Fresh and HOT off the presses we have ready for you to print, copy and handout to whomever you so desire is a Christmas Devotion written for the final 5 days before Christmas (December 20-24). This is a devotion that homes and families of all shapes and sizes will find to be worth their time in spending a few minutes together each day of this week of Christmas. The link will take you to our googlesite where you can download the full document. Or use it online starting December 15th by looking at each day. Here is an overview:
Faith+Open–a ritual of lighting a candle, picking an ornament off your tree for your time together, and singing or listening to a Christmas song that fits the scripture for the day
Faith+Share–scripture and discussion prompts plus optional activities
Faith+Prayer–a prayer together
Faith+Blessing–a time to bless one another as the devotional time ends.
We encourage you to use this in your home and share with others. For all you wonderful youth directors, children’s ministers and pastors we encourage you to have this available for your congregations and visitors throughout Advent.
We love feedback so let us know if you used it and what you thought!
Link supplemental pages
+Blessings to you all this Advent and Christmas,
Leta & Brigette
Preparation: Baptismal font down front or where you can gather children.
Faith+Gather: Gather the children around the baptismal font. Ask them if they know what this is? What happens here?
Faith+Connect: Yes, baptisms happen here. In our gospel today we hear that Jesus was baptized and we know that he said to go and baptize others. So baptism is what we call a sacrament. Does anyone know what it means? Take some answers. Explain that baptism is about God’s gift of love and grace being give to us totally free. Ask what water does, what is for? Take answers. Yes, water can also be for cleaning and washing so we use water to help show us that God washes all the sin away and promises to love us no matter what we do in our lives. It’s a way that we remember that we belong to God. When we baptize someone we say ‘You are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever’ and we mark the sign of the cross on their forehead either with water or with oil. And this is one way we can remember our baptisms too–anytime and anywhere! Let’s do that now. Put your finger in the font and make the sign of the cross on your forehead while I say the words “You are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever” Now we are going to pray but then we are going to dip our fingers one more time and you can go back to your pew family and make the sign of the cross on them!
Faith+Prayer: Thank you Jesus for your love with us every day. Thank you for water and words that help us remember we belong to you. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: Today you are taking the blessing back to the people around you. Dip your finger in the water and head on back and say to them, “Jesus loves you always”
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Preparation: Stars cut out of paper and markers. Optional: tape or cut the stars out and add a piece of double sided tape or other way that they can ‘stick’ on to someone.
Faith+Gather: Gather the children with you and ask them if they know the part of the story about the wisemen. See how much they can tell. Use a picture or prop from your creche if you have one. Say, “The wisemen followed a star, which give light. Today we begin the season of epiphany and in this season of the church year we read scripture stories and think about how God’s being in the world brings us light.”
Faith+Connect: Say, “I know that God sends us star-like people in our lives to help show us the ways of Jesus. These people care about us, tell us about how they see Jesus in their lives, they help us know how to love one another and other people, things like that. Can you think of people who are stars for you?” Share a person who is a star for you and why. Take answers from the kids. Also ask, “How do show you about Jesus?”
Give each child the star piece of paper and a marker. Ask them to write down a name or a letter or a picture to say who is a star for them. Then tell them that if the person is here they can stick this star to them. If they person is not here they can mail it or give it to them when they see them. If the person has died they can put this star in their room or you could create a board or space somewhere in the worship space or church where all the stars can be placed. You can do this during this time or send them back to their seats for this part, or if you have an interactive time in worship such as an open space time you could have this as a station and let them know when they can do this activity.
Say, “Stars in our lives help us to remember about Jesus and help us to be stars for other people. We always have the light of Christ with us in so many ways. These stars can help you remember one way and one person today and this week.”
Faith+Prayer: Jesus, you were born to show us the way of love. We thank you for the lights of the stars in the sky and for the light of the people who are stars for us. Amen
Faith+Blessing: Make the sign of the cross and teach the children: God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right.
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