Advent Week 2: Bethlehem
Advent, which means “coming” or “arrival,” is a time when we get to look forward to Christmas. While advent can be viewed as an old church tradition, it is truly meaningful because it helps us take not just one night–Christmas Eve–to focus on Christ’s story, but a whole month! This may feel like yet another task that will take up time, but trust me: When you’re teaching kids, one month is definitely better than one day. That is why, this year, we are providing you with some ways to help make Christmas about more than just Santa and presents.
Now, I know our schedules are already full, which is why I have provided a few different ways you can go a little deeper with your kids this advent season. So take a look below and choose something that will fit your family.
Advent by Week
Sunday, December 4th, marks the second week of advent. When you gather with your family this week, you will be lighting one of the purple candles: the “Bethlehem” candle. If you didn’t make a wreath last week, then just light a regular candle and read Luke 2:1-7 together. If you have access to an NIrV version, it is written at the third-grade reading level and is great for kids!
After reading, ask your kids what preparations need to be made when a baby is going to be born. After some discussion about buying diapers, finding toys, and building a crib, ask them to imagine what it would have been like if, after doing all that, they had to leave their prepared house behind and go to a different state! Talk about how that’s what Mary and Joseph did because of the census, and while it may have seemed like a terrible thing at the time, it was clear that God had a bigger plan. He was fulfilling the prophecy (what we talked about last week) that His son would be born in Bethlehem.
Turn this into a challenge by giving your kids a pen and paper (or having a parent or guardian help with writing) and see who can come up with the longest list of baby preparations. Try to make the lists specific and long, including all the modern baby luxuries. After you go through the lists, ask them, out of all these items, what they think they would be able to bring with them if they had to leave on a donkey! End by talking about the idea that, even when we don’t get to bring or have everything we want, God always gives us what we need.
Advent by Day
Is even looking at a blog hard for you? Click here and print out our advent calendar, or pick one up in the kids’ space on Sunday! Here, you will find short sentences that will slowly tell the Christmas story over the month. There are also suggestions for each day that will help you reinforce our monthly life application of joy: “finding a way to be happy even when things don’t go your way.” Jesus wasn’t born just so he could hang out on Earth for a while. He came so that we can have life in the fullest way possible (John 10:10)! You can teach your kids that a true, full life means sharing that joy with others by following the calendar’s suggestions for spreading joy. You can do what it says every day, or just pick your favorite and do one each week.
Still want more?!
If you are looking for more content regarding advent, visit http://www.clayporr.com/advent-reflections/ where you will find daily and weekly devotionals that better fit older students and adults.