An unhurried approach to the season for families.

A family advent study from Caring, part three of four.

Read part two here.

Historically, advent is entirely about anticipation, excitement and readying oneself for the coming of Jesus. Yet, during what has become the busiest and increasingly commercialized season of holidays, it doesn’t seem to matter that Christmas itself begins before Thanksgiving: we are a culture and people obsessed with all things jingle bells, but not exactly all things Jesus.

So, what are we getting wrong?

The reality is—we live, breathe and raise our families in a day and age that screams: hurry up! So, how do we counter the call to rush through the season so as to make time, space and room for Jesus the King to come?

Join me on a journey to discover how to take an unhurried approach to advent through taking—at least—an intentional 15 minutes every week with your family to check in with one another, read Scripture that relates to the advent theme and engage in listening prayer based on a prayer list you create with your family.

So before you go dashing through the snow, settle in for this four-week journey through advent with your loved ones.

Week 3: Jesus is Joy (December 15-21)

 5. Take five
Spend five minutes checking in with everyone. Ask simple questions like: How are you feeling today? What are you looking forward to this week? What brings you joy? When do you feel most joyful? Encourage everyone to share. Adapt the questions based on the age of your children, as necessary.

4. Read Scripture
Spend four minutes reading what Scripture says about the joy we find in Jesus. Talk about it.

  • Luke 2:9-10 (NIV)
    An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
  • 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)
    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.
  • Isaiah 12:6
    Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.
  • Proverbs 17:22
    A happy heart is like good medicine. But a broken spirit drains your strength.

 3. Do Good
Spend three minutes creating a list of ways to love God and love others this week. Then make a plan to do it! How can you share hope with someone in need this week?

 2. Make a list (check it twice)
Spend two minutes in prayer. Who can you pray for that needs to know Jesus as their joy? Pray for anyone who comes to mind. No fancy words required.

1. Listen up
Spend one minute listening* for Jesus’ response to your prayer. What did he say? Who or what did he bring to mind? Who can you encourage this week by letting them know they’ve been prayed for?

*This is the perfect way to practice listening prayer with your little ones. If they want to draw a picture that comes to mind as they listen, let them. God can speak through visions and pictures, too!

Sign up for the Do Good Digest, our weekly newsletter, and stay tuned next week for part four.


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