Monthly Archives: November 2018
“Advent is one of the hardest seasons of the church year to celebrate in today’s culture. As soon as Thanksgiving arrives, we are bombarded by Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas everything. We are so saturated by Christmas that we often skip over one of the most important parts: the preparation. You wouldn’t throw a party without preparing the food and drinks; you wouldn’t visit a friend without getting dressed and ready. We are about to remember the most awe-inspiring thing that happened in the whole of history: God becoming man in the glory and mystery of the incarnation. We need to set aside time to prepare ourselves for this – internally and externally” (excerpt from Rachel Telander’s “Let Us Keep the Feast”)
Join us as we prepare for Christmas with an Advent Study based on Selah Woody’s “A Traditional Advent Calendar: 28 Days of Devotions and Activities”. Each day of the study, we will post the scripture to focus on, ideas for discussion and activities with your family, and an example SOAP from our team based on the day’s scripture. If you’d like to see the full daily devotion from Selah Woody’s study, you can get the free download through Focus on the Family HERE.
Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Then, read and discuss the verse with your family around the dinner table, in the car, before bed, or another time when you can be in intentional devotion to Jesus. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts on the verse, discussion with your family, or your favorite Christmas traditions. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Advent Study Day 1
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Discuss what Advent is with your family and typical Advent traditions in the church or in your family. Advent doesn’t technically start until December 2 this year, but now’s a great time to make an Advent wreath with your family in anticipation of lighting the first candle on Sunday. Made of evergreens, the wreath includes five candles. You can make this wreath with your children out of live or plastic evergreen branches by fastening them into a circle with green twisty ties or lightweight wire. Then place four candleholders and taper candles within the greenery. Three of the candles should be purple—although some churches now substitute a blue candle to represent the church for one of the purple candles—and the fourth is rose-colored. In the center of the wreath’s circle, place a thick, white candle. Why these colors are important will be explored later in the Advent season. Not only will this Advent wreath be a daily reminder of those who historically waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises, it may also be a meaningful holiday tradition and a seasonal decoration for your family.
Light vs. Dark | DOT @ A2
Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12
In Isaiah’s time, life was particularly hard for the Israelites. But Isaiah comes forward with a promise of hope for the future – they will be freed from these dark times. When Jesus came, he fulfilled that promise and it not only saved them, but continues to save to this day.
We sometimes enjoy darkness because we don’t want to face reality. What we know in the darkness is more comfortable than what we’re afraid we might find in the light. With all the expectations on us at Christmas, there’s always a lot of pressure to go bigger. And hiding in a dark closet until it’s over doesn’t sound like a bad idea. But because of Jesus, we can recognize that we aren’t bound to those expectations. Instead, we can take Jesus’ light and share it with others. This Advent season is the perfect time to remember that we need to get out of the darkness and bask in the light of Jesus!
Father, may we not be like the Grinches and Scrooges of this world who cling to darkness and despise this time of joy and expectancy. Help us to stay in the light and share it with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.