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Advent Week 1: HOPE

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? How would we do that, in this crazy season? It won’t happen by accident. We must place it at the top of the list! As you sit with the December calendar in front of you, pray for courage and wisdom to prioritize preparing hearts for Christmas.

This 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: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Luke 21:5-28.

Theme for the Week: HOPE

Hope for the people God is much more than wishful thinking. It is a strong belief and confidence in God. He will keep his promises. God promised a Rescuer generations before he sent Jesus. What does it mean for us to HOPE in God? The world is a hopeless place. Look for appropriate examples of this to share with your children this week. There is sickness, homelessness, despair, wickedness, and grief all around us. Not exactly a Hallmark moment—but, we need to at least glimpse hopelessness to appreciate the HOPE we have in God. Our HOPE is that Jesus who came to seek and save the lost, will come again to defeat Satan once and for all. There will be no more death and darkness, disease and despair. For God’s people, there will be unsurpassed joy as we find our forever home safe with him. As we enter the Advent season celebrating his first coming—we look forward, with great HOPE to his second coming. Come, Lord Jesus!

Do Together: Make paper chains to count down the days until Christmas Day. On each chain write one verse of Luke’s recording of Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:26-30, 2:1-20.

Sing Together: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Church Family Focus: Plan on attending the choir program Sunday evening, December 3. Saturday, December 9 is the day women in the church prepare plates of goodies to take to families in our church who could use a little extra attention. Make loaves of quick bread together and deliver to the church. For an even more meaningful experience, volunteer to deliver one of the plates as a family (See more on our upcoming events page).

Community Focus: How can you bring the HOPE of Christ to a hopeless world? Talk about this as a family and brainstorm ideas. Make a plan to reach out to neighbors who don’t know Jesus. Have you ever visited the Kansas Food Bank? Is there something your family could share with the Wichita Children’s Home? Check the wish list on their website.

Pray Together: This week have your shared prayer times focus on the HOPE, the certain, joyful, confidence, we have that as God sent the promised Messiah as a baby he will send him to return as the conquering King.