As a way to anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus and recapture the tradition of Advent in your home this Christmas season
The word Advent comes from the Latin word that means coming or arrival. For centuries the Church has celebrated the four-week Advent season by lighting candles in a wreath and reflecting on the coming of Jesus as told in Scripture. The circle of the wreath represents God’s never-ending love for us, the evergreens represent Christ’s gift of eternal life and the candles announce Jesus as the Light of the World.
You can find an Advent wreath and candles in the arts & crafts or holiday section of many stores. You will need some kind of simple wreath and five candles. Arrange them in the center of your table throughout the Christmas season. Use this Advent activity to guide your family through a brief moment of reflection during a meal or bedtime snack each of the four weeks before Christmas and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
LIGHT THE CANDLES
Before eating, light the first candle and remind everyone that it is the candle of Hope. Then light the second candle and explain that it is the candle of Peace. Traditionally these are both the color purple, but the color is not important. Consider taking turns lighting the candles and reading the verses each week.
Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The Second Week of Advent is the week of Peace. This verse tells us that Jesus came to be the Prince of Peace. The word peace is the Hebrew word shalom which means completeness or well being. Jesus did not come just to end wars, but to make us complete by saving us from our sinfulness. All we have to do is trust in Jesus as the Son of God who came to save us, and we will have the peace, or shalom, of God.
- Did you know that shalom continues to this day as a Hebrew greeting that wishes someone well? Turn to one another and greet each other with, “Shalom!”
- What are some areas where we don’t always have peace in our lives? (Not getting along with our family or friends, overloaded schedule, finances, etc.)
- What are some things that can keep us from having peace with God? (Not obeying our parents, breaking rules at school, arguing with our spouse, etc.)
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who came to be the Prince of Peace and save us from our sinfulness. Help us to trust in Jesus to make us complete and to show the peace of Jesus to one another. Amen
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