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Advent Ideas for Families, Plus Week 1 Advent




Advent is the period leading up to Christmas that allows us to reflect on and appreciate Jesus. This is also a wonderful time to introduce a habit of family devotions in a fun and engaging way. Children love the festive season and focusing on Scripture in the lead up to Christmas is an excellent way to establish a routine of family prayer and Scripture reading.


There are many ways to celebrate Advent. One approach is to use a box with envelopes containing verses and objects. Every day, a verse is read and the kids pass around the object. Another popular tradition is the Advent wreath and daily devotions. Some people use Jesse trees to discuss the family tree leading up to Jesus's birth.


For those who follow Advent with candles, the focus is on hope, peace, joy, love, and Christ. Below are some verses and resources for Advent that you can use with your family:


Family Advent

Week One: Hope

Week Two: Peace

Week Three: Joy

Week Four: Love

Week Five: Christ


Week 1: Hope (Purple Candle - Prophet’s Candle)

Christmas Carol Idea: 

  • O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.


Past:


The first candle, also known as the "prophet's candle" or "the prophecy candle," holds great significance. Many prophets in the Old Testament foretold the coming of the Messiah. In fact, there are over 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, some dating back to Genesis. These prophecies provided specific details about the Messiah's arrival.


(Isaiah 7:14) He would be born of a virgin.

(Micah 5:2) Out of all the towns, he would be born in the small town of Bethlehem.

(Hosea 11:1) Even though He was an Israelite, He would spend some time in Egypt.

(Ezekiel 37:24) He would come from David's line.

(Isaiah 9:1-2) He would be in Galilee.

(Daniel 7:13-14) Daniel called Him the Son of Man and spoke of Him.

(Psalm 78:1-2) He would teach in parables and "utter dark sayings from of old."

(Isaiah 8:14) He would be both a sanctuary and a rock of stumbling.

(Isaiah 9:6) He would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

(Psalm 2:1-9) God will call Him "My Son"


There are many other prophecies about his life and death interwoven through the Scripture.


Here are some verses that talk about the hope that we have. These verses are so encouraging. You can read through them and see which ones your family might want to read and discuss in the first week of advent.


1 Peter 1:3-5 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 


Isaiah 64:1-5 - Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways.


Deuteronomy 18:15

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—


Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


Present:

Psalm 146:5 - Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,


Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.


Romans 15:4 & 13 - For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


1 Peter 1:13-16 - Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”


1 Peter 3:15-16 - but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 


Psalm 39:7

7“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.


Psalm 147:11

11but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.


Psalm 130:5

5I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;


Future:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


Romans 5:1-5 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 


Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


Romans 8:18-25 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


Zephaniah 3:16-20 - On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the LORD.


1 Thessalonians 4:13 - But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 


1 Corinthians 15:54-55 - When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”


Psalm 33:17-22 - The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.


Psalm 42:11 - Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.


Psalm 71:5 & 14 - For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.


Psalm 119:49, 81, 114, 116, 147, 166 - Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.


Psalm 146:5 - Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,


Proverbs 23:17-18 - Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.


Proverbs 24:14 - Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.


Isaiah 8:17 - I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.


Lamentations 3:21-26 - But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;


Acts 2:26 - therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.


Acts 24:15 - having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.


Galatians 5:5 - For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.


Ephesians 1:15-21 - For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.


Ephesians 4:4-6 - There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.


1 Thessalonians 5:8 - But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 - Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.


Hebrews 6:9-12, 17-20 - Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.


Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.


1 John 3:1-3 - See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.


Psalm 62:5 - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.


Resource Links:


First Week (Hope / Faith) -

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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