Welcome to Advent 2022!
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We would like to extend you an invitation to discover what God has in store for your family during this season through a deeper study of Scripture and practical activities. Simply sign up through the form below to receive biblical content for your family throughout this Advent season!
Once you sign up, starting November 25th and all throughout the Advent season, you will receive weekly devotionals that focus on themes of Advent and reveal God’s grand story for His people. As you follow along, you can guide your kids through activities that will help them learn more about Christ’s arrival through the four themes of Advent: Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace.
Week 1 - Hope
Sunday, November 27
READ: Isaiah 9:2; John 8:1,2 Hebrews 11:1-2 and 12:1-2
The Christmas story is not only what happened near the manger one night in Bethlehem. Jesus’ birth and arrival is part of larger story that stretches all the way to the beginning of time when God created the world.
The Advent and Christmas season makes up God’s larger story. Within this story, we see that God loves us and has a plan to rescue us from our sin and disobedience. Throughout the whole story, we are invited to see Jesus as the Savior of the world who came to Earth as a baby. Christmas is a time to focus on Christ and meditate on the story of God’s love for us.
- Describe in your own words the story of the Bible?
- What has Jesus done in your life to show love for you
- How could you show others God’s love for them this Christmas season?
Monday, November 28
READ: Genesis 1:24-31
Were you aware that the story of Christmas begins at the very beginning of the Bible? At the very beginning, God created everything. God created the heavens, the earth, animals, oceans, and plants. Then, God created humans when He said, “Let us make man in our image.”
God created us to be like Himself in so many ways. And the most important way He made us was to enjoy relationships. Specifically, the most important relationship for us is to enjoy a relationship with God! But we needed someone to help us build that relationship. And that’s where Jesus’ birth at Christmas comes into the picture.
- What are some of your favorite things about creation? Why?
- What do you think it means to be made in God’s image?
- Throughout Advent, how can you remind yourself that God is the creator of the world?
Tuesday, November 29
READ: John 18:37; Hebrews 1:1-4
Though red and green are the customary colors of Christmas, the traditional color for Advent season is purple. In many churches, this is reflected in the decorations and design.
During the time of Christ, purple was a royal color, worn mostly by kings and rulers. Have your children search for something they own that is purple. The color reminds us that the birth of Christ was a royal entrance. Discuss how Jesus came into the world humbly as a baby, even though He was the King.
- What does the color purple represent?
- Why does this matter?
- What does this reveal about Jesus and who He is?
Wednesday, November 30
READ: Genesis 3:1-21
Imagine being in God’s place when Adam and Even sinned. In today’s scripture passage, we see how Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Because of their decisions, sin entered the previously perfect world.
The consequence of their sin? Adam and Eve had to leave the garden that God created. They could no longer be in perfect relationship with God. The takeaway though? There was a way for them to be in relationship with God once again. However, it would take the greatest sacrifice the world has ever seen. Can you make a guess at what that sacrifice is?
- Is there anything in your life right now that feels broken or not right?
- Describe the last conversation you had with someone about sin or bad things in this world?
- During difficult times, where do you see God working in your life?
Thursday, December 1
READ: Genesis 12:1-7
After Adam and Eve left the garden, generation after generation went through cycles of disobeying and obeying God. Eventually, God formed a relationship with a man named Abram, who eventually was renamed Abraham.
God created a unique promise with Abraham that he would soon become the father of many nations. The catch? Abraham and his wife Sarah were super old, like great-grandparent old. And they didn’t have any kids yet. But God keeps His promises and always has a plan.
Thousands of years later, a little baby would be born in a manger. Little did everyone know is that this little baby was a generational grandson of Abraham. If God is powerful enough to overcome Abraham’s doubts, how much more is he able to overcome our own doubts!
- What doubts currently exist in your life that seem impossible?
- Do you think God is asking you to act in faith?
- How can you trust God right now?
Friday, December 2
READ: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24
Giving and receiving gifts are an important part of the Christmas season. For Advent, prepare a small gift for each of your children. Hide the gifts in relatively easy places to find throughout your home. Have your children take turns searching for a gift, but stall for a moment before letting the youngest child go first.
Younger children may feel as if they have waited a long time, even if they haven’t. While each child is waiting for his or her turn, talk about the excitement of waiting. It can be difficult to wait for something even as small as this little gift, so imagine how exciting it is to wait for and anticipate the gift of Jesus. When all the gifts are found, remind your children that you gave these gifts out of love – how much more must God love us to give us His Son, Jesus!
- Why do you think we give gifts at Christmas?
- What is a gift that you’ve been given recently?
- How has God given you a gift that you didn’t expect or anticipate?
Saturday, December 3
READ: Hebrews 11:1; Psalm 27:14, 130:5
Advent season is full of traditions. As you continue conversations about Advent, talk about other Christmas traditions that your family has. Perhaps you decorate with red and green, which originally came from the evergreens and holly used in older European traditions. They were used to represent ongoing life and hope that Christ’s birth brought to the world.
After you’ve discussed your family’s traditions, do one of them together today. If you don’t have one, start one. Maybe you want to make apple cider, talk about past Christmases, or even share one story about what you did at Christmas as a child. Traditions help us remember things in the past as we celebrate those things today.
- What are some traditions in your family?
- Why do you think we have traditions?
- Do you think God has any traditions? If so, what are they?
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Week 2 - Faith
Sunday, December 4
READ: John 3:16-17; Mark 1:3-4
As the Advent season begins, it is important to remember that this time is one of preparation. Just as a family prepares for a guest to visit, so we prepare our hearts and lives for the celebration of Christ as a child.
Have your children help clean your home as though you were expecting a very important guest. As you clean, talk with your children about cleaning their hearts through prayer and repentance. Intentional preparation of our hearts and our homes reflects the anticipation we feel as Christmas draws closer.
- Who is someone that you would be really excited about visiting today? Why?
- Why would it be important to prepare for a visitor to arrive?
- If you knew Jesus was visiting our house tomorrow, how would you prepare for His arrival?
Monday, December 5
READ: Genesis 37:23-28; Genesis 50:15-21
Have you ever felt like nothing in your life could go right? If so, you might have felt like Joseph. Throughout his life, Joseph experienced a variety of pain and difficult times. From his brothers selling him into slavery to being unfairly locked away in prison, Joseph experienced rough times. But God had a plan for him.
God used Joseph to interpret dreams, help a whole nation prepare for famine, and save millions of lives. Earlier in Joseph’s life, God made him a promise that Joseph would eventually bring God glory and save lives. Little did Joseph know that those promises would be fulfilled! Thousands of years later, there would be someone else to keep all of God’s promises and save more lives than Joseph could have ever imagined. His name was Jesus.
- What similarities do you see in Joseph’s story with the story of Jesus?
- How does God take bad situations and turn them into good situations?
- Are there any hard times in your life that God has used for good?
Tuesday, December 6
READ: Deuteronomy 32:7; Deuteronomy 5:1-20
Have you ever heard of the Ten Commandments? Do they ever seem like an outdated set of rules to follow? If they do, you’re not alone. However, God created the Ten Commandments with a greater purpose in mind, and surprisingly enough it wasn’t so that you could follow the commandments perfectly every single day of your life.
That’s right. God knew from the very beginning that we could never perfectly follow the Ten Commandments or any rule that He created. That’s because He cares far more about our obedience, faith, and belief in Him than our ability to follow rules. And eventually, God knew He would send His son Jesus to fulfill the Ten Commandments and every rule ever created. Because Jesus is the only one who can perfectly follow every rule. Because of Jesus, we can have that relationship with God.
- What’s a rule or commandment that you don’t like to follow all the time?
- What are some of the ways that you fail to follow your parents’ rules? What about God’s commands?
- Why is it important to obey God?
Wednesday, December 7
READ: Joshua 2:1-24
Have you ever needed rescue? Today’s passage is about how some of God’s people were rescued from an unlikely source – a woman named Rahab. And even though Rahab couldn’t see it at the time, she was a part of God’s greater plan.
Many years later, someone very special would come from Rahab’s family. That person would be Jesus, the eventual Savior of the World. The Bible says that Rahab and her family were saved because of her faith. The good news is that we can be saved by our faith in Jesus too. And that is made possible because of Jesus’s birth, ministry, death, and eventual resurrection!
- Have you ever needed rescue? Or have you ever been rescued?
- How does learning about God’s desire to save us give you encouragement?
- How do you think you can help others be rescued by God?
Thursday, December 8
READ: Ruth 1:16-2:13
At first glance, today’s story looks like it might not connect with Advent or the story of Christmas. But in the center of Ruth and Boaz’s family is one of God’s promises.
Before marrying Boaz, Ruth was a widow. And in Ruth’s time, widows didn’t have much hope for a good life. But God had a plan for Ruth. And that plan involved marrying Boaz, having a son, and eventually providing a new future and family.
Believe it or not, Ruth and Boaz became the great-grandparents of someone named King David (who we’ll learn more about later). Even though Ruth might not have seen God’s plan, that didn’t mean that God wasn’t working the whole time. And the same is true in our own lives.
- Have you ever felt like things weren’t going your way?
- Where do you usually find hope when things seem hopeless?
- Describe a time where you had to trust someone. How has God reminded you of His faithfulness?
Friday, December 9
READ: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
One of the most well-known figures throughout the whole Bible is King David. But David wasn’t always a king. In fact, for most of his life, David was an often overlooked shepherd boy. Until one day a prophet named Samuel visited David’s family looking for someone to anoint to be king.
David was hardly perfect. But God looked beyond what everyone else saw. God saw David’s character and heart. Eventually David became King over all of Israel. But David’s reign as king was only a glimpse of the kingdom that would eventually come through Jesus.
- What’s the first thing you notice about someone? What do you want others to notice about you?
- What are some of the things you wish others saw in you? Do you think God sees those things?
- How can you focus more on what’s inside your heart rather than what’s outside your body?
Saturday, December 10
READ: John 13:34; 1 John 4:7-12
God showed His love for humankind through the gift of His son. It’s good to show your love for others during the holiday season, too. One of the ways that people can show their love for each other is to send Christmas cards.
Have your children make cards for their family members and friends. Enjoy the time with your children as you make cards together. Explain that Jesus commands us to love one another, just as He loves us. And ask your children to think of other ways they can show their love.
- Describe a moment where someone did something for you that you weren’t expecting?
- How does receiving something unexpected make you feel?
- What are some ways that you can surprise others?
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Week 3 - Joy
Sunday, December 11
READ: Isaiah 44:23; Romans 5:1-2
Have you ever seen a movie where you knew more about what was going to happen than the main character did? What would you want to tell them? Well, this sort of thing kind of happened before Jesus’ birth.
Nearly 700 years before Jesus was born, God used someone named Isaiah to tell people that Jesus would arrive one day. Also, Isaiah said that there would be someone to point others to Jesus. That person was John the Baptist.
John the Baptist was a messenger who “prepared the way” for Jesus’s ministry. When John told people about Jesus’ arrival, he spoke with joy that Jesus was coming soon! John knew that God’s way was the best way for others to live, and he couldn’t help sharing that news with everyone he met!
- Why do you think God chose John the Baptist to spread the news about Jesus?
- What does it mean to choose God’s way?
- Is it ever hard for you to be joyful when choosing to obey God? Why or why not?
Monday, December 12
READ: John 12:45-46; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6
One of the most visible symbols in Advent is a candle. Throughout the Bible, God compares Himself to light. In some descriptions, He even refers to Christians as the light of the world. Here’s an activity for your family to further illustrate how God has conquered darkness.
Gather two pieces of heavy cardboard and a flashlight. Use a table knife to poke a tiny hole through one of the pieces of cardboard and a large hole through the other piece. In the evening, turn off the lights and place the cardboard with the tiny hole against the flashlight’s beam.
Have your children describe how much light they see. Compare this glimmer of light to the glimpses of God throughout the Bible before Jesus. Then, place the sheet with the large hole against the flashlight. Let your children describe what they see.
Explain that this is what Christians now get to see through Jesus. Finally, show the whole beam and compare that to Jesus’ coming and our being with the Father.
- Why do you think Jesus compares Himself to light?
- What does it mean to be the “light of the world”?
- How can you be a light to the world or your friends?
Tuesday, December 13
READ: Daniel 3:1, 6-30
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego might not seem like it has many connections to Advent. But, at the core of the story we can learn a lot about how we fail to put God first in our lives, especially at a time like Christmas.
In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar builds a gigantic golden image that everyone in Bablyon was required to worship. Yet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that only God was worthy of their worship. To these three followers of God, they recognized that they could not exchange their beliefs for what the world thinks.
For Christians, Christmas is more than a time for gifts and family. It is an opportunity to hear how God saves us through His gift of Jesus. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we can choose to worship God, even in a time when others might be more focused on worshipping the things of this world.
- What are some of the things that our culture celebrates during Christmas?
- Are there any areas where you choose to worship other things over God?
- Is there anyone that you can share God with during this week? How can you share God’s good news this Christmas season?
Wednesday, December 14
READ: Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 119:105
The theme for the third week of Advent is joy and light. But these aren’t themes that only involve us. Though much of Advent is dedicated to preparation, remind your children that the Christmas season is also a time that is full of joy to share with others.
To help you children realize the abundant joy that they can share with others, consider making Christmas cookies together. Consider using a sugar cookie recipe with angel, Christmas tree, and gingerbread man cookie cutters. Once all the cookies are complete, consider writing encouraging notes or cards to pass out to friends at school or neighbors near you.
- Has someone every given you a gift that you didn’t expect? How did that make you feel?
- Do you think God has given you any gifts? If so, what are those gifts?
- Is there a family member or friend that you can encourage this week?
Thursday, December 15
READ: Esther 4:1-17
Have you ever heard of a sacrifice? Throughout the Bible, different people decide to make sacrifices to glorify God and ultimately to trust Him and His plan. Early in the Old Testament, a young girl named Esther had a decision to make. She could either risk her life to save her people or stay silent to save herself.
Eventually, Esther chose to stand firm and trust God’s faithfulness to risk her own life to save others. Centuries before Jesus would be born, Esther trusted God’s plan for her life and generations to follow. Even though Esther couldn’t see the big picture, God could. And that big picture was gifting Jesus to the world to eventually be our hero and rescuer from sin.
- Describe something that you had to sacrifice or a situation where someone else had to sacrifice something.
- Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose between yourself and others? How did you respond?
- How did God make a sacrifice by sending Jesus to Earth?
Friday, December 16
READ: Luke 1:5-25
Advent takes place over a month. It’s easy to think that all this time is spent preparing for one day. But Advent is about must more than one day, or even one month. Even though we spend one month preparing for Jesus’ birth and celebrating Christmas, God spent much longer preparing for this time.
Before Jesus was born, one couple showed great faith in God’s plan even when they didn’t understand every single detail. Despite their extremely old age, Zechariah and Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy named John. Eventually, John would become John the Baptist and spread the news of Jesus’ arrival a few decades later. Little did Zechariah and Elizabeth know that God was preparing the world for Jesus’ arrival. Similarly, in Advent, we prepare for a new season in our hearts and lives.
- Why do you think Advent exists? In other words, why do we celebrate Christmas for a month?
- What is one of your favorite things to do at Christmas?
- Is it ever difficult to fully trust God? Why or why not?
Saturday, December 17
READ: Matthew 3:1-12
Throughout the Bible, God uses prophets to deliver specific messages to His people. From Isaiah to Jonah, these prophets shared God’s messages to emphasize the eventual arrival of the Messiah.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist calls for people to repent from their sin in favor of following Jesus. John announced to others that they should follow Jesus instead of choosing worldly passions. John the Baptist is a part of God’s larger plan to save the world from sin. And we can be a part of that plan too.
- Why do you think God uses prophets to share His message?
- Is there a place for you to share God and the Gospel in your own world?
- Why do we emphasize evangelizing to others during Christmas?
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Week 4 - Peace
Sunday, December 18
READ: Luke 1:26-45, 46-55
Imagine being visited by an Angel of God. Then imagine that Angel telling you that you would give birth to the Savior of the World. Oh, and you also have to name the little baby Jesus. This is exactly what happened to Mary, the eventual mother of Jesus.
Mary certainly had some questions for this Angel of God, and the angel Gabriel had some answers for her. One of Gabriel’s answers was this: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
This statement can provide peace and hope in some of the most unfortunate or difficult situations. Even when we are confused or hurting, nothing is impossible for God. Just as God had a plan for Mary to give birth to the Savior of the World, God has a plan for us in our lives.
- How do you think Mary felt after being visited by Angel of God?
- Do you feel like God has a plan for you? If so, what is that plan?
- How does knowing that nothing is impossible for God affect your perspective on life?
Monday, December 19
READ: Matthew 1:18-25
One of the most important people in the Christmas story is Mary; the mother of Jesus. Her life was an extraordinary example of sacrifice, humility, and obedience. After reading the story, talk with your children about how difficult it must have been for Mary to suddenly give up her life and body to God.
Discuss the joy that Mary expresses in this passage and talk about how you and your children can cultivate hearts full of love and obedience, just like Mary’s. With your children, write a prayer or a song that expresses their desire to be obedient to God. Take the time to be intentional with your words, helping your children convey their desire to learn from Mary’s example as a servant of God.
- What do you think were some of the difficulties in Mary’s situation?
- Why is difficult to be obedient to God’s commands?
- Are there any areas where you can be obedient to God’s plan?
Tuesday, December 20
READ: Luke 4:18-21; Matthew 2:1-9
There are so many meanings to the word “Christmas.” From “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” culture certainly has specific thoughts on what Christmas means.
With your kids, discuss how different people define what Christmas means. To the wise men who would eventually come and visit Jesus, Christmas meant the fulfillment of a century-old prophecy about the eventual arrival of the Messiah.
As Christmas draws closer, consider gathering your family together to create a poster that demonstrates what you believe is the real meaning of Christmas. Encourage your kids to honestly consider what Christmas means to them.
- What does Christmas mean to you?
- What do you think our culture says is the real meaning of Christmas?
- How can you share the true meaning of Christmas with your friends and neighbors?
Wednesday, December 21
READ: Matthew 18:2-4; Luke 2:1-7
Imagine being born in a barn. Not only did Jesus leave Heaven to come down to earth, He ended up in a smelly barn with farm animals. The Savior of the World was born in a barn. Not exactly the beginning you’d imagine for someone who would be called the King of Kings.
Yet, this is exactly where God wanted Jesus to be born. When God sent Jesus to earth, He was fulfilling promises He had made all throughout the Bible. All the smaller moments pointing to Jesus finally added up to this moment. Through Jesus, God provides a pathway to a relationship with him. But it all begins in a quiet stable and manger.
- What do you think about Jesus being born in a barn among farm animals? Why do you think God planned it this way?
- Why was there “no room in the inn” for Mary and Joseph, Jesus parents?
- Is there anything that doesn’t make sense about this part of the Christmas story?
Thursday, December 22
READ: Luke 2:8-14
As we’ve seen throughout Advent, God always has a plan. Even when it doesn’t seem like He does.
Near where Mary gave birth, local shepherds witnessed an amazing performance of angels rejoicing and celebrating Jesus’ arrival. Even though they were likely shocked and afraid, these shepherds immediately dropped everything and ran to go see Jesus.
It’s clear to see how God cares for everyone. Not only does God keep His promise to Mary and Joseph and the prophets, but He welcomes in lowly shepherds to celebrate Jesus’ birth. If God cares this much about a group of shepherds, how much does He also care about us?
- What do you think the shepherds thought when they saw the angels in the sky?
- Why do you think the shepherds immediately ran to go see Jesus?
- How do you think you would have responded in this situation? How can you respond similarly in your own life?
Friday, December 23
READ: Psalm 33:20; Luke 2:15-21
All of the prophecies and stories about the Messiah throughout the Bible point to Jesus’ eventual birth. Even though Advent ends at midnight on Christmas Eve, the promises and hope of the Christmas story are far from over.
In response to the angels, the shepherds say, “Let us go and see this thing that has happened.” And then, the shepherds joy only continues to grow once they see Jesus. The question for us is how we will continue to rejoice in the peace that God provides through the gift of Jesus – even after the Christmas season is over.
- Who can you pray for on this Christmas Eve?
- When was a time you experienced the peace of God?
- How will you continue to rejoice in Jesus after the Advent season?
Saturday, December 24
READ: Luke 2:1-21
Christmas today looks quite a bit different than the first one that Mary and Joseph experienced many centuries ago. However, the message of good news and great joy has hardly changed.
Before you begin opening presents and celebrating with your family and friends tomorrow, take a moment to pray and thank God for this good news and great joy. Consider pausing to reflect on how God has blessed you and your family. Then, help your kids make the connection between the presents they receive and the gift of Christ to this world. Let this Christmas be a celebration of the true gift that God has given to the whole world.
- Who can you pray for on this Christmas?
- Is there anyone that you could invite to church for Christmas this year?
- What is one thing that you’ve learned about God during this Advent season?