Recently, I read a blog post entitled "Christmas Is Too Big for One Day" in which the author states that the Christmas story is more than just a few paragraphs in Luke 2 that Linus recites in "A Charlie Brown Christmas". We couldn't agree more! Reading Luke 2 on Christmas morning is like opening to the last page of a book to see how the story ends, but this story is too good, too amazing to miss out on each and every step of the journey!
We want to invite you on a journey for the next 25 days through God’s amazing story of Christmas. As we count down the days to Christmas, our hope is that God would allow you to see the stories of His faithfulness from the Scriptures with fresh eyes, grow your family’s faith in the God whose faithfulness continues in our lives today, and ultimately fix your family’s eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). This year’s theme, "Do You See What I See?", is a journey of discovery for families to see how every story, from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, was a witness of our need for a Savior and Jesus’ fulfillment of our great need.
A few thoughts on how to use this Family Advent Guide. First, just use it. Our hope is that you would make a commitment to, at the very least, read through the Scripture each day for the next 25 days. Be encouraged from the truths of God’s Word because they will never return void. We want this to be easy yet impactful, so do whatever is best for your family, but do something.
Second, depending on the age and maturity of your children, the daily Scripture readings are accompanied by devotions written to help your family see that the Bible is a bunch of smaller stories that point to one big true story, the story of Jesus and God’s rescue plan. There are discussion questions intended to help spark conversation around your dinner table, in the car, or at your child’s bedside each day. We hope they help you look deeper into the ancient stories of people like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Joseph and see how God’s story continues even today.
Lastly, we have fashioned this in the tradition of “The Jesse Tree.” Each day, your family will have an opportunity to draw/color an ornament to hang up that tells a little piece of the Christmas story. A Jesse Tree can be something as simple as a dead branch from your yard or a small Christmas tree you buy. Either way, find a way to display the ornaments for each day for the next 25 days, as you build anticipation leading up to Christmas morning.
We hope that these next 25 days will draw you closer to the Savior we worship, not just at Christmas, but all year long! May the Lord fill your hearts and homes with reminders of His love and faithfulness during Advent this year! We are praying that God would show you more of who He is so you can engage with others and ask, “Do you see what I see?”