Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, are days of great preparation. We prepare lists of gifts to purchase, groceries to buy, and parties to attend. There are lists of chores to be done from cleaning and decorating the house and yard to mailing Christmas cards and wrapping gifts. Advent—the four craziest weeks of the year! Is this what it means to prepare for Jesus’ birth? What about preparing our hearts for Christmas?
This year’s Advent Faith Talk series is meant to give you ideas to prepare your hearts for Christmas. Each week will have four Scripture passages and a theme for the week (that matches the theme of Sunday’s service) along with activity ideas for home, church, and community.
Read this Week: Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
Theme for the Week: LOVE
There is not a more appropriate focus for the week of Christmas than love. God IS love! It is part of his perfect character and is seen in all his deeds. J I Packer states, “To know God’s love is indeed heaven on earth.” He further defines God’s love as an “exercise of his goodness towards sinners… he has given his Son to be their Savior.” Christ’s coming is the ultimate expression of God’s love for the world. How do we respond to such amazing, humbling love? In lives of worship and obedience, joyfully sharing his love with the dying world around us. God IS love.
Do Together: Gift giving is a way to express our love. Though it is easy to go overboard with spending money on Christmas presents, the act of giving gifts to express love is a trait we share with our Creator. Think about John 3:16 For God SO LOVED the world he GAVE …. Before exchanging gifts, talk about the bountiful love of God and then express your love (though not perfect as God’s love is perfect!) for your family before the joyful chaos of opening presents begins.
Sing Together: Away in a Manger
Church Family Focus: Attend the Christmas Eve services with your family tonight at 5:00 pm.
Community Focus: Talk about how you can share God’s love with your neighbors in 2018. Don’t let the joy of sharing God’s love through giving and serving end with Christmas. Plan for ways to bless your neighbors through gifts of food or acts of service throughout the year.
Pray Together: Thank God for his amazing love that gave us Jesus. Pray that he would increase your love for one another and the world in 2018.