Wednesday, December 02, 2009

what are you doing for advent?

Our family has enjoyed Christmas using various Advent traditions, practices, and helps the past few years. The last couple of years, we've used Noel Piper's Advent Calendar. Some of you will remember that I integrated this into our Christmas Eve service a few years back.

(Unfortunately, Desiring God Ministries is not selling the calendar this year.)

This year, a new family to the church was kind enough to give us "The Advent Jesse Tree" with a little tree and all the ornaments, too. Our kids were excited to try something new and we began last night on December 1.

One of the things that I liked immediately about this resource was that Christmas did not begin with the birth of Jesus, but with creation. We had a great little discussion about that last night as Haaken got to put the first little ornament, a globe, on the tree. The whole thing took a total of 10 minutes (I've learned the hard way to keep it simple and keep it short!)

The Advent Jesse Tree is going to walk us across the sweep of redemptive history on the way to the birth of Christ. I so desperately want my kids to know that Christmas was God's plan to bring salvation to the world from all eternity. I'll try and post some pictures of our tree once a week or so.

So what do you do for Advent?

It's not too late to go for it this year. Here is the outline of the Advent Jesse Tree devotions I found online. You could use these devotions and then create your own simple ornaments for no money at all.

Maybe another way to start and do something this year, would be a light your own candle's around an Advent Wreath on the four advent Sundays and read a bit of the Christmas story from one of the Gospels.

I'm sure the web has a thousand other ideas to help you celebrate Advent.

Don't make it complicated, but do something. Take yourself and your family to the Christ of Christmas this year. They'll love it and look forward to it next year.


Lani said...

Is Grace Church doing Christmas Caroling this year?

Tim said...

Lani, this year we are doing a Christmas Concert on December 12 and arranging to pick up seniors from area rest homes and retirement facilities.

Our staff made a decision to not do more than one all-church Christmas event during this busy season of the year.

In 2010 caroling is again on the calendar, but not a Christmas concert.

Anonymous said...

Our family has been doing the Jesse Tree advent for the last few years. The kids LOVE opening the little gift each night, and because we've done it for a little while, they can tell the story based on the ornament. Pretty cool!

Mike Allshouse said...

In the past we have used a few different things. For a couple of years we used the Adornaments from Family Life. We then used "What God Wants for Christmas" which is an interactive Nativity. Last year we came across a story called "Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent" by Arnold Ytreeide. The kids couldn't wait to read the next day. The story was very engaging and I thought brought all of us into the story of Jesus. This year we are reading the next book which is "Bartholomew's Passage: A Family Story for Advent". There is a third story as well.