I blogged about the coming of Advent in an earlier post and so I thought I would share a little more of our plans. Again, this is a tradition that we are just learning and enjoying as we go. I have found suggestion from others to be very helpful and so I also want to share what I have for those who might want it.
Week 1: Expectation or Hope
This focuses on the promises of the Messiah to come, fulfilled in Christ, and now for his return.
Advent will begin on November 28th which is a Sunday: We will have our advent wreath and candles ready and as we are using a A Guide to Prayer for All who Seek God this year, our readings and reflections are all kind of laid out for us. This is kind of the format we will do although some of the readings and reflection Dan and I will just do together because it would be too much for the little ones.
Affirmation: For in Christ every one of God's promises is a "Yes". For this reason it is though him that we say the "amen" to the glory of God (2 Cor 1:20)
Prayer: Lord, remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life. (Ps. 119:49-50)
Reading: Sunday: Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14; Psalm 122; Matthew 24:36-44 Monday: Mark 1:1-8 Tuesday: Psalm 131 Wednesday Zephaniah 3:14-17 Thursday: Isaiah 40:1-5 Friday: Isaiah 40:6-11 Saturday: Luke 12:35-38
Lighting: Light the first Candle of Hope: Today is the first Sunday (week) of Advent, We light this candle to remind us of the hope that we have in Christ; the hope that he brings to the world.
Singing: Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel (we may also learn other songs depending on Aneliese)
Action: Our adoption agency was fittingly called Hope Adoption Services. Fitting because it gave hope to many mothers, children, mothers and fathers in waiting. Under their umbrella is an organization that has an amazing story and one that is very close to our hearts (ask me some time if you are interested.). And we take part in sharing hope and love with the beautiful children at Agape Home in Thailand. (As our children are still little and don't fully understand, we will show Aneliese the website with some of the pictures and tell her a little of the story and how we can help.)
I would like to have some children's stories with the theme of Hope (not necessarily Christmas related although that would be nice) to read with the girls through the week, so I would welcome any suggestions or other ideas on how to make Advent meaningful to children.