An unhurried approach to the season for families.

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

Read part three 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 4: Jesus is Love (December 22-25)

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 does love look or feel like? When do you feel most loved? How can you show love to your family, to a friend or someone you don’t know so well? 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 love we find in Jesus. Talk about it.

  •  John 3:16-17 (ESV)
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
  • Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
    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.
  • Bonus Reading: The Christmas Story in Luke 2:1-21

 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 love? 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!

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