Today, November 30, is the first Sunday of Advent. To prepare our hearts for Christmas and to celebrate the season, we are starting Advent on Sunday mornings, and would love for you and your family to join us! “Advent” means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The month of December can easily become crazy busy, and Christmas can get lost in the shuffle as we move from one party to the next. Advent helps us make space in our hearts for the anticipation of the hope that comes through Jesus!
THANKFULNESS: A grateful heart that comes from trusting God
MEMORY VERSE: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: We can be thankful for the blessings God gives us!
This Sunday for “Hero Sunday” we looked at the life of George Mueller, and how he lived a lifestyle of thankfulness. Among other things, Mueller was known for his incredible unprecedented orphan home ministry in England in the early 1800s. He literally “prayed in” millions of dollars for the orphans, and never directly asked for money. Instead of taking a salary, he trusted God to answer his prayers for the provision they needed. Mueller lived his life actively thankful for the blessing God gave him, and thousands of people heard the good news of Jesus because of it. As we wrap up our month studying Thankfulness, we can remember to be thankful for God’s blessings this year as we look ahead to the Advent season.
- Look at Isaiah 11:1-5 together. Who are these verses talking about?
- How is this person described in this passage?
- Why would someone like the person mentioned need to come?
- Skip ahead from the prophecy told to the prophecy filled, and read Mary’s song of thankfulness in Luke 1:46-55. What stands out to you the most in her song? Why?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
TEACHER: Surprise Blessings
At dinner one night this week, have everyone share a surprise blessing from this year they are thankful for. Pray together and thank God for both who He is and what He has done in your family this year.
FRIEND: Advent Anticipation
While driving in the car together this week, talk about things you’re excited for this season. (Making Christmas cookies, planning gifts, decorating the house, Christmas parties, etc.) Make some countdowns for some of these things, and talk about why these things are so exciting to look forward to! Imagine the anticipation the Israelites must have felt after hearing all of the stories and prophecies about the Messiah to come. Every time you and your family start counting down to different events & celebrations this season, make a point to remember what the Advent season is celebrating!
COUNSELOR: Thankful for God’s Plan
During bedtime this week, look again at Mary’s song of thankfulness in Luke 1:46-55. Discuss how Mary must have felt to be playing that big of a part in God’s big rescue story He had been planning for so many years. How would you feel if you were her? Talk with your child about how all of us who believe in Jesus and trust God are also part of His big story of rescue! Thank God for this truth and brainstorm a few people this week who you can share this good news with!
COACH: Start the Jesse Tree for Advent!
You can download your own Jesse Tree Advent calendar here! Each day, look at the picture that corresponds with each day’s date, and read the verse that goes with it. Every day from now until Christmas, you can read verses from the Old Testament that give clues to the Messiah God promised.
Thank God for the blessings He has given you in your life, and take time to prepare you heart for Christmas during Advent.
Next week we will begin a new unit, all about purity! We will start by looking at the Creation narrative in Genesis 1.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons
More information on George Mueller can be found here.
Looking for an opportunity to serve with your family this Christmas? Check out the Serving Opportunities we have listed on our website!