Preparation: Have an alarm clock or your smart phone with an obvious alarm set like you would have to wake up in the morning.
Have your alarm go off slightly before the Children’s time. (Warn whomever is involved in worship what is happening!) When the alarm goes off, excitedly and hurriedly gather the children together. Say “Is everyone awake and ready? Oh good! Here we go!” Don’t say ready for what or where you are going. They will be confused. It’s ok! Just keep asking if they are ready.
Say “Do you know what you are supposed to be ready for? (They might say Christmas! Go with it if they do!) You don’t? Yeah sometimes me neither! I know that when I hear my alarm go off every morning, I’m supposed to get up and “be ready for the day.” But I don’t always know what the day will be or exactly what I will do. What are some things that you do to be ready for your day at school, or daycare or with mom or dad at home? We get our books, coats, notebooks, pencils, etc. together. We make our lunch and make sure we have all of the stuff we will need for our day. We get prepared and we think through our day and who we will be with. We think about all of the important people and activities in our day.
Right now we’re getting ready for Christmas, aren’t we? While everyone in the world is already celebrating Christmas, in the church we are in the season called Advent, which means ‘to wait.’ We get ready by waiting, sort of like how you rush around in the morning getting ready for school and then maybe have to wait on the bus at the bus stop or have to wait in the car at the school for your turn to the drop off zone. In the church we’re waiting to celebrate Jesus’ birth, that God, in Jesus, came to be with us. God wants to be with us and wants everyone to know about her love.
In today’s Bible story, Jesus is telling his disciples to be ready for when Jesus comes back. We know that Jesus is with us always but we don’t see Jesus right now. We see Jesus’ love in people around us but not actually Jesus. Kind of like how we know that our moms and dads aren’t with us all day but we know they will come and pick us up from school or daycare, Jesus promises that he will come again to be physically, actually with us someday. But we have to be ready and wait and it’s not a scary thing, it will be a joyful, happy time, like being picked up from school or daycare. Just like we get ready for our day thinking about all of the places we will go and all of the people we will see, Jesus wants us to think about how we can tell people about God everyday too. Jesus tells us that waking up everyday means we can share God’s love everywhere we go! Just waking up each morning is like an alarm reminder that Jesus is with us and to tell someone about Jesus!
Jesus, thank you for being with us always. We will tell everyone we meet about you and your love for the world. Thank you that we are always in your love and for all of the people in our lives who love us. Amen.
Encourage people to set an alarm on their smart phones for a couple of times during the week to go off to remind them that Jesus is with them and to share the love of Jesus with someone else. Perhaps have everyone set an alarm for the same time so that as a congregation they will be sharing the love of Jesus together.
Have some branches (either real or made by straightening a wire clothes hanger and covered with brown paper) with some paper Christmas ornaments (simple-made from construction paper) and have markers available to write or draw on the ornaments how you know that Jesus is near you in your day or how you share with someone else that Jesus is with them. Attach the ornaments to the branch and hang the branches in your worship space. Or you can hang the “ornaments” on the Christmas tree in your worship space if you have one up.