A couple of years ago when our church participated in Operation Christmas Child, one of the members of our small group posted a picture of her shoebox on social media. Her exuberant comment mentioned that she had never bought anything for someone she didn’t know. That same week, a young cashier excitedly told me about the Salvation Army Angel she would be shopping for later that day. Again, she had never done anything like that in her twenty or so years. Those encounters opened my eyes; it seemed strange to me that these people had never participated in this type of program. My parents began including us kids in acts of service from an early age. We bought for Angels, worked at homeless shelters, gave to the elderly. My mom managed a high-rise for senior citizens. I remember helping her deliver poinsettias to every resident when I was in middle school. Likewise, Hubby’s mom took him and his siblings to nursing homes as well as volunteering at clothes closets. And we have done the same types of things Tech and Peck.

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After talking to those women I realized, service is a learned gift. Start with your children when they are young, and it will become second nature for them. In light of that, find someone to whom you and your family can personally give this week’s activity. Good options are shut ins from your church, elderly in a nursing home, or a neighbor. Let your child experience the entire process from making the gift to placing it in another’s hand. As we will discuss in this week’s lesson, love is an action. Teach your children what true love is and, then, give them opportunities to practice it.

Advent Week Two: Love

Week two of Advent begins on December 9.

Activity:

We will be making this craft from Pinterest while discussing love.

https://www.amoderndayfairytale.net/2015/12/names-of-jesus-christmas-tree-kids.html

I bought my supplies at Hobby Lobby. I will be adding a loop of yarn to the back, so that the tree may be hung. As I’ve already said, find someone to whom your child can give this project, so they can practice showing love to others.

Discussion:

You: What is love?

Kids: Answers will vary but probably will focus on romantic love or the feeling of love.

You: Those are some really good answers. The Bible talks quite a bit about love. Let’s read a passage about it. Have an older child read I Corinthians 13:4-7 or read it to them yourself. Do those verses say, “Love feels like…”?

Kids: No.

You: That’s right. This verse doesn’t talk about feelings. It talks about things you do. Love is an action. It means you may not feel like loving your sibling or friend, but you can still act in love. Can you give me an example of an action that shows love?

Kids: Answers will vary. Guide them, if necessary.  

You: You know the Bible says that God is love. What are some of His actions toward us that show love?

Kids: Answers will vary. Give them time to really think about this concept.

You: God showed us love when He created us. He spoke everything into existence: the planets, the stars, the oceans, the animals, the trees. Except for us. He took the time to form us with His own hands and breathe his own breath into us. That’s a lot of love. Jesus is all-powerful God, yet He put that aside to be born as a weak, helpless baby for our sakes. That’s a lot of love. He willingly went to the cross for our sins, even though we didn’t deserve that. That’s love. Everything God does for us is from love. So how do we show Him we love Him?

Kids: Answers will vary.

You: We praise and worship Him. We study His word. And, perhaps most importantly, we love other people. Other people, whether we know them or not, are God’s creation just like us. So when we show them love, we are showing Him love.

Light the Hope candle from last week.

You: What did this candle represent?

Kids: Hope.

You: For what are we hoping?

Kids: When we see Jesus again. Feel free to prompt them if they don’t remember 🙂

Light another purple candle.

You: This candle represents Love. God’s love for us shown through His plan for our salvation that started with Christ’s birth. Our love for Him, and our love toward others.

Scripture:

“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” I John 4:10

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” I John 3:16

Prayer:

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us so much. Help us to love others as you love us. Amen.

 

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