Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Family Advent Wreath - December 24, Christmas Eve

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;  December 23, Fourth 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 the third week and say, "we light this candle to remind us that God wants us to have joy."

Light the candle you lit the fourth week and say, "we light this candle to remind us that Jesus came that we might have peace."

Tonight we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world.  We are most familiar with this story in Luke.  Children are familiar with this story and have often played characters in a Christmas pageant.  We tend to mush this story with the Matthew version which has the angel appearing Joseph and the wise men coming to visit the child Jesus (not the newborn Jesus). 

You might use a nativity scene to tell the Christmas story.  If you do not have a nativity scene with all the characters and pieces you might use (or feel it may be too fragile for your children to handle) there is a printable one that you can use online.

Read the Christmas Story as found in Luke 2:1-20.  Let them tell you about their part in Christmas pageants or other Advent services.  Talk about how Jesus came as a little baby and grew up into a boy and then a man.  So Jesus understands how we feel when we are children.  He knows what it is like to have friends, and to have people pick on you.  All those things we go through Jesus knows, because he was born as a baby. 

Discuss some of the things they do that Jesus might have done.

Ask your child what made Jesus special and different from other babies.  Don't get too hung up in "virgin birth" and all of that, especially if they don't even understand what being a virgin means, and shouldn't understand.  What is important is that Jesus was God's chosen Messiah, which means he was sent by God to tell people about God and God's love for all people.

There is a great story told originally by Paul Harvey about The Man and the Birds:  A Christmas Story.  You can read this story to your children as a meditation.

(Light the white Christ candle.)
Lord, you come as a tiny, fragile baby; yet we know that you are God and you are with us.
May the flame of this candle remind us that you are the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the true light of life. 
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 sending us Jesus to tell us of your love and come as a child that we might know you more.  Bless us this Christmas Eve and all children everywhere who need to know you.  May they be warm, and full, and clothed.  And bless us also.  In the name of the Christ Child.  Amen.

Be sure to attend a Christmas Eve service at the church of your choice with your children.

*Thoughts and opinions of other bloggers referenced are not necessarily the opinions of this blogger.

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