30 November 2015
Celebrating Advent, whether by using an Advent calendar or by retelling the story and lighting candles that symbolize Christ as the Light of the World, is a meaningful way to establish the truth about Jesus in your family. It is an expression of worship to our King.
When my first child was two, I adapted the traditional Advent observance and began reading the story of Jesus’ birth to her, a little each night before bed. The next day we would re-read the parts from previous nights. The experience of snuggling on the couch, sipping hot chocolate, reading scripture and worshipping through song each night was such a joyful time for all of us. More importantly though, I found that my young daughter had the capacity to learn and remember the scriptures very well. By the time Christmas arrived, she had memorized a large part of what we had read. We continued this tradition every year and found it to be the cornerstone of our Christmas celebration.
Beginning tomorrow, December 1, I will be posting a portion of the Advent Story each day taken directly from scripture, (New Living Translation) nothing added or taken away. If you have children, I encourage you to set aside a few minutes to read it to them, and plant this timeless truth of God’s Word in their hearts. I will also provide a link to a coloring page for your little ones. You may choose to save these pages and put them together as an Advent booklet that will allow them to tell the story themselves.
Celebrating Advent establishes the true meaning of why Jesus came to dwell among us in our hearts. Through frequent reading, we learn from this story that before Jesus came, God spoke clearly and often about His arrival to those that had ears to hear. We are in the crossroads of His-story, when Jesus is preparing for His second Advent. While it is wonderful to celebrate Jesus’ birth, it is also important to recognize that He is no longer a Baby in a Manger. He is our soon coming King, Who comes as Almighty God, ready to destroy all that hinders Love. He is the Light Who comes to completely destroy darkness. In His Word, He has spoken clearly about the days before He comes again. Let us search the Word with great passion to prepare our hearts for His arrival. May we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church, so that we can be as the shepherds in the field, responding in faith and running to His appearing with boldness and confidence. Let us look to His second Advent with great expectancy and whole-hearted devotedness to our Great King Who will establish the Kingdom of Heaven for all eternity!
It is my prayer that you and your family will make this special season a time to gather around God’s Word and that it spurs you on to deeper intimacy with the Jesus, our King and Bridegroom. I look forward to sharing the Joy of His Word with you.