Advent Devotions–Dec 3: Family Advent Devotions

family advent devotionsMy wife and I decided before we even had children that we wanted to fill their lives with family traditions which pointed them to Christ. The month of December is a large part of the many traditions we have established.

One of the traditions we chose to begin a year or two ago was the practice of having a family devotion time at dinner each Friday during the month of Dec. Our family are of the Messianic Jewish faith and we have a Shabbat dinner on Fridays, so this fits in nicely.

We wrote a script for the devotionals that includes lighting a new candle each week, reading scripture, as well as praying and singing. If you are interested in seeing or using the script, I have attached it here.

Below is the introduction and the first devotional, incase you want to preview it before you download. Be aware that I changed the color of the candles to suit the message I was trying to send to our kids, mainly that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, who came to save us from the wrath of the Holy and righteous GOD by reconciling us through his death and resurrection.

Week One: PROMISES AND PATIENCE (HOPE)

Week two: Immaculate Conception

Week Three: John the Baptist (One born to pave the way for Christ)

Week Four (Christmas Eve): Immanuel–GOD with Us

Christmas: Why Christ Came

First, the wreath is always in the form of a circle. Since a circle has no beginning and no end, it is a symbol for God, Who is eternal and without beginning or end.

The Advent wreath is made from evergreens. These branches, as the name indicates, are “ever green” — ever alive. They are symbolic of Christ, Who died, but rose again and is alive, never to die again. The evergreen branches also symbolize our soul’s immortality. Christ came into the world to give us never-ending life. Entwined around the circle of evergreens are red holly berries. They look like large red drops of blood, and symbolize the blood shed by Christ for mankind. They remind us that Christ came into this world to die for us and redeem us. It is through the shedding of His blood that we have eternal life.

In our home, the wreath has five candles, Three red, one purple, and one white:

  • The Red color represents our sin, that is, that people are sinful and need forgiveness. This forgiveness comes only from Christ, the promised Messiah and savior of the world.
  • The purple represents Christ royalty and our repentance.
  • The white candle represents Christ, who is the light of the world.

Week One

A Rite for the Beginning of Advent at Home

WEEK 1: PROMISES AND PATIENCE (HOPE)

Theme: Our God makes and keeps promises, and His people are called to wait with patient longing.

Gen 22:1-14 NIV – (1) Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. (2) Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (3) Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. (4) On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. (5) He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (6) Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, (7) Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (8) Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. (9) When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. (10) Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. (11) But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. (12) “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (13) Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (14) So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

The first day the wreath is in the home, the leader may say:

As our nights grow longer and our days grow short,
we look on these earthly signs–lights and green branches–
and remember God’s promise to our world:
Christ, our Light and our Hope, will come.
Listen to the words of Isaiah the prophet:

Isa 7:14 NIV – (14) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isa 9:2-3 NIV -(2) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (3) You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.

Then all pray

Then the first candle is lit.

Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal — one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th.

Sing: O Come, O Come Immanuel

O come, O come, Immanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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