CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONALS

What a wonderful time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ in your own space or together with your spouse or family. While there are a variety of traditions to enjoy in our stores or online,  we are offering two, (1) An Advent reflection for 4 Sundays and Christmas eve or Christmas day, and (2) Weekly fun, interaction and deeper reflection on 20 Christmas carols to discover the Biblical truths woven so beautifully into their timeless melodies. Please keep in mind that you are welcome to change the questions to fit your children’s or group’s learning styles and choose another video to sing along with. If you are using the PDF’s, you may need to refer to the online versions for some of the links. Finally, for another option, check out Simple Advent Activities for Your Family,” (by Paige Deruyscher, 11.21.17 for DaySpring Magazine and Online Forum).

We’d appreciate your feedback by emailing Pastor Jim Doylebut, parents, even more importantly, we’d love to have you grab your phones and video your children during your devotional times, and then have your permission to possibly use a portion of your footage in our Christmas Eve services. Please email your videos to Joseph Carlson, our Production Manager. Thank you so much and God bless you this Christmas season.

 

1st Sunday of Advent
ADVENT: PREPARATION

The four Sundays leading up to Christmas eve are a precious time to prepare our hearts in remembrance of the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ. In fact, Advent means Coming, and while we are preparing to receive Christ, we can also lean forward with great expectation for the 2nd Coming of our Lord.

To begin many advent displays have a wreath for the base (optional wreath with candles). The evergreen symbolizes God’s everlasting love for His creation and like a circle having no end, the wreath symbolizes eternal life in Christ. Then there are typically 4 candles placed around the circular wreath, usually 4 purple candles, although the third candle is sometimes pink. Finally, there is another white candle, representing Christ, to be placed in the middle. Another option is to provide a nativity scene hunt for children to experience and interact with. More will be explained as each Sunday unfolds. If you don’t already have a nativity display, here is an optional nativity scene to purchase, but you might find one cheaper elsewhere.

 

THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: PROPHECY

Theme: HOPE

Talk about: (1) How do you feel when someone keeps their promise to you? (2) What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Candle Lighting Option:  You can count on God keeping His promise. From the words of His prophets in the Bible, God promised the coming birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. This was the HOPE of the prophets, and it came true. Read Isaiah 40:3-5; 7:14; 9:2, and as you light the first purple candle, rejoice over His promise kept. What a great hope the prophets foretold about that we have in Jesus’ birth and look forward to Him coming again.

Nativity Option: At this time you can pull out the manger portion of your nativity scene or have your children go and find it in your home. But don’t forget to remind them that they can be hopeful in finding it. When they do find it and bring it to you to set out on display, you can share that we all can count on God keeping His promise. From the words of His prophets in the Bible, God promised the coming birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is what the prophets hoped for and it came true. Read Isaiah 40:3-5; 7:14; 9:2, and rejoice over His promise kept. What a great hope the prophets foretold about that we have in Jesus’ birth and look forward to Him coming again. 

Close by writing down as many promises God has kept that you can think of. Thank Him in prayer for these promises, the great hope you have in Him.

PDF for the 1st Sunday of Advent

 

 

 

1st Week of Christmas

This first week of devotions of Christmas carols is focused on the blessed hope of the coming of Jesus Christ!

 

WEEK ONE – DAY 1

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

“On Christmas Eve in 1865, Phillips Brooks (1835-93) rode the perilous journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, to assist at the midnight service in the Church of the Nativity. Two years later, back in Massachusetts, he was inspired by the experience to write this carol for his Sunday school at Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia.” (The Telegraph, telegraph.co.uk)

Video Song with Lyrics

 

Words to: O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light; The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and, gathered all above; While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth. And praises sing to God the King. And peace to men on earth.

Hallelujah to the Lord Hallelujah to the Lord

Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in; Be born in us today! 
We hear the Christmas angels The great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Hallelujah to the Lord
Hallelujah to the Lord

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • What words talk about Jesus in the song?
  • Make a room as dark as you/your family desire to. Then, turn on a flashlight, pointing it toward the ceiling. Talk about how the littlest of light can brighten a dark space and compare that to Jesus coming into the world.
  • Read Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:11. What do these verses tell you about who Jesus is?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. What does the phrase, “hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight,” mean to you?
  2. How to you see the effects of the cross in the song?
  3. Read John 1:14; 15:1-8. Draw a conclusion about abiding.
  4. What steps do you plan to take to commit even more to abiding in Christ?

PDF FOR O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

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WEEK ONE – DAY 2

O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL

“A Christian hymn for Advent and Christmas. It is a translation of a Latin hymn, “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.” The 1861 translation, by John Mason Neale. While the hymn as we find it today was first published in the mid 19th century, its origins are actually found in a Benedictine Gregorian chant from the late 8th and 9th century. History tells us that beginning the week before Christmas, the monks would sing a verse a day to prepare their hearts and minds for Christmas. What’s fascinating about the original seven verses is that each began with a Messianic title from the Scriptures that prophesied and foreshadowed Jesus’ Coming (Wisdom, God, Stem or Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of the Gentiles and God with us).” (Daniel Im at damielim.com)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words to: O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL

O come, O come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer Our spirits by Thine advent here. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Refrain

O Come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things far and nigh; To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

O Come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind. Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease; Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace. Refrain

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Emmanuel means God with us? How do you feel about God wanting to be with you?
  • The word, Dayspring, refers to Jesus bringing people out of the dark and into the light. This makes people feel good. How do you want to put a smile on someone’s face, for Jesus, this Christmas season?
  • The Desire of nations…is about the hope we have in Jesus who will one day return to bring us home with Him. What do you hope for this Christmas? What do you think Jesus would want you to hope for?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. How have you come to terms with your belief and trust in Christ who is already, but not yet? (Consider: Ephesians 1:7 with 4:30)
  2. Read the following references and write down your thoughts on longing: Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; and Galatians 5:5.
  3. How do you maintain joy in the midst of heartache, struggles, or discouragement?

PDF FOR O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL

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WEEK ONE – DAY 3

IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

“Edmund H. Sears wrote this song in the context of the social strife that plagued the country as the Civil War approached. This hymn comes from a Boston publication, Christian Register, published on Dec. 29, 1849. The poem/song sheds light on the poet’s concerns about the social situation in the U.S. in the mid-19th century.” (Discipleship Ministries, umcdisciplship.org))

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words to: IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, good will to men, from heaven’s all-gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing. 

For lo! The days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold, when the new heave and earth shall own the Prince of Peace, their King, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

 

GAME IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individual or families to respond to:

  • Read Luke 2:13-14
  • Can you think of any words that describe peace?
  • What causes the opposite of peace at home, school, work, or the world?
  • What do the following verses tell you about peace? (John 16:33; Psalm 29:11; Romans 5:1)

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. This song was written just before the Civil War was to begin. There was very little peace in our nation at the time. Where do you observe little to no peace in your world today?
  2. Read Romans 8:6, Colossians 3:15, Galatians 5:22, and Philippians 4:6-7 to determine how you can pursue peace.
  3. Do you believe it’s possible to experience peace on this side of Heaven?
  4. What does the phrase, “Peace on earth, good will toward men, from Heaven’s all-gracious King,” mean to you personally? (Luke 2:13-14)

PDF FOR IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

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WEEK `ONE – DAY 4

ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

“Originally written and published in French, then translated and published in English in 1862 by James Chadwick. French legend indicates that in medieval times on Christmas Eve, the shepherds would sing and call to one another from one hillside to another. They would call ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ which means ‘glory to God in the highest’ in Latin. It was how they would spread their holiday message and cheer from points far away to one another.” (Diana Leagh Matthews, dianaleaghmatthews.com)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words to: ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains; And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains

Gloria, in excelsis Deo Gloria, in excelsis Deo

Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo Gloria, in excelsis Deo

Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing, Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo Gloria, in excelsis Deo

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • How would you feel if a whole bunch of angels just appeared out of nowhere?
  • Either in the song or from Luke 2:8-14, what do you hear or read the angels singing about?
  • What is it about the birth of Jesus that makes us want to sing about it?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. When and how did God “burst” into your life?
  2. Have you ever felt like a “shepherd,” experiencing a tough time in life, and God broke through to bless you and lift you up?
  3. What do the words, “Gloria, in Excelsis Deo,” (Glory to God in the highest) mean to you personally? (Luke 2:14)
  4. This song speaks of the “mountains in reply.” In what way(s) does this phrase have to do with your response to the coming of Jesus?

PDF OF ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

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WEEK ONE – DAY 5

I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

“The celebrated literary critic and poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a 57-year-old widowed father of six children, the oldest of which had been nearly paralyzed as his country fought the Civil War, wrote a poem on Christmas day, 1863. He sought to capture the dynamic and dissonance in his own heart and the world he observed around him. He heard the Christmas bells that December day and the singing of “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14), but he observed the world of injustice and violence that seemed to mock the truthfulness of this optimistic outlook. The theme of listening recurred throughout the poem, eventually leading to a settledness of confident hope even in the midst of bleak despair.” (By Justin Taylor, 12.21.14. thegospelcoalition.org)

SONG VIDEO WITH LYRICS

 

Words to: I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then ringing, singing on its way The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more, loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men”

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Where do you or should you go for help when you are sad?
  • Memorize Luke 2:14. What do you think God wants to tell us through Luke, one of the Gospel writers?
  • Talk about what the line in the song, God is not dead, nor doth He sleep,” means to you?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. When life has seemed hopeless, like it did at the time to Longfellow, who or what have you had a tendency to turned to? And why?
  2. How do you maintain hope and strive for joy in the midst of a hopeless and darkened world?
  3. How do the following references encourage you? (2 Timothy 1:7; Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 23:4; 27:1; Luke 12:25; Romans 8:38-39)

PDF FOR I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Sunday of Advent
THE 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT: BETHLEHEM

Theme: LOVE

Talk about: (1) Compare what it would be like to drive in a car for 70 miles (Carlsbad to parts of Los Angeles) to riding on a donkey or walking for the same distance. (This is approximately how far Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem.) (2) Are you traveling to someone’s house this Christmas? What gifts could you bring to show you love Jesus who shows you how to live?

Candle Lighting Option:  Go ahead and light the HOPE candle first. Then, read Luke 2:1-7 as you light the 2nd candle and talk about how it symbolizes the LOVE of God for Mary & Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem. This is a wonderful anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nativity Option: Now you can add the animals and Mary & Joseph to your nativity scene or have your children go and find them in your home. Point out that the bringing of the animals along with Mary & Joseph represent the journey to Bethlehem Read Luke 2:1-7 and be excited for the birth of Jesus Christ.

Close by talking and praying about your journey with Christ right now. In other words, how would you describe your relationship with Jesus: Getting out to far ahead of Jesus, following Him closely, lagging behind on the trail, or falling off the trail.

PDF FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

2ND WEEK OF CHRISTMAS

This second week of devotions of Christmas carols is focused on the love of God for Mary & Joseph on their journey, the expectation of the birth of Jesus Christ and our need to come to Him.

THE SECOND WEEK OF CHRISTMAS

WEEK TWO – DAY 6

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

“Noel and Gloria Regney wrote Do You Hear What I hear? Around October 1962. It’s A timeless Christmas prayer for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Cold War. The Regneys usually collaborated using the exact opposite method – Gloria would write the words and Noel would write the music. This time they switched roles. Gloria Regney later said, ‘Noel wrote a beautiful song and I wrote the music. We couldn’t sing it through; it broke us up. We cried. Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time.’” (By Kathy Warners, historybecauseitshere.weebly.com)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words to: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see a star, a star, dancing in the night With a tail as big as a kite With a tail as big as a kite.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear ringing through the sky, shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear a song, a song, high above the trees With a voice as big as the sea With a voice as big as the sea.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, do you know what I know In your palace warm, mighty king, do you know what I know a Child, a Child shivers in the cold Let us bring Him silver and gold Let us bring Him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere, listen to what I say pray for peace, people everywhere! listen to what I say the Child, the Child, sleeping in the night He will bring us goodness and light He will bring us goodness and light.

 

Game Idea – Do You Hear What I Hear?” Game. Get 5 to 7 boxes and fill each one with different quantities of jingle bells. (You can get everything inexpensively at stores like The Dollar Tree.) Make a scorecard and each person needs to lift, shake and listen for the number of jingles bells in each box and then write that number down to see if they got it right.

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • What can you see around you that makes you think about God?
  • What have you heard from church, your parents, your friends about Jesus?
  • What do you know about Jesus? (Read Isaiah 9:1-7 and Luke 19:10)

 

Digging Deeper

  1. What does the goodness of God mean to you personally? (Consider: Exodus 34:6; Psalms 23:6; 145:5-9; James 1:17)
  2. Darkness is all around us. It was in Noel Regney’s day and it will be here long after us until Christ returns. But by contrast, make a list and dwell on where you see, hear and know about the light of the Lord that shines brightly.
  3. Examine the following short list of references and determine how you are going to be a light in your circles of influence: Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8; I Peter 2:9-12.

PDF FOR DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

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WEEK TWO – DAY 7

WE THREE KINGS

“‘We Three Kings’, also known as ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ or ‘The Quest of the Magi’, is a Christmas hymn that was penned by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857. Hopkins wrote ‘We Three Kings’ for a Christmas pageant held at the General Theological Seminary, in New York City, where he taught music. Hopkins wrote both the lyrics and music to ‘We Three Kings’ which was very uncommon for hymn writers of the day.” (Diana Leagh Matthews, dianaleaghmatthews.com)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words for: WE THREE KINGS

We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.

Refrain: O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him again,  King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign. [Refrain]

Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh; prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him, God most high. [Refrain]

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. [Refrain]

Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Heaven sings Alleluia, Alleluia, the earth replies. [Refrain]

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Most likely, the wise men did not believe in Jesus. Hopefully later they did. How does that make you feel knowing God accepts everyone who comes to Him?
  • Read Matthew 2:1-2. Jesus was already born, probably around 2 yrs. old. How would you feel if strangers came to your door with their strange, but very expensive gifts to give to you?
  • The gifts: (1) Gold was the treasure of kings, (2) Frankincense was used in worship of God, and (3) Myrrh was the most expensive gift, a spice used for funerals and burial services (John 19:39).Now, think or talk about how these gifts apply to Jesus.

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. “These magi were pagan specialists in the supernatural, experts in astrology, magic, and divination, blatant violators of Old Testament law — and they came to worship Jesus,” (desiringgod.org). By contrast, can you recall being more prone to write off people like this?
  2. These would be similar people to whom Nebuchadnezzar would have first called on to interpret his dreams before Daniel (Daniel 2:2). Moses (Deuteronomy 18:9-14), Isaiah (47:11-15), Peter (Acts 8) and Paul (Acts 13:6-12) all spoke out against such engagement in these magical arts. What conclusion(s) to you draw from these wise men’s prominence in the Gospel narratives? (Read Luke 2:1-19)
  3. What do you desire to bring to Jesus this Christmas season to honor Him?

PDF FOR WE THREE KINGS

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WEEK TWO – DAY 8

MARY, DID YOU KNOW?

“Singer, songwriter and comedian Mark Lowry wrote that song back in 1984, inspired by a Christmas program he was working on for church. It wasn’t until seven years later that Buddy Greene wrote the music and sang it for Mark over the phone. While Michael English and Kathy Mattea were the first to record it, it has since graced the lips of dozens of artists—people like Vickie Winans, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, Cee Lo Green and a cappella group Pentatonix.” (By Tiffany Jothen, Billy Graham Evangelistic Society, billygraham.org)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words for: MARY, DID YOU KNOW?

Mary did you know That your baby boy will one day walk on water? Mary did you know That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? Did you know That your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know? The blind will see; The deaf will hear, and the dead will live again. The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am

Oh, Mary, did you know?

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Have you ever been afraid to do the right thing because of what others might think of you?
  • Read Luke 1:30-38. Do you think it would have been okay for Mary to freak out when the angel told her she was going to have a baby? Why do you think Mary handled it so well? (v.38)
  • Find as many words or phrases in the song that you think describe Jesus as God.

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. What do you think is the difference between Mary knowing Jesus, but perhaps not knowing right away that He was and is God?
  2. Read Luke 1:30-38. Describe Mary’s faith in spite of the culture’s stance on getting pregnant out of wedlock.
  3. Has or is the Lord asking you to do something extraordinary or just something you are afraid to step out to do for Him?
  4. Compare the following references to this song for confirmation on the deity of Jesus: John 1:14; 8:58; 10:30; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:8; Matthew 28:9 

PDF FOR MARY, DID YOU KNOW?

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WEEK TWO – DAY 9

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

“The Latin version of this carol, ‘Adeste Fideles’, was written by John Francis Wade (1711-86), who fled England after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion to teach music in the school for British Roman Catholic exiles in Douai in France. It was first published in 1760, The English translation was made by Frederick Oakley and William Brooke in 1841.” (By Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, telegraph.co.uk)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS  

 

Words for: O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold him Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×) Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above! Glory to God, glory in the highest: O come, let us adore Him, (3×) Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given! Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! O come, let us adore Him, (3×) Christ the Lord.

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • What do you think it would be like to hear a choir of angels?
  • Why do you think you should come to Jesus or praise Him? (Read Psalm 150:6; 92)
  • What can you praise God for? (Read Matthew 19:26; I Corinthians 1:9; Psalm 86:15; I John 1:9)

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. In what ways do the following verses relate to this carol? (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Revelation 5:13;
  2. Write down any words you can think of from Scripture that describe Jesus and take a moment to praise Him.
  3. Word in flesh, now appearing,” (John 1:1-2, 14). What does this phrase mean to you personally? (Consider Philippians 2: 5-11)
  4. How do you want to develop a daily habit of adoration to God?

PDF FOR O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

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WEEK TWO – DAY 10

THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

“Before it became world famous as the ‘Little Drummer Boy,’ the song was originally titled ‘Carol of the Drums’ because of the repeating line ‘pa rum pum pum pum,’ which imitates the sound of a drum. It’s not certain who wrote the song, but the “Little Drummer Boy” is believed to have been written by Katherine K. Davis in 1941. The song lyrics are said to be based on an old Czech carol. It was recorded for Decca as ‘Carol of the Drum’ by the Trapp Family Singers in 1951 and credited to Davis. But Davis isn’t the only person credited with writing the song. According to some reports, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone penned the lyrics to the song.” (By Espie Estrella, liveabout.com)

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY:

Come they told me Pa rum pum pum-pum A newborn King to see Pa rum pum pum-pum Our finest gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum-pum To lay before the king Pa rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum So to honor Him Pa rum pum pum-pum When we come.

Little baby Pa rum pum pum-pum I am a poor boy too Pa rum pum pum-pum I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum-pum That’s fit to give our King Pa rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum Shall I play for you Pa rum pum pum-pum On my drum.

Mary nodded Pa rum pum pum-pum The ox and lamb kept time Pa rum pum pum-pum I played my drum for Him Pa rum pum pum-pum I played my best for Him Pa rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum Rum pum pum-pum Then He smiled at me Pa rum pum pum-pum Me and my drum.

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • What do you think Jesus wants you to give to Him?
  • Read I Corinthians 10:31 and talk about how this verse ties in with this song.
  • Name some ways you can do your best for Jesus?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Do you recall the time in your life when you believed you didn’t have anything to offer to God, realizing you simply needed Jesus? What was that moment like?
  2. What gift or gifts that God has crafted you with to honor Him by using them for His Kingdom work? (Romans 12:3-21)
  3. Read the following references and summarize what it mean to do your best: Colossians 3:17, 23-24; 2 Timothy 2:15; I Corinthians 9:24-25; Proverbs 13:14; Titus 2:7; 3:1-2; Proverbs 16:3.

PDF FOR THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Sunday of Advent
THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT: SHEPHERDS

Theme: JOY

Talk about: (1) Have you ever been afraid of anything? (2) Do you remember when you experienced so much joy? What was going on at the time?

Candle Lighting Option:  Go ahead and light the HOPE candle first. It’s a reminder of the hope or promise God gave us about Jesus Christ. Next, light the 2nd candle, symbolizing the LOVE God has for us as we come to Jesus. Then, read Luke 2:8-15 as you light the 3rd candle (purple or pink) and talk about the JOY and excitement we should have in coming to Jesus and to not be afraid.  

Nativity Option: Now you can add the shepherd(s) to your nativity scene or have your children go and find them in your home. After reading Luke 2:8-15, talk about the joy and excitement we should have in coming to Jesus and to not be afraid.  

Close by talking and praying about bring any fears to Jesus and the joy you can have because of Him.

PDF FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

3RD WEEK OF CHRISTMAS

This third week of devotions of Christmas carols is focused on joy and excitement to come to see to Jesus. 

 

WEEK THREE – DAY 11

JOY TO THE WORLD

“Joy to the world” is perhaps an unlikely popular Christmas hymn. First of all, it is based on a psalm, and, second, it celebrates Christ’s second coming much more than the first. This favorite Christmas hymn is the result of a collaboration of at least three people and draws its initial inspiration not from the Christmas narrative in Luke 2, but from Psalm 98. The first collaborator was the English poet and dissenting clergyman, Isaac Watts (1674-1748). He paraphrased the entire Psalm 98 in two parts, and it first appeared in his famous collection, The Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719). “Joy to the world” was taken from the second part of the paraphrase (Psalm 98:4-9), entitled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom.” (Discipleship Ministries, United Methodist Church, umcdisciplship.org)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words for: JOY TO THE WORLD

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!  Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Note: This 3rd stanza is almost always left out: No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love, and wonders of His love, and wonders, wonders of His love.

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statement for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Find any hints of Christmas in this song?
  • What makes you excited about the celebrating the birth of Jesus?
  • Discuss that Jesus didn’t remain a baby. He grew up and died for our sins and will one day return to bring us to Heaven with Him.

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Read Psalm 98. What do you understand the joy of the Gospel message to be?
  2. How is joy a perfect link between Christ’s 1st and 22nd Comings?
  3. In what way(s) do you believe the words, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” are true today?
  4. Reflect on how Hebrews 9:11-28 relates to Joy To The World.

PDF FOR JOY TO THE WORLD

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WEEK THREE- DAY 12

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

“Many scholars believe Frederick Jerome Work (1880-1942) wrote “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” Work was an African-American composer and scholar who collected and arranged spirituals, including this one in 1907. Even though he earned his Master’s in Latin and went on to teach ancient Latin and Greek, his first love continued to be music, and he went on to become the first African-American collector of these spirituals. This actually was a difficult task for Work as they were passed down verbally. Very few were ever written down. But Work proved up to the challenge, publishing his first book, New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Go Tell It On The Mountain was published in his second book.”  (Discipleship Ministries, umcdiscipleship.org)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Refrain:
Go, tell it on the mountain,  over the hills and everywhere; go, tell it on the mountain  that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light. [Refrain]

The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior‘s birth. [Refrain]

Down in a lowly manger the humble Christ was born, and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn. [Refrain]

 

CRAFT IDEAS

Use white construction paper so kids can color it and/or write on it what they want others to know about Jesus.

 

Questions/statements for individual or families to respond to:

  • Shepherding was a lowly messy job and shepherd weren’t thought of too highly, and yet God chose them to come to Jesus followed by empowering them to let their world know about Him. This is an example that God gives anyone who follows Him the courage to share the Good News of Jesus. Do you think it’s possible that He can help you have the courage to share His Good News?
  • What do you think you are supposed to tell? What is the Good News? (Read John 3:16)
  • To whom can you tell it? (Practice with your family or friends, then pray that you’ll have a chance to talk to a friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus yet.)
  • Where can you go to tell? (Read Matthew 28:18-20)

 

Diggin Deeper:

  1. Keep in mind that this song was written on the heels of slavery and the aftermath of the Civil War. It was a dark time in the history of our nation, and yet people, like Fredrick Jerome Work could write and sing about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Describe the Good News of Jesus (His goodness) in and through your life, perhaps in spite of struggles you have had?
  2. Write down people in your circles of influence who need to have the same hope that you have in Christ and begin praying for them? Also, pray for the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them.
  3. If you only have a moment with someone, consider using Romans 6:23, “For the wages (something you earn) of sin (anything that falls short of God’s perfect and holy standard) is death (separation from God forever, which the Bible calls hell), BUT (something is coming) the free gift (we cannot buy or earn it) of God (only comes from Him) is eternal life (this is the gift, the Good News) in Christ Jesus our lord (this gift comes from God through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ on the cross). There you have it, the gospel/good news in one verse. Practice it…draw it out on a napkin, etc.

PDF FOR GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN

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WEEK THREE – DAY 13

WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCH THEIR FLOCKS
VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCH THEIR FLOCKS

While shepherd watched their flocks by night, All seated on the ground, The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around.

‘Fear not’ said he (for mighty dread Had seized their troubled mind); ‘Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind.’

To you in David’s town this day Is born of David’s line A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord; And this shall be the sign:

The heavenly babe you there shall find To human view displayed, All meanly wrapped in swathing bands, And in a manger laid.

‘All glory be to God on high And to the earth be peace; good will henceforth from heaven to men Begin and never cease.’

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Read 2:8-15. Who would you go to first to share the about Jesus’ birth?
  • Why do you think God chose the outcasts of the community to first share this news?
  • The shepherds were pretty fearful when the angels showed up. How would you feel if a 100 angels just showed up in your bedroom to give you great news?
  • This may be challenging, but have a brief discussion on baby Jesus being, “Christ the Lord.” (v.11)

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Read Matthew 9:10-17; John 8:1-11; Mark 1:40-45. These are examples of Jesus caring for the unloved. Write down a person, in your circles of influence, whom you believe needs a helping hand, an encouraging word, the Good New of Jesus Christ. Begin by praying for that person, asking the lord to give you the courage to reach out to that person and the wisdom to know what to do. Then take action.
  2. Pull out a concordance or use the index in the back of your Bible to find as many references as you can when God said, “Don’t Be Afraid.” Reflect on the significance of the circumstances surrounding those words.
  3. “Christ the Lord.” Christ means Anointed One (Gk.) or Messiah (Heb.), and the word, Lord, is only attributed to Jesus because He alone is the sovereign God of Heaven and earth. What do these powerful descriptions of baby Jesus mean to you personally? (Read Luke 2:8-15)

PDF FOR WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCH THEIR FLOCKS

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WEEK THREE – DAY 14

GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN

“The carol originates from 16th-century England and the earliest known printed edition was published in 1760. It has been known by different names throughout history, including ‘God Bless You, Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘God Rest Ye, Merry Christians’, and even makes an appearance in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, early on when Scrooge is terrifying carol singers with his foul temper.” (By Rosie Pentreath, Classic FM, classicfm.com)

“With the changing of word meanings and difference in cultures, it is hard for Americans today to understand what the English peasants were singing about 500 years ago-unless you know the story behind the song. The 15th century church sang only dark, somber songs usually written in Latin. When Christmas rolled around each year, songs of joy and happiness were not allowed in the church. To overcome this problem, the people took the singing of Christmas songs to the streets of jolly old London town. Soon, the waites, the night watchmen of that time, would be singing God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen as they walked the streets of London.” (by Adam Miller, One Place, oneplace.com)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN

God rest ye merry gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay; For Jesus Christ our Saviour Was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan’s pow’r, when we were gone astray; O tidings of comfort and joy Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our Heavenly Father, A blessed angel came; And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same; How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by Name. O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy.

‘Fear not,’ said the angel, Let nothing you affright; This day is born a Savior Of a pure virgin bright, to free all those who trust in Him From Satan’s power and might.’ O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises, and with true love and brotherhood, each other now embrace; This holy tide of Christmas All other doth deface. O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy.

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Today, the word, merry, means cheerful, joyous, laughing. How have you felt when you are around this kind of person?
  • When this song was written, merry meant mighty and powerful. How do you think the birth of Jesus helps with turning the weakness of fear into the power of joy and peace? (Read Jeremiah 23:1-6)
  • Is there someone you know who is being bullied? How can you pray for and give them courage, like God has given you courage because of the birth of Jesus?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Read Psalm 46:1-3; Proverbs 18:10; Nehemiah 8:10; Deuteronomy 31:6; John 14:26-27. What do these references tell you about God’s comfort in times of distress?
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-9; 12:7-10 and come to an understanding of why we suffer at times?
  3. How do you suppose it’s possible to experience comfort (rest) and joy in the midst of heartache?

PDF FOR GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN

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WEEK THREE – DAY 15

THE FIRST NOEL

“History hasn’t preserved the record of how the music for ‘The First Noel’ came to be written, but some historians think that the traditional melody originated in France as early as the 1200s. By the 1800s, the melody had become popular in England, and people had added some simple words to sing the song outside when celebrating Christmas together in their villages. Englishmen William B. Sandys and Davies Gilbert collaborated to write additional words and set them to music in the 1800s, and Sandys published the resulting song as ‘The First Noel’ in his book Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, which he published in 1823.” (liveabout.com)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: THE FIRST NOEL

The first Noel the angel did say  was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. 

Refrain: Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel. 

They looked up and saw a star shining in the east, beyond them far; and to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night. [Refrain]

Then entered in those Wise Men three, full reverently upon the knee, and offered there, in his presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain]

Then let us all with one accord, sing praises to our heavenly Lord; that hath made heaven and earth of naught, and with His blood, mankind hath bought. [Refrain]

And by the light of that same star three Wise Men came from country far; to seek for a king was their intent, and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]

This star drew nigh to the northwest, o’er Bethlehem it took its rest; and there it did both stop and stay, right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statement for individuals or families to respond to:

  • The word, Noel, in different countries, has meant news, shouts of joy, and even birth, but it doesn’t refer to just any birth. It’s about the birth of Jesus. Why do you think this song makes such a big deal about announcing Jesus’ birth?
  • Why do you think God chose a star to let wise men know where Jesus was born?
  • Read Luke 2:14, 20, which speak of the angels and the shepherds rejoicing over the birth of Jesus Christ. How does Jesus’ birth make you feel?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. In the Dark Ages, when this song was written there was very little Biblical literacy, which is why the 2nd stanza is about the shepherds following the star. But really the heart of the matter is found in the last stanza, “Then let us all with one accord, sing praises to our heavenly Lord.” What’s more important, is that you step out to share the love of Christ or that you wait until you have all the “right” words to say?
  2. What does the information about the wise men tell you about the Lord’s open arms? (Read Luke 15:20; John 6:37; Deuteronomy 4:29;   2 Chronicles 30:18-20)
  3. How do the words, “with His blood, mankind hath bought,” impact you personally?

PDF FOR THE FIRST NOEL

4th Sunday of Advent
THE 4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT: ANGELS

Theme: PEACE

Talk about: (1) Do you know what peace means? (2) When have you felt most at peace?

Candle Lighting Option:  Go ahead and light the HOPE candle first. It’s a reminder of the hope or promise God gave us about Jesus Christ. Next, light the 2nd candle, symbolizing the LOVE God has for us as we come to Jesus. Then light the 3rd candle again, which symbolizes JOY and excitement we should have in coming to Jesus and to not be afraid.  Finally read Luke 2:15-20 as you light the 4th candle. This candle represents the PEACE that Jesus brought into the world by ultimately saving us from sin by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

Nativity Option: Now you can add the angel(s) and wise men to your nativity scene or have your children go and find them in your home. After reading Luke 2:15-20, talk about the angels declaring peace through Jesus Christ.

Close by talking and praying about how salvation in Jesus brings peace into our lives.

PDF FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY FOR ADVENT

4TH WEEK OF CHRISTMAS

This fourth week of devotions of Christmas carols is focused on the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

 

WEEK FOUR – DAY 16

HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING

“Originally written by Charles Wesley, 1739. Words and Music change in 1758 by George Whitfield, and later changed to what we have today in 1961. He wrote hymns and Christmas Carols to teach the poor and Biblically illiterate sound doctrine because they couldn’t afford to pay for any Scripture that was available during this time period in any written form.” (By Andrew Rinaldi, Godtube, godtube.com)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’ angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem; Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King.

Christ by highest Heave’n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord; Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings; Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the some of earth, Born to give them second birth; Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King.

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Circle and reflect on or talk about all the names you can find that describe Jesus in this song.
  • Consider or discuss why you think Jesus was born? (Hint: Healing, Light and Life)
  • Come to an understanding of reconciliation.
  • Quick Fun Exercise: Stretch one hand has high in the air as you can. This represents God in the heavens with His angels. At the same time, stretch your other hand as far down towards the floor as you can. This represents you and me. Now bring your hands together with a loud clap. This represents God restoring our relationship with Him through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Kristi Hill Music 2019) (Read John 3:16)

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. What does the phrase, “Mild He lays His glory by,” mean to you?
  2. What does it mean to you for Jesus to be fully God and fully man at the same time? Quote: “He veiled His holiness in human flesh,” (Kristi Hill music 2019)
  3. What does the phrase, “Late in time behold him come,” mean to you? (Consider Hebrews 1:2)
  4. John Wesley interpreted Luke 2:14 “Good will toward men,” as “God and sinners reconciled,” in his song. What do these phrases mean to you personally? (Consider Colossians 1:19-22)

PDF FOR HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING

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WEEK FOUR – DAY 17

 

O HOLY NIGHT

In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissionaire of wines in a small French town. Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Placide when his parish priest asked the commissionaire to pen a poem for Christmas mass. Nevertheless, the poet was honored to share his talents with the church. In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France’s capital city, Placide Cappeau considered the priest’s request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present on the blessed night inspired him. By the time he arrived in Paris, “Cantique de Noel” had been completed. Moved by his own work, Cappeau decided that his “Cantique de Noel” was not just a poem, but a song in need of a master musician’s hand. Not musically inclined himself, the poet turned to one of his friends, Adolphe Charles Adams. Adams’ finished work pleased both poet and priest. The song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. (By Beliefnet, beleifnet.com)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: O HOLY NIGHT

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appear’d and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born; O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, And in His name all oppression shall cease; Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we; Let all within us praise His holy name; Christ is the Lord! Let ever ever praise Thee, Noel, Noel O night, o night divine. Noel, Noel, O night, o night divine; Noel, Noel O night, o night divine!

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • Why do you think God values you? (Read Matthew 6:25-27)
  • Being a baby was just the beginning for Jesus. Why do you think is it so much more important to keep going to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus?
  • How do you think the words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appear’d and the soul felt its worth,” relate to Romans 3:23 & 6:23?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. What is it about this song that cannot stop at Jesus’ birth? (Read Isaiah 53:5)
  2. Describe the value that God places on you because of Christ?
  3. What is you state of mind and heart when you imagine “sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus?” How can you exhibit this attitude and actions in spite of any turmoil going on in your life?
  4. What is it that you want to stop right now and praise Him for?

PDF FOR O HOLY NIGHT

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WEEK FOUR – DAY 18

 

AWAY IN THE MANGER

“Away in a Manger” is a Christmas carol first published in the late nineteenth century and used widely throughout the English-speaking world. In Britain, it is one of the most beloved carols; a 1996 Gallup Poll ranked it joint second. The popularity of the carol has led to many variants in the lyrics. The two most-common musical compositions are by William J. Kirkpatrick (1895) and James Ramsey Murray (1887). (God Tube Staff, godtube.com)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: AWAY IN THE MANGER

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head; the stars in the heavens looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes. I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay close by me forever and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • What does this song tell you about Jesus? (Hint: consider humility)
  • Why is it comforting to know that Jesus became human?
  • “Be near me, Lord Jesus.” Do you suppose God wants the same, to be near to you too?

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Read Hebrews 4:14-15. How do you think Away In The Manger relate to this verse?
  2. Read Hebrews 4:16. How do you see this verse tied in with the nearness of God in Christ?
  3. Wanting to be near to God this time of the year can be wonderful and it can also be a challenge because of our life experiences. What are you wrestling with? Take time to release it to the One who understand you and loves you so deeply, and Who will never let you down.

PDF FOR AWAY IN THE MANGER

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WEEK FOUR – DAY 19

 

WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

At the time of creating this hymn, This carol first appeared in Christmas Carols New and Old (1867). It was written by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898). He wrote many Christmas and Easter carols, but the most widely known is “What Child Is This?” written about 1865 and set to the traditional folk melody, “Greensleeves,” (The Carols We Love, by Daniel Partner). Dix served as an insurance company manager and had been struck by a critical illness. While recovering, he experienced a spiritual revival that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to “What Child is This?” Although it was formulated in Great Britain, the hymn is more popular in the United States than in its country of origin today, (godtube.com).

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

What Child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch, are keeping?

Chorus: This, this is Christ, the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing: Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh, Come, peasant, king to own Him. The King of kings, salvation brings; Let loving hearts enthrone Him. [Chorus] 

Raise, raise a song on high, The virgin sings her lullaby; Joy, joy for Christ is born, The babe, the Son of Mary. [Chorus]

 

CRAFT IDEAS

 

Questions/statements for individuals and families to respond to:

  • Who is Jesus to you?
  • What do you think: Could anyone who saw baby Jesus, imagine He was God?
  • The King of kings salvation brings: Read Romans 5:8 and talk about how Jesus brought salvation.

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. Various people in history have viewed Jesus as a “good teacher, a good example, a madman, a religious fake, a man without fault, an emperor of love, a highest model of religion, a superstar,” (“What Child Is This?” Grace To You Ministries, Dec. 24, 1972, gty.org). What words do you use to describe Jesus Christ?
  2. Examine the following short list of references to get a taste what the Bible says about Jesus Christ: John 1:1-18; 10:30; 20:28; Philippians 2:1-11; Hebrews 1:1-4.
  3. What does the following sentence mean to you? The Kingdom of God is where Jesus is.

PDF FOR WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

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WEEK FOUR – DAY 20

SILENT NIGHT

Silent Night—or Stille Nacht in the original German—was created because Josef Mohr needed a carol for worship. On Christmas Eve of 1818, Mohr visited Franz Xaver Gruber, a local schoolteacher who would become organist at Old Saint Nicholas Church with a poem he had written a few years earlier. Gruber quickly arranged the song to be played on a guitar with a choir because the church organ was broken. That evening at Midnight Mass, Gruber strapped on his guitar and led the congregation at St. Nicholas in the first rendition of Silent Night. Later in the 1800s, the hymn was translated into English and made its way to America by way of a book called Sunday School Hymnal, though with only three of the original six verses. Today, Silent Night is perhaps the most famous Christmas carol in history. It has been translated into most languages, and the Bing Crosby version is the third-bestselling single in history. (By Ryan Reeves, The Gospel Coalition, thegospelcoalition.org)

 

VIDEO SONG WITH LYRICS

 

Words For: SILENT NIGHT

Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright; ’round yon virgin mother and child! Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar, heav’nly hosts sing: “Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born!”

Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light radiant beams from Thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth! Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!

 

CRAFT IDEA

 

Questions/statements for individuals or families to respond to:

  • When you read or listen to the words of this son, how does it make you feel? (Read I Peter 5:7)
  • When you think about the peace of Jesus what other words come to mind?
  • How does the peace of Jesus help you through sad moments? (Read Philippians 4:6-7)

 

Digging Deeper:

  1. How is it possible for Jesus to be our Savior and our Lord at the same time?
  2. Look up in your Bible index or in a concordance about the peace that Jesus brings?
  3. Read Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 6:34; John 14:27; Psalm 56:3. What do these references tell you about Jesus in the midst of your struggles?

PDF FOR SILENT NIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day For Advent
THE CHRISTMAS EVE OR CHRISTMAS DAY ADVENT: JESUS IS BORN!

Theme: Emmanuel, God With Us!

Talk about: Try making making your room as dark as you feel safe to do so. Then turn on a flashlight with low light and talk about how much you see even with a little light.

Candle Lighting Option:  Go ahead and light the HOPE candle first. It’s a reminder of the hope or promise God gave us about Jesus Christ. Next, light the 2nd candle, symbolizing the LOVE God has for us as we come to Jesus. Then light the 3rd candle again, which symbolizes JOY and excitement we should have in coming to Jesus and to not be afraid.  Next light the 4th candle. This candle represents the PEACE that Jesus brought into the world by ultimately saving us from sin by dying on on the cross and rising from the dead. Finally, light the center white candle, representing Jesus Christ, the One True Light and read John 1:1-5; 8:12.

Nativity Option: Now you can add the baby Jesus to your nativity scene or have your children go and find them in your home. After reading John 1:1-5; 8:12. talk about Jesus bringing light into this world and into our hearts.

Close by talking and praying about what is means to be a light ourselves for Jesus.

PDF FOR CHRISTMAS EVE or CHRISTMAS DAY FOR ADVENT