The Week of Joy
Light two purple candles: the candle of Hope, and the candle of Preparation. Light the candle of Joy, the pink candle.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 (NIV)
Christmas Conscience. Choose a special toy, like a stuffed snowman, and have that toy serve as the Christmas conscience. If the kids are good, the toy moves to a new hiding spot for the kids to find. If not, he sits for another day. (Kathy Ross, The Big Book of Christian Crafts, (Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, Inc., 2002).
Jesus Bottle Game. Take a clean plastic soda bottle and fill it half-full with dry uncooked rice. Place tiny beads and miniature shapes in the bottle, adding each item to a list on scrap paper. Use alphabet beads with the letters of Jesus’ name, star shaped bead, glass bead, tiny seashell, buttons, paper clip, etc. Fill the bottle to 3/4 full with remaining rice. Place cap on bottle and seal with clear packing tape. Write or type out the list and tape it to the outside of the bottle. The game is to find each listed item in the rice.
(Supplies: 2 cups of dry rice, beads, shapes, tiny items, alphabet beads to spell Jesus’ name, paper, scissors, empty dry soda bottle, packing tape, marker or pen)
Father in heaven, we rejoice in you. Our joy comes not from our circumstances but in knowing you are with us always. Lord, help us to focus our minds on praiseworthy things. Amen.
“The Good Shepherd Jesus knows you well, though you may not think it. You never shed a secret tear over your own corruption, you never breathed a single prayer for forgiveness and helping grace, you never made a single struggle against wickedness, which He did not remark and note down in the book of His remembrance. You need not fear His not understanding your needs, you need not be afraid your prayers are too poor and unlearned to be attended to. He knows your particular necessities far better than you do yourselves, and your humble supplications are no sooner offered up than heard. If you transgress He will grieve—but He will chasten and bring you back; if you bear good fruit, He will rejoice and give more grace; if you sorrow He will bind up your broken heart and pour in balm. He is ever watching and observing and listening. No believer is so humble and lowly, but He is acquainted with all their ways.” (Ellen R. Levine, Ellen W. Liberles, Woman’s Day Kid Craft Treasury, (Des Moines, Iowa: Hachette Magazines, distributed by Meredith Corp., 1991, p. 73.)
Click here for a printable Advent fun page December 14