Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Family Advent Wreath - December 23, Week 4 - Peace

For more information on Advent, see my previous post on the Family Advent Wreath.  These meditations are for the weekly lighting of the Advent Wreath candles, so allow for more time for discussion.  December 2, 2012, First week of Advent; December 9, Second Week of Advent; December 16, Third Week of Advent

 Light the candle you lit the first week week and say, "we light this candle to remind us that our hope is in Jesus."

Light the candle you lit the second week and say, "we light this candle to remind us that God loves us and God wants us to love others."

Light the candle you lit last week and say, "we light this candle to remind us that God wants us to have joy."

This week we will be talking about peace.  Children may not understand peace, but they understand being fearful.  Peace from God is not about not being afraid, but even in situations we might be afraid, we have peace that we cannot explain.  You may want to talk about fears specific for your children.

For Discussion with your children:

What are some things that make you afraid?  (They may be afraid of the dark, or afraid of dogs, and this may be a good time to talk about fears they may have.)  

There are some things that make us afraid for good reason.  Our fear keeps us from doing things that are bad for us.  (If you are trying to teach your children about stranger danger, this may be a good time to bring this up.)  But sometimes we are afraid and there is nothing we can do about it to protect ourselves, or there is nothing to protect ourselves from.  Even when we are afraid, God is there with us, and we can know that God is there with us, because God gives us peace through God's spirit.

Scripture Reading:  John 14:26-27
"...the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."  

Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  

Jesus said he came to give peace, but not as the world gives.  Our peace comes from God's Holy Spirit, not from things we think make us feel secure.  Even when we are afraid, we can have peace that comes from God, even if we don't understand how it works.  

Light the last purple candle.  (For information on the order, please see the first week's post.) Please make sure there is adult supervision for any child using matches or a lighter to light the candle.  Also, please supervise your child as long as the candle is lit.

Prayer:  Thank you God for giving us peace, even when we cannot understand it.  Help us to shine God's light of peace in the world around us, so we may worship the child in the stable who is the Prince of Peace.  Amen.  

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