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Prepare the Way, Advent 1: Waiting

We will be posting Advent and Christmas devotions Fridays November 30, December 7, 14 & 21, and Christmas Day. You may use these devotions as you want – for yourself, with a group or as a family; all at once, or broken up throughout the week. We suggest you start with the Scripture readings before you engage the other pieces. Enjoy!

Scripture

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Luke 21:25-36 

Reflection

When you are a kid (and often as an adult), there are times when it seems impossible to wait patiently. Times when the clock seems to be not moving at all. Advent is one of those times, both in our day to day lives and in the church. We are excited about Christmas, but it won’t be here for a few weeks, and we have a lot to do to prepare!

Preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus is much like preparing for the arrival of any baby. We rearrange our homes and plan to have our schedules completely overturned. We buy and wrap gifts, and we are filled with both joy and nervous energy.

This time of preparation gives us the time to really sit and think about the meaning of it all, though. Yes, the presents and the cookies and the singing and the friends and family around can be wonderful. However, the reason we celebrate the birth of Jesus is because we are not just changing our routines and attitudes for a season, as we do for a big party, or with a new baby, but because our lives have been forever changed with Jesus in them.

Advent and Christmas give us a chance to remember and celebrate all the ways our lives are made new because Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again, and is with us always.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What is one thing you are excited to do during Advent or Christmas? Do you think it will be hard to wait for?
  2. What is one thing that brings you joy as you do what Jesus asks us to do? (Start with one, and you probably won’t be able to stop!)

Make It Your Own

No matter how young or old we are, we can get impatient. Make a list of activities or games we can do when it seems like we will have to wait forever this season.

Some suggestions:

  • Find some craft supplies and gather them up to make Christmas cards, decorations, wrapping paper and tags.
  • Write out secret notes of encouragement to give to friends or family members and hide them in places they can find them later.
  • Take those waiting times to share all the things that we are thankful for or that are giving us joy.
  • Do an extra chore to make the house a bit brighter.
  • Make extra batches of favorite cookies to give away.
  • See how long you can stand on one foot.
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while and wish them a happy Advent and merry Christmas.

What else would you add?

Prayer

Almighty God – we are impatient people. As time seems to slow down when we just want it to hurry up, give us patience, give us humor, and give us peace. Help us find creativity and joy in the waiting. Help us see those pockets of stopped time as beloved gifts of Advent. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

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