This year I am making room – simplifying things and focusing on what matters during the holidays. In fact, I am leading a guided reflection and discussion for parents, called “Making Room” before Advent begins. With this in mind I am updating, rather than recreating an Advent devotional for families. This year (since I am at a new church since the last time I led this project) we will make mason jar Advent wreath. The updates below better match the Year B lectionary readings. I’ve also included a story from the Children of God Bible by Desmond Tutu (the ones the church gifts to Pre/K in the fall). Each week includes a Bible verse, the children’s Bible story, and a few family discussion starters, appropriate for a wide range of ages. I haven’t finished the layout, but here is the text, feel free to use it as you wish. If you are still searching for inspiration, I’ve listed some other free Advent resources below.
These readings are meant to be used with the previously posted mason jar Advent wreath. Click here for updated 2017 Advent Candle stickers, using round, Avery 22817 labels.
Each week of Advent, find a time to gather near your candles. Have every person share a time they have experienced God during the week.
Read the week’s Bible passages listed below. Listen again to the familiar story. What parts of the story stand out today? What parts of the story make you wonder?
Use the discussion questions based on the themes of hope, peace, joy and love – or create your own.
Have each family member speak their prayers out loud. What do you hope for? Give thanks to God for the joy and love you have experienced. Name the people and places who long for peace. After each prayer say, “Come Jesus, quickly come!”
December 3 – HOPE – Prophet Candle
Isaiah 64:8 & Children of God Bible: Isaiah Becomes God’s Messenger
God created the world and everything in it for good. Who do you hope God is forming you to be? What is your greatest hope for this Advent?
December 10 – PEACE – John the Baptist Candle
Mark 1:1-8 & Children of God Bible: Jesus is Baptized
Think about how many feet walk the same way before a path becomes worn enough to follow. As we seek peace this Advent, name those who have begun the path. How are you creating peace in yourself, your home, and your community?
December 17 – JOY – Mary candle
Luke 1:46-55 & Children of God Bible: An Angel Appears to Mary
Talk about a time you have felt joyful. How is joy different from fun or happiness? What are your favorite joyful songs?
December 24– LOVE – Angel Candle
Luke 2:1-20 & Children of God: Jesus is Born
The angel brought the message of God’s love to the shepherds in the field. Where do you notice God’s love? How does Jesus bring God’s love to the world?
Looking for a different Advent devotional? I recommend:
#PictureAdvent which has a full set of family devotionals, daily emails, and sermon notes.
This printable coloring calendar which is also available in Spanish.
Practical Resources for Churches offers an 8 page booklet of Advent resources for families.