find Him wrapped snugly in strips of cloth and lying on a bed of hay.” In a flash, thousands of other angels appeared, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.”
  22. 22. Just as quickly as the angels had come, they disappeared. The shepherds were buzzing with excitement. They couldn’t believe what had just happened. “We must go to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has told us.” Off they went, racing each other down the hill. They went right to the place where the angels told them to go, and there they found Mary and Joseph and the baby, wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger filled with hay. This manger normally held food for animals, but now it was filled with the One who would be the Savior of the world. Seeing is believing. The shepherds marveled at all they had seen and heard. They couldn’t hold it in. They had to tell everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was listening and they were amazed. Later, the shepherds returned to their sheep. They couldn’t stop praising God, for everything had turned out exactly as they had been told. He was here. The long-awaited Messiah had come. Back at the stable, Mary sat quietly and kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She kept thinking about them over and over. God’s promises were coming true right before their eyes. But this was only the beginning… REplAyREtEll tHE BiBlE stoRy in A CREAtivE wAy #1 imAginARium Have everyone lay in a circle with their heads in the center. They can close their eyes while one person rereads the story. Imagine being one of the shepherds as the story is retold. What do you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell? #2 fiElD tRip Here are a couple of ideas for field trips you can take to make your story come alive: • If you know someone who has a pasture and a barn, take the family there and re-enact the story. If this is not available to you, go to a big park with an open field where you can sit and tell the story. • Go to a hospital’s baby ward and admire the differences in the babies. Tell the story of the angels coming to the shepherds to announce the Good News of Jesus being born. Discuss the difference between being born in a hospital versus a barn. What other things do you see and hear? How are people responding to the birth of a new baby? Parents, tell what it was like for you when your kids were born.
  23. 23. REflECt DisCuss AnD DisCovER tRutHs fRom goD’s stoRy • The shepherds were the first ones to be told about Jesus’ birth. Anyone remember what the angels said to the shepherds? I wonder why God chose the shepherds. How did they know where to go? • On their way down the hillside, what do you think the shepherds were saying to one another? • I wonder what it was like for Mary and Joseph to hold God. • For you, what is the most amazing part about this true story? • Why do you think God sent His Son Jesus to be born on Christmas? • If Jesus were to come today, where do you think God would have Him be born? What kind of parents do you think He would have? • After being with Jesus, the shepherds could not hold in their excitement. They went and told everyone what they had seen and heard. What do you think they told everyone? • Who would God want you to share with about what really happened on that first Christmas? What will you tell them? • Something I now realize about Jesus is …REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy #1 sHARE tHE Joy Get a bag of miniature Almond Joy candy bars and give some to each person at the beginning of the day. Before leaving the house, gather everyone for prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you as to people who need some joy at school or work. Throughout the day, as you sense God’s nudging, give a Joy bar to a person who needs His joy!
  24. 24. #2 skywRiting The shepherds looked up and saw a whole army of angels in the sk,y praising God. Theshepherds were told not to be afraid because they were about to receive some greatnews, which would bring great joy. What is something you would want to tell someoneabout the great news of Jesus’ birth? You can write it in the sky in the picture below.(There are extras in the back of this book). BlEssing Lord, may we let your name be known wherever we go so others can have your joy. Bless each person with greater faith so we can be fearless. We want to please you in all that we say and do. Amen.
  25. 25. week #4 pEACE: waiting in Anticipation BiBlE stoRy Luke 2:21-40 Anna and Simeon see Jesus spECiAl notE Our children are used to being served throughout the day. Turn the night around and have the kids serve the parents. All of the characters in the Christmas story were people who gladly served the Lord. Anna and Simeon were no exception. Make it a big deal about how pleasing it is to the Lord when we serve one another. sHARing We have peace when we are in a good relationship with God and one another. Have someone share how they were able to make peace with another person. Someone also may want to share how they began to have peace with God when they began their relationship with Jesus.REwinD REviEw pREvious wEEks’ stoRiEs AnD REsponsEs • Retell the previous Advent stories while lighting their designated candles. Give different family members an opportunity to tell as much of a story as they can. • How did you share the meaning of Christmas with others this week? What happened when you shared the Almond Joy bars? • By sharing with someone, you were part of God’s Story. How did you feel giving God’s joy to someone? Do you think you or the other person ended up with more joy?! • Light the last Advent candle as you prepare to hear about some people who were waiting for Jesus.
  26. 26. nARRAtivE ph’s child would be Jesus’ parents were speechless – s being said about Mary and Jose amazed by what wa id e meaning “savior.” eon turned and sa called Jesus, a nam their son. Then Sim urs will cause en to them by an to Mary, “This child of yo This name was giv ll be a angel before He wa s born. many in Isr ael to fall, but He wi Thou gh God may joy to many others. k against s born, Mary have sent Him, many will spea Soon after Jesus wa this opposition will to Jerusalem Him. Just know that and Joseph took Him for you. Mary, it will break God. When they be difficult to dedicate him to epest thoughts of ple – a place of your heart. The de arrived at the Tem ts will be revealed.” an old man many hear worship – they saw was a good man named Simeon. He d God’s Spirit told named Anna who loved God. An Then an old woman uld not die until he and began praising Simeon that he wo came up to them essiah. tantly in the had met the real M God. She was cons ht Temple, worshipi ng God day and nig n going with out to Mary and gently by praying and ofte Simeon came over ement, Anna bega n arms. Then Simeon food. In her excit took the child in his lling them that the saying, “Lord, you talking to people, te began praising God, d been waiting for had ything. Just as you Messiah they ha are ruler over ever en with my own been born! promised, I have se all people. He will eyes the savior of ur people and be , Jesus’ pa rents grow up among yo Not long after that als your message Naza reth in your light who reve returned home to yone throughout Galilee. Th ere Jesu s grew up of salvation to ever will bring honor to . He was fill ed the entire world. He healthy an d st rong l. d by God an d by your people in Israe w ith w isdom, love . everyone He met
  27. 27. REplAy REtEll tHE BiBlE stoRy in A CREAtivE wAysCAvEngER HuntOn the next page you willfind the events of today’s story. Cut them into slips of paperand hide them around the house for everyone to find.The slips should then be brought back and put in sequentialorder. See who wants to be first to retell the Bible storywithout using the slips. Give everyone a chance to try.REflECt DisCuss AnD DisCovER tRutHs fRom goD’s stoRy • Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple to dedicate Him when He was 8 days old. If you have dedicated your children, take time to tell your kids why you did it and what it was like. • Why were Anna and Simeon at the Temple? • What was their response when they saw Jesus? • I wonder how they knew Jesus was God’s Son? How do you know Jesus is God’s Son? • Simeon said that Jesus would be the Savior for how many people? • What do you think was going on in the hearts and minds of Mary and Joseph when this was happening? How about Anna and Simeon? • What did you like about today’s story? • If Jesus were to come into your home right now, how do you think you would respond? What is the first thing you would want to say to Him? • What amazes you about God?
  28. 28. Cut tHEsE in slips... wHEn JEsus wAs 8 DAys olD, mARy AnD JosEpH took Him to JERusAlEm to pREsEnt Him to tHE loRD. tHEy gAvE An offERing to tHE loRD wHEn tHEy DEDiCAtED JEsus.simEon livED in JERusAlEm AnD wAs wAiting foR tHE pRomisED onE to ComE, foR goD HAD sAiD HE woulD sEE Him BEfoRE HE DiED. lED By tHE Holy spiRit, simEon wAs in tHE tEmplE, AnD took BABy JEsus in His ARms AnD pRAisED goD. simEon sAiD somE AmAzing tHings ABout JEsus, AnD JosEpH & mARy wERE AmAzED At wHAt wAs BEing sAiD. AnnA wAs Also in tHE tEmplE. sHE wAs vERy olD AnD stAyED DAy & nigHt At tHE tEmplE woRsHipping goD. AnnA sAw JEsus AnD BEgAn pRAising goD. sHE tAlkED to EvERyonE wHo HAD BEEn wAiting foR tHE pRomisED king JEsus’ fAmily REtuRnED to nAzAREtH wHERE HE gREw up HEAltHy AnD stRong, fillED witH wisDom AnD witH goD’s spECiAl fAvoR.
  29. 29. Silly!This page is alreadybeing used by thefront side of me.Have fun!
  30. 30. REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy#1 watching & waiting picture This family is looking out into the distance. What are you anticipating God to do in the New Year, individually and as a family? You can draw or write out everyone’s responses in the picture below.
  31. 31. #2 Design a Christmas Billboard Design a billboard to let others know of the arrival of Jesus - the Good News for the Christmas season!BlEssing Lord, thank you for giving us Jesus. May you live in peace because you have seen Him. May Jesus be your light to show you the way and bring you great joy and peace. May you grow up like Jesus to be healthy and strong. May you be filled with God’s wisdom and may God place His special favor upon you.
  32. 32. CHRistmAs EvE/DAyCHRistmAs REwinD: fearlessBiBlE stoRyMatthew 1:18-2:13Review and Celebration of ChristmassHARing If someone from a different country, where they know nothing about Jesus, were to come to your Christmas celebration, what would they think Christmas is all about? From what they have experienced, when they return home, they would tell their family and friends that Christmas is…REwinD REviEw pREvious wEEks’ stoRiEs AnD REsponsEs • Pass a rubber band around and have each person share how they have been stretched this month because of this devotional. • Who did you tell about the true reason for Christmas? How have they responded? How did you feel when you told them? • When lighting the Advent candles, save the center Christ candle for last. As you light each of the other candles, retell the stories of Zechariah, Mary, Jesus being born, and Anna and Simeon. • Light the center Christ candle.
  33. 33. Here is the remarkable story of been with a man will have a baby boynARRAtivE Jesus’ birth. Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before their wedding, Mary was pregnant and going to have a baby. This child was God’s Son, but Joseph and they will call him Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, some wise men from the Far East didn’t know that. Joseph was a arrived in Jerusalem. They asked King good man who loved God and Herod, “Where is the newborn King? We he decided to quietly end his have been following His star and now engagement to Mary so she we want to worship Him.” After meeting would not be disgraced. with the religious leaders, everyone agreed with what the prophet Micah had As he was thinking of all this, said, “God’s shepherd – the Messiah – Joseph had a dream. During his would be born in Bethlehem.” dream, an angel of the Lord came to him and told him, “Joseph, don’t The wise men left and continued to be afraid to take Mary as your follow the star until it stopped over the wife. The child in her is from God. place where Jesus was… right there Give him the name Jesus, which in Bethlehem. They were so excited! means ‘God saves,’ for he will save When they went inside the house and the people from their sins.” Joseph saw the child with Mary, His mother, they woke up from his dream and did immediately knelt down and worshipped exactly what the angel told him. Him. They then gave the gifts they had It happened just like the prophet brought for Him: gold, frankincense, Isaiah had said hundreds of years and myrrh. Jesus, this child of God, was before: “A woman who has not being honored as the King. REplAy REtEll tHE BiBlE stoRy in A CREAtivE wAy RigHt lEft CHRistmAs stoRy stuff nEEDED: • The same object, candy, or ornament for each person participating • One object that can easily be passed and is something everyone would want more than the other objects being used This is a fun family activity that retells the Christmas story. Give each person an object, with one person receiving the special object. As the story is being read, objects are passed to the right or left as directed by the story. When the story is finished, everyone gets to keep the object they are holding. You can read all or part of this story. The story was originally found at:
  34. 34. ryRight left Christmas game nativity sto one lEft living in the cided to count every In those days , Caesar Augustus de HT to his town of ing Mary with him RIG whole Roman wo rld. Joseph lEft, tak Bethlehem to register. inns in Bethlehem rooms lEft. All of the When they arrived, there were no stay. Finally, ere lEft for them to were RigHt ful l. There was just nowh ir stable. them stay RigHt in the so meone offered to let e came for her to thlehem the RigHt tim Mary was pre gnant and while in Be a Bethlehem there. RigHt there in give birth. She ga ve birth to a boy RigHt ft over ry wrapped him with lE stable, the Savior of the world was born. Ma er. him RigHt in a mang strips of cloth and laid at night RigHt in Bethlehem were out Some shepherds who lived RigHt near t light. The then, they saw a brigh their fields watching over their sheep. RigHt ened them ir eyes. When they op t they had to close the light was so bright tha e them with in the sky RIGHT abov l was standing RigHt again, a beautiful ange other and looked RigHt at each his arms lE ft opened wide. The shepherds ry afraid. were lEft feeling ve I’m RigHt here to bring Then the angel spoke Rig Ht to them, “Do not be afraid. ft for all people. Today Rig Ht in Bethlehem a baby has you the good news lE world. You will know one that will save the is the RigHt one, the been born. He d laying RigHt wrapped in cloths, an the RIGHTbaby be cause He will be lEft in a manger.” re, and they said, ls appeared RigHt the RigHt then, a large group of ange ace be to all people lE ft on the earth.” “Glory to God, and pe
  35. 35. The shepherds were lEft amazed and excited. Th to see this baby the an ey had to go RigHt away gels were talking abou t. They lEft as fast as they could an d soon found Mary, Jo RigHt were the angels said the seph, and baby Jesus y would be. The shep knees when they saw herds fell RigHt to the Jesus, and were lEft ir filled with joy that the the Savior. They staye y had found d for a short time and then lEft. As soon as they began shouting they lEft RigHt in the streets and tellin about what they had seen. g everyone lEft in tow n RigHt after Jesus was born, wi se men traveling RigHt a very strange star Rig on their camels noticed Ht in the sky. They knew that would save the world had been born. the RigHt One who RigHt away King Herod got ve ry worried. He assemb people lEft in the are led all of the important a and asked them wh ere this baby had been people replied, “RigHt born. The in Bethlehem.” RigHt then King Herod called the wise men to meet asked them to go and with him RigHt away find the child RigHt aw . He ay. “RigHt as soon as Him,” he said, “tell me, you find so that I can go to Him RigHt away and worship Him .” After the wise men sp oke to the King, they know RigHt where the lEft to find the baby. They did He was, but followed n’t the star lEft in the ea hung RigHt over the st until it place where Jesus wa s. When they found Je bowed RigHt down sus, they and worshiped Him.RigHt after that, they opened the gifts they had brofrankincense, and my ught Jesus— gold, rrh. Then they lEft to find a place to sleep for the night.That night the wise me n all had the same dre am RigHt as they weThey were not to go re sleeping. RigHt back and tell King Herod where they had found
  36. 36. jealous of Him. So, sus because he was Jesus. King Herod wanted to kill Je know the that Herod would not the wise men lEft for home another way so n that they also decided RigHt the y had come from. They RigHt direction the rod anything about what they had seen. would not tell King He in a dream and said, l appeared to Joseph When the wi se men lEft, an ange HT s and Mary, and run Rig Ht to Egypt.” Joseph got up RIG “Arise, take Jesu d they lEft in d Jesus RigHt up an away and woke up Mary. She quickly picke uld be safe. Egypt where they wo the middle of the night for l appeared again Rig Ht away to Joseph RigHt after Kin g Herod died, an ange reth. And that’s RigHt where and told him to go RigHt to a place called Naza Jesus grew up. REflECt DisCuss AnD DisCovER tRutHs fRom goD’s stoRy • What did you see in your mind as you listened to the story? • What did you notice for the first time? If you could be one of the characters in the story, who would you be? • What would you like to tell God after listening to this great story?• What do you sense the Holy Spirit wants you to do with what you know about Christmas? What would hold you back? What might you be afraid of? Hear the angels, God’s messengers, say, “Do not be afraid.”•
  37. 37. REsponsE pERsonAlly ConnECting goD’s stoRy to my stoRy • #1 CHRistmAs CARol oRiginAl As a family, take a familiar tune and put in your own lyrics about what Christmas means to you. As a family, take a familiar tune and put in your own lyrics about what Christmas means to you. Try making your song into a rap. Different people can make the background noises while one person reads the lyrics to the beat.#2 BiRtHDAy pREsEnt foR JEsus Some preparation by each person may need to happen to make this activity most effective. For the Advent Time this week, each person is to bring something they think Jesus would want to personally receive from them. It could be a written note or a handmade present. Maybe it is a song or a work of art. Maybe it is to help with a household project. What would Jesus want to receive from each person as His birthday present? Each person can share what they brought and why they want to give it to Jesus.
  38. 38. BlEssing From Isaiah 9:6-7: May you walk in confidence knowing that Jesus is in control, that He will be your Wonderful Counselor, that He is a Mighty God, that He will be your Father forever, and that He is your peace that passes all understanding. May you always be fearless, remembering that Christmas is about God’s love and desire for you to remain in Him.
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