Hello all and thanks for reading. I believe most of us have heard the term used and said this time of year called ADVENT. I have heard this term from when I was a young child. As I was praying and thinking about what to share with you all about the word ADVENT came to mind over and over. We are doing a daily advent activity in our kids min. (if you would like more info or copies shoot me a email firstname.lastname@example.org). We are doing a cool advent activity in our home with our kids. It seems that ADVENT is the word said often during this season leading up to Christmas. With all this talk of ADVENT I started to wonder what that meant? What does ADVENT mean? Why do we have “ADVENT”?
So as I begin to research I discovered a few things I would like to share with you about.
First, the meaning of ADVENT is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent in Latin means “Coming”. We as Christians use the four Sundays and weeks before Christmas to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Coming, anticipation, excitement and many other words can be used to describe this time of year. I know for me I love Christmas. I love the music, the weather, and especially the reason for the season. The birth of Jesus is what we are to be celebrating and be excited for. I am one who can get caught up in all the fluff of this time of year that I miss a lot of the amazing things that happen. I want to encourage you with a few things that will help you keep your eyes and heart focused on the true meaning of this season.
- Set up a family tradition. We as a family and as a ministry try to create opportunities to have conversation about God’s word. This is a great time of year to talk about the birth of Jesus and all that took place leading up to His arrival. I can only imagine what Mary felt when Gabriel came and spoke to her. Or the mental unrest that Joseph had thinking about being a father. The journey to Bethlehem had to have been exhausting and tough. The living conditions of where our sweet savior was born is not what we see in yards or cards. There are tons of Advent bible reading calendars to help keep us focused and if you would like to check out the one we gave out as a church click here.
- Try to avoid the pressure of giving for the wrong reasons. We all want to give the best gifts, or at least I think we want to. When we put this kind of pressure on ourselves as parents, we are setting ourselves up for problems. Financial stress being the number one. When we remember the real reason for the season and set limits and boundaries we are helping honor God with what He has given us. It doesn’t make you a bad parent if you cannot get everything on your child’s list and they most certainly will survive if they do not get everything. Before you go shopping, I would encourage you to set a budget and limits for your children. Talk about realistic expectations and keep pointing them to the greatest gift ever given which was Jesus. When you create this kind of culture in you home you are teaching your children and those around you that gifts are temporary, but salvation in Jesus is eternal.
- Look for ways to be a blessing to someone else. Look for ways to serve your neighbors and really love those around you. Make cookies for your neighbors and have the kids deliver with a kind note. Maybe there are children that your kids go to school with that may not receive any presents and you can bless them by getting them some gifts. When you do this, you will not only feel better you will also be modeling for you kids how to love those around you well. Be creative, but I would encourage you to look for ways to serve and bless those around.
As you prepare for this Christmas my prayer is that you would grow closer as a family and have more conversations about what this season is all about. May your words be a blessing to God and your actions that of a servant’s heart. Keep pointing people to the cross and remember before Jesus could die, he had to come as a baby.
We have created a cool ADVENT activity for our kids ministry with a verse and activity for the whole family. If you would like to see our daily video click here and like our page.
Merry Christmas and God Bless