Season of the Church Year: Advent (purple)
Story in Scripture: Isaiah 35: 1-10
This week, we begin the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. Advent is also a special time to learn more about the world as it was when Jesus was born and to better understand the importance of his coming. The first week is spent focusing on the Prophets who foretold of Jesus’ coming. When explaining the role of a prophet to children, we describe them as people who were so so so very close to God that they were listening for his whisper, his shout, his command at all times. They were listening carefully so that they could share what God had to say with the rest of the world. Simply put, “Prophets are the people who know the most important things. They know which way to go. They are the ones who showed us the way. The prophets were so important because they helped the world begin to get ready. Without their words, we may not have been looking toward Bethlehem. Now we can go to Bethlehem too.” This week, I encourage you to create an atmosphere of preparation in your home. It’s easy to focus on the planning and busy-ness of Christmas presents and family visits. Spending intentional time reading what the prophets said about Jesus’ coming, praying quietly to know the ‘way to go,’ and focusing our thoughts on the glory of Jesus’ birth will make space for the importance of Christmas as we begin Advent. Then the Christmas presents and family visits can be truly enjoyed in the context of the miracle of Jesus’ birth and our salvation through Him.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder what it must have been like for the prophets to hear God’s whisper… his shout… his command?
I wonder if the prophets were surprised that Jesus would come in the way that he did?
I wonder what it must have been like when the prophets shared what they heard with the people?
Do you think everyone believed them? Do you think some people were confused?
Many people expected God to come in a different way- like a soldier in an army. Do you think they were surprised when the prophets said he would come as a little baby?
“Father, thank you for the prophets. We are so glad that they showed us the way to go. They pointed the way to Bethlehem. Thank you for this special time of getting ready for Christmas. Help us to remember that Christmas is a holy time of celebration- it’s Jesus’ birthday! Please remind us that Christmas is not about presents, but about the coming of your son into the world. Amen.”