Ideas for Advent Wreaths and five options for Advent devotionals are available here.
For Sunday, November 29
Materials needed: small wrapped treat for each participant (example: a piece of candy), a blindfold, hot chocolate, big marshmallows
This is the first week of Advent (Advent means “coming”), the season when we get our hearts ready to welcome the baby Jesus into our lives. As we begin to celebrate this first week of Advent, have one family member read Luke 1:78-79. These are the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he spoke of the coming of Jesus:
“With the loving mercy of our God,
a new day from heaven will shine upon us.
God will help those who live in darkness, in the fear of death.
He will guide us into the path that goes toward peace.”
God prepared the people who would see Jesus to be ready to meet him by giving them a “guide” in John the Baptist. Let’s play a game to help us understand:
Blindfold one member of your family and place their treat somewhere that is ‘away’ from them. Don’t let them hear where you are placing it. Make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards in their path. Now let the blindfolded person choose one person to be their ‘guide’. Only using his/her voice (without touching the blindfolded person), the guide should help them to find their treat. The guide should give directions and clues helping the blindfolded person to make corrections when they start to turn the wrong way. Repeat until everyone has had a turn to find their treat.
Was it hard to find your treat? The blindfold might have made it tricky, but hopefully your guide helped you to know the way to go.
God gave his people “a guide”, too. Jesus was coming and God wanted their hearts to be ready to receive him. God sent John the Baptist to tell people to turn away from their sins, kind of like your guide helped correct you if you started to turn the wrong way earlier.
Read: Mark 1:2-4
“As the prophet Isaiah wrote: “I will send my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare your way. There is a voice of a man who calls out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make the road straight for him.’” John was baptizing people in the desert. He preached a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins."
John the Baptist was helping people to correct their path if they had turned the wrong way, he was helping them to “be ready” to meet Jesus.
And that’s what this season of Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas) is about for us, too. This is a time for preparing to meet Jesus and welcoming him into our hearts and lives.
Once we welcome the baby Jesus into our lives, we can be filled with a hope for the future that is unsinkable because we know that Jesus will be with us in our hearts every step of the way, and we trust that our sins will be forgiven. That hope is truly unsinkable!
Celebrate this hope together by making hot chocolate for each member of the family. Find a comfortable place to sit together and enjoy your hot chocolate. Once you are settled, open up the marshmallows and drop them into the cups of hot chocolate. Try to make the marshmallows sink and watch what happens.
Have one family member read Romans 15:13
“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Gather together to pray:
Dear God, thank you for the unsinkable hope that comes from welcoming Jesus into our hearts. Help us to prepare our hearts to be ready to meet Jesus, welcome him into our hearts and lives. We love you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now enjoy your hot chocolate!