Advent Sunday: Christmas Eve

I am the Light of the World

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

This last Advent Sensory Station focuses on sight. Jesus is the light of the world who pierces the “darkness covering the earth” (Is. 60). We see SO many new lights during Advent: candles, stringed lights, LED lights, colorful lights, etc…

In the Christmas story, we hear about more lights… glory that shone around the angels proclaiming the Good News to Shepherds in the field and a new star sent by God to lead the Magi. At church we break up the darkness by lighting a candle each week as we get closer to the arrival of the one who is the Light. In Godly Play we light a candle each week to remember that no matter where we go, God is there with us. During Advent,we talk about how sometimes the light changes, but it is always there.

All of these lights help us remember.

You can do so many things with light as a family. Go drive and look at lights. Light a candle in your home– God is there, too. Sit together by your tree light and read Isaiah 60 or the sermon passage from this week when Jesus calls himself THE Light.

God has given us senses to experience and delight in him. In all of them this Advent, remember the One who took on flesh and made a way for us to come to God and for God to come to us.

Please Note: There will be no Godly Play classes tonight on Christmas Eve. We encourage children to attend the entire service with their parent! We will also have nursery only the following Sunday (New Year’s Eve).

Advent Sunday: December 17th

Advent IV: Wise Men

Memory Verse: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you… for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Isaiah 60: 1 and 20b

Summary: We are nearly to Christmas! This week’s lesson draws attention to the arrival of the Magi! Although we know the wise men were not there that actual day of Christ’s birth, we’re still focusing on them because they, too, were on their way to Christ! Even the nations come to Jesus. And God led them there with what Godly Play refers to as the “wild star”.

Follow Up Questions: I wonder if you have ever learned about something wonderful? I wonder what the Magi felt when they saw the new, wild star? I wonder what made the Magi want to spend such a long time traveling to meet this King? I wonder if you’ve ever had to travel a long time for something? I wonder what it means to traveling toward Jesus now…didn’t he already come? I wonder why we talk so much about who all was present for the birth of Christ?

Additional Follow Up: Today’s Advent Sensory Station is about smell. In January we will review the Wise Men again in Godly Play and have the opportunity to smell Frankincense & Myrrh! Perhaps for now you can go around your home this week and sniff for the seasonal smells… pine, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, cedar, cloves, oranges, sugar cookies, etc. Maybe you have some spices similar to those from the Ancient Near East. What do those smells make you feel or think of? I wonder what smells were there the night Christ was born? I wonder what God wants us to know about him with our noses?

Please Note: There will be no Godly Play classes next week on Christmas Eve. We encourage children to attend the entire service with their parent! However, there will be a sensory station connected to the sermon. I’d also encourage you to read the Scriptural account of the birth of Christ at home as a family. If you have a nativity set children area allowed to play with, even better!

Advent Sunday: December 10th

Godly Play will not meet on Christmas Eve Sunday. We started this four part series on 11/26 in order to receive the whole story before Christmas. Therefore, even though this is only the second week of Advent, we are on Advent lesson III.

ADVENT

The season of Advent is a time set aside in the church calendar for members to prepare themselves to engage the mystery of the Incarnation. Advent helps teach us what it means to long and wait for the arrival of Jesus. Rather than rushing through the holiday season, Christians slow down to remember and receive the promise of full redemption and rejoice in the hope of Christ. This helps us learn to look for his second coming. The Godly Play lessons during these four weeks of waiting and watching will reflect on the parties important to the birth of Christ.

Advent III: The Shepherds

Memory Verse: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2: 10-11

Summary: We are continuing to prepare for the mystery of Christmas through Advent stories. This week’s lesson draws attention to the shepherds. The goal of taking time to concentrate on each party engaged in Christ’s birth is so that the kids can come as close as they can to the beauty of the Incarnation. We want them to consider every angle possible… and marvel!

Follow Up Questions: I wonder if you have ever been heard something wonderful? I wonder what the shepherds felt when they saw the angels? I wonder what made the shepherds want to tell people all they’d heard concerning Jesus? I wonder if you’ve ever had to wait a long time for something? I wonder what it means to be waiting for Jesus now…didn’t he already come?

Additional Follow Up: This week we talk about the tastes of Advent at our sensory station. What are some special foods your family eats during this season? Are they sweet or savory? Are there any you had as a child that you can tell your children about? I wonder why we have special treats during Advent and Christmas? I wonder what it is like to wait for them all year? I wonder where we see special meals at church? I wonder what Jesus meant when he said “I am the Bread of Life”? How does taste help us remember Jesus?

You can also review together those passages from Luke that depict the shepherds. It might help answer wondering questions if you wanted to look up pictures of shepherds in those days and ask questions like: What did they do? Look like? Dress like? I wonder what they ate? I wonder why God wanted them to bear witness to the birth of Christ?

Advent Sunday: December 3rd

Godly Play will not meet on Christmas Eve Sunday. Therefore, even though Advent officially begins THIS Sunday, 12/3, we started this four part series on 11/26 in order to receive the whole story before Christmas.

ADVENT

The season of Advent is a time set aside in the church calendar for members to prepare themselves to engage the mystery of the Incarnation. Advent helps teach us what it means to long and wait for the arrival of Jesus. Rather than rushing through the holiday season, Christians slow down to remember and receive the promise of full redemption and rejoice in the hope of Christ. This helps us learn to look for his second coming. The Godly Play lessons during these four weeks of waiting and watching will reflect on the parties important to the birth of Christ.

Advent II: Mary and Joseph

Memory Verse: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  Luke 2: 4-6

Summary: We are continuing to prepare for the Mystery of Christmas through Advent stories. Last week, the lesson focused on the prophets. This week’s lesson draws attention to Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem. The goal of taking time to concentrate on each type of person present at the birth of Christ is so that the kids can come as close as they can to the beauty of the Incarnation. We want them to consider every angle possible… and marvel at it!

Follow Up Questions: I wonder if you have ever been full of something wonderful? I wonder what Mary and Joseph were thinking about as they traveled to Bethlehem? I wonder what you think they talked about? I wonder what Mary and Joseph felt after walking and riding for so many miles? I wonder if you’ve ever had to wait a long time for something? I wonder what it means to be waiting for Jesus now…didn’t he already come?

Additional Follow Up: At our Advent Sensory Station this week, we talk about touch. Think of what our feet might touch on the way to something. What were the things Mary and Joseph felt? Maybe they felt dust on their feet? A chilly night air? A hot sun by day?

This might be a good time to read passages with your child from the Gospels about Jesus’s parents (the Annunciation, Mary visiting Elizabeth, Joseph stopped from divorcing Mary, etc). You could talk about the journey they took… they were on their way to Bethlehem to have the Way.  That is a wonderful mystery.