As you gather this week, take a moment to light your advent candle. If you don’t have an advent candle, any candle will do. There is nothing mystical about the candle. Lighting a candle is simply a way of setting apart time for something unique. Let this time be a different kind of time than the rest of your day. Gather with family, or friends, or somewhere quiet on your own and light your candle.
Historically, candles have been lit to represent the presence of God. As you light your candle, take time to acknowledge that God is present. Consider praying a prayer like this:
O God, as light comes from this candle,
May the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
Warming our hearts and brightening our way.
May Christ our Savior
Bring life into the darkness of this world,
And to us, as we wait for his coming.
Waiting is difficult. In fact, Christmas morning is a great reminder of how difficult waiting can be.
- What you are most excited about this Christmas season?
- Share or journal anything special your family traditionally does to prepare for Christmas.
- If you have children gathering with you, ask them why it is so difficult to wait for Christmas morning. As adults share a memory you have of waiting for Christmas morning as a child.
Read Isaiah 9:6-7
- What do these verses tell us about Jesus?
- What phrase sticks out most to you? Why?
For many many years, people waited for Jesus to come, and now two thousand years after he came, we are waiting for him to return.
- How would you describe these passages in your own words?
- According to this passage, what will it look like when Jesus returns?
- In this season, what does it mean for you to watch, wait, and prepare for Jesus to return?
As you close your time, take time to pray together or on your own, and close with this prayer:
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
For Families with Children
As we wait for Jesus to return, we have hope. Hope means that we believe and trust that something good can happen. We believe and trust that Jesus will return someday and make everything right in our world.
- What is something you are hoping for this Christmas?
- What does it mean to have hope that Jesus will return?
- How can we as a family share the hope of Jesus this Christmas?
As a family, come up with a creative way to make a Christmas ornament that represents the hope we have and place it on your tree as you decorate.
We would love to pray with you! If you have a prayer need, share it with us here.