Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent Arrives on Sunday

I am really excited about the arrival of advent on Sunday. This will be the first year that we have celebrated this special time of remembrance and expectation in our home. I have been making preparations for about three weeks now. I have purchased an advent wreath and gathered activities for us to do as a family each day of advent.

We are also making a Jesse tree this year. I plan on finding a small limb with several smaller branches and putting it in a flower pot for our Jesse tree.

We are going to hide small gifts in the living room each night and turn off the lights and let the boys look for them with their flashlights.

My mom purchased a set of proclamation ornaments and we will put one on the tree each night and read the corresponding scripture.

Here is our first week of advent plans:

Saturday: Hide small gift for flashlight/treasure hunt Mark 12:41-44
Proclamation Ornament #1-Son of God

Sunday: Jesse Tree ornament #1 stump with branch Isaiah 11:1
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Grape Gum Candy John 2:1-10
Lighting of first advent candle: Hope (see below)
Proclamation Ornament #2 Seed of Woman

Monday: Jesse Tree ornament #2-World
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Smiley Face Matthew 5:1-12
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation Ornament #3 Savior

Tuesday: Jesse Tree Ornament #3-Apple and Snake
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Cut-Out Fish Luke 5:4-7
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation Ornament #4 Born of a Virgin

Wednesday: Jesse Tree Ornament #4-Ark and Rainbow
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Birthday Candles Matt. 5:14-16
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation Ornament #5 Born in Bethlehem

Thursday: Jesse Tree Ornament #5-Tent and Camel
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Small Bell Mark 7:31-37
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation Ornament #6 The Way Prepared

Friday: Jesse Tree Ornament #6-Cradle
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Goldfish Crackers Matt. 14:13-21
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation ornament #7 Teacher

Saturday: Jesse Tree Ornament #7-Ram
Flashlight Treasure Hunt/Cotton Balls Matt. 8:23-27
Re-lighting of first advent candle/review
Proclamation Ornament #8 Deliverer and Healer

Advent Wreath Devotion: Hope

Read: Isaiah 9:2

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the
shadow of death
a light has dawned."

Luke 1:30-33

"But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Just as Israel was in darkness and needed a Savior, we are in darkness with our sin and our only hope is Jesus! I want my children to understand the hope we have in Christ with the lighting of the first candle. We have hope because the baby named Jesus was born and grew into the perfect God/man who died for our sins. We also have hope for the future because when we come to know Christ, we are part of his kingdom that will never end.

*I would like to invite another family for supper one night each week during advent to share in our celebration.
*A special thanks to Ambleside Year 0 group for all of the ideas and encouragement on advent!

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