Tuesday, December 6, 2011

4 Advent Nights

One new thing I wanted to add into our school day this season is a weekly advent event/craft/ reading to engage in looking back at the prophets who proclaimed the Messiah was coming and show how Jesus fulfilled that and to look forward to when He'll come again in full reign on earth. I needed simple, since we're in kindergarten, but engaging, because I'd like it to become a tradition in school years to come.

My friend Virginia Knowles has a wealth of knowledge and love for Christ and does an awesome job pointing her kids to Jesus. She shared many of her Christmas traditions on her blog and I found our weekly "look back and see Jesus" time there. She shared an awesome and simple 4 night family advent blogpost. You could do this in a four day period or once a week over four weeks.

We just did #1 this week- learning about Immanuel, "God with us" and being reminded by the Christmas lights in our neighborhood that Jesus is the light that pierced through the darkness. It has been both meaningful and FUN! You should go look at all four family nights and be blessed.

Lights reminding us the "Light of the World" has come!

Here's week #1:


Family Advent Night #1
“God is With Us – Prepare Your Heart!”

Tell your children ahead of time that you will be having a special time in the evening.  Talk about a few of the things that you will do together.   If you can think of a way for your child to participate, ask him to prepare for this, such as practicing Bible verses to read out loud, or a song on the piano, etc.  Another child might make copies of a song sheet.   You will talk about this advance notice and preparation a little later.

Scripture

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 – Immanuel promised
  • Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 -- darkness and light, a child shall be born, Wonderful Counselor
  • Isaiah 53:10-12 -- the suffering Savior
  • Isaiah 61:1-3 – the ministry of the Messiah
  • Matthew 1:18-25 – Immanuel comes
Discussion: Immanuel means “God with us” and Jesus means “The Lord saves.”  Why do we need a Savior? Because we are sinners!  Remind your children that you told them ahead of time some of what you would be doing, so they could know what to expect and how to prepare.  Relate this to how God took the time to tell his people, through the prophet Isaiah, several hundred years early, that a special messiah would be born.  He told them many details so they could know what to expect.   

Songs

“O Come, O Come Immanuel” – The lyrics of this song (originally written in Latin) are a prayer for the Messiah to come and set the people free from their misery in sin.   The tune was written in a minor key, which makes it sound melancholy to fit the lyrics.  You may wish to point this out to your older children.  What makes it a minor key?  If you play a C major chord, it will be the notes C, E and G.  If you play a C minor chord, you will use C, E flat and G.  If you sing this TO your children, have them join in on the chorus after each verse. http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/c/ocomocom.htm

“Joy to the World” – The lyrics of this song are an answer to the lyrics in the last one.  The Messiah has come, so we can rejoice.   What can we do to prepare room in our hearts for God?http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/o/joyworld.htm

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” – God has come to us, but each of us must come to him in faith. http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/c/ocomeayf.htm

Handel’s Messiah – play a selection such as “For Unto Us a Child is Born” (which is from Isaiah 9) and tell your children how George Frederic Handel wrote a whole concert using verses from Isaiah that prophesied about the Messiah.

Activity

Drive around through different neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights.   Remind your children that Jesus came to light up the dark world.  We should be lights in the world, too, if we have Jesus in us.

Again, I encourage you to check out her full post and her blog in general. She has so much wisdom!

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