This year Silent Night turns 200 years old. In the weeks leading to Christmas (Advent) we are using the carol to reflect on what it means to wait for Christ to come into the world.
The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
In Advent we celebrate that God is coming into the world. Yet, when God shows up in scripture, it almost always begins with the same words: Do not be afraid. Clearly to stand in the presence of the Lord, or even God’s messenger is awe-inspiring experience. But it should fill us, not with terror, but with Joy. The present is a season of preparation for the joy that is to come. And Joy we should proclaim, for God is coming to make all things right.
[Hear full sermon here]
This week, use these resources to grow in your faith, or with your family. Scriptures and activities in bold are from DPUMC’s Advent Family Devotion.
On your own:
Everyday this week, capture a picture of something that makes you joyful and share it with a note about why it is important
With children: In your manger kit, find the two matching middle sized figures. Color, paint, or decorate these to look like Mary and Joseph. Traditionally Mary is associated with blue because it signaled royalty, peace, and nature. Joseph sometimes appears as a young man, sometimes as an old man, but always dressed simply.
Youth and Adults:
Write out the story of the day you were born. If you don’t know it, ask a family member to tell you about it. What emotions were your parents feeling? Who was there and how did they respond?
With Children: Tell each child the story of the day they were born. Or, if your child(ren) know the story, invite them to tell it to you.
Everyone: How might Mary and Joseph have felt about Jesus coming. How did they prepare for the baby?
Dear Lord, thank you for moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, thank you for my family and for the family of Jesus, Amen.
Find a piece of art depicting Mary and Joseph and share it with your thoughts on our facebook or twitter (@dpumc) #advent
Share the Joy of Christ by setting aside a portion of your Christmas budget for charities that work with children and refugees.