SNEAK PEEK – Waiting for Christmas: Weekly Family Advent Devotionals

You may have seen us advertising the new Family Advent Readings designed for use in “Big Church.” Today we’re getting a sneak peek at the new Advent Family Devotional which will be available next week.

Waiting for Christmas: Weekly Family Devotionals for Advent

Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It usually begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 23, 2017). During Advent we remember how long people had to wait for God to keep His promise of a Messiah. We also look for Jesus to come back again.

The new advent study, Waiting for Christmas, is a weekly study for families or small groups. The best part is that it is really three books in one. Devotionals are written for preschoolers, children, and preteens.

Weekly devotionals span four weeks with an extra one for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The topics of these lessons are the same for all ages and correspond to the Advent focus for that week:

  1. Hope
  2. Peace
  3. Joy
  4. Love
  5. Christ

Here’s a peek at what you can expect, broken down by age:

Preschool Version

The preschool version of this study is written for young families. If your children can talk fairly well, this study is for you. Lessons are geared for shorter attention spans and include a lot of repetition.

Preschool lessons follow this pattern:

  • Today’s verses
  • Advent wreath candle guide (optional)
  • Prayer
  • Think about it
  • Bible reading
  • Song suggestions
  • Family Fun activity

This excerpt is Week 1’s “Think About It”:

Do you know what a promise is? (Allow children to answer if they think they know.) A promise is when you tell someone you will do something.

Have you ever made a promise? Tell me about what happened.

Sometimes people keep their promises and sometimes they don’t. God always keeps His promises. When you hear me say “God always keeps His promises,” I want you to say it back to me. Let’s practice. Are you ready? (normal voice) God always keeps His promises. “God always keeps His promises.”

Let’s say that really loud. Remember that I go first. Ready? (loudly) GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES! “GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES!” Good.

Now let’s see how quietly we can say it. Ready? (whisper) God always keeps His promises. “God always keeps His promises.” Very good.

Here is a promise I make you. I promise that we are going to read the Bible. Are you ready?

Children’s Version

The children’s version of this study is written for families with elementary children. The vocabulary is simple and lessons change pace fairly often, shifting between listening times and active times.

Children’s lessons follow this pattern:

  • Items needed
  • Today’s verses
  • Advent wreath candle guide (optional)
  • Prayer
  • Think about it
  • Family Fun activity
  • Bible reading
  • Prayer
  • Song suggestions

This excerpt is Week 1’s “Think About It”:

What do you think hope mean? (Let children answer, but don’t correct them yet.)

Did you know there are two different kinds of hope? One kind of hope is a wish, something we wish would happen. The wish kind of hope might happen or it might not. I could say I hope it rains tomorrow. I can hope all I want, but it might not happen. We see the wish kind of hope a lot at Christmas. For example, what do you hope to get for Christmas? (Let all children answer.)

That is the wish kind of hope.

The other kind of hope is knowing for sure something is going to happen. The know-for-sure kind of hope is when we’re looking forward to something we know for sure is going to happen.

What is something you know for sure is going to happen? (Let children answer. It’s ok if they can’t think of anything.)

Let me show you the know-for-sure kind of hope. (Stand by the chair.) Do you see this chair? If I sit in this chair, do you think it will hold me? Or will it collapse and make me fall on the floor? (Let children answer.) How do you know? (Let children answer.)

I hope it will hold me. I really think it will. I think this is a know-for-sure kind of hope, not a wish kind of hope. Let’s see who’s right. (Sit in the chair.)

Was I right? Was my hope well founded? (Let children answer.)

Preteen Version

The preteen version of this study is written for families with children ages ten and older. Lessons deal with more complex issues, but at an introductory level. Opportunities are included for discussion as well as ways to serve others.

Preteen lessons follow this pattern:

  • Items needed
  • Today’s verses
  • So what? Why are we doing this?
  • Advent wreath candle guide (optional)
  • Prayer
  • Explanation
  • Song suggestions
  • Bible reading
  • Think about it
  • Prayer
  • Family Fun activity

This excerpt is Week 1’s “Why are we doing this?”:

You are growing physically, mentally, and emotionally. That means you are old enough to ask God tough questions. You are also starting to learn that not everyone thinks the way you do or believes the same things.

You will soon learn, if you haven’t already, that there are many people who say there is no reason to believe that Jesus is who He said He is. They say there is no reason to hope and trust in Christ because it is all made up.

It is a good idea to take a closer look at what you believe and why. God said, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3 NASB). Again in James 1:5 it says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (NASB).

Let’s do that today.

How to get your copy

Waiting for Christmas: Weekly Family Advent Devotionals will be available in our store next week, but you can get a FREE copy. Look for the Black Friday promotion through the 2017 Homeschooling through the Holidays Series {and a HUGE giveaway!}.

Also look for the family Advent readings for corporate worship (“Big Church”).

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