Advent Week Three: Joy
Week three of Advent begins on Sunday December 16. This week you’ll need a globe or world map. If you don’t own a world map, here’s a link to one online that allows you to click on an individual country to view a larger map of that place. https://geology.com/world/world-map.shtml
- You will need colored pencils or crayons, a Sharpie or other marker, and this coloring page.http://www.disegnidacolorareonline.com/disegni-da-stampare/mondo-mappamondo-da-colorare
- Have your children color the land masses green and the water blue.
You: Did you know in Italy they have a Christmas Witch? In Australia, they have a song about kangaroos pulling Santa’s sleigh instead of reindeer. And in England, they say, “Happy Christmas” instead of Merry Christmas. We may not celebrate the same, but we all celebrate Jesus. What is your favorite way to celebrate Christmas?
Kids: Allow time to share experiences.
You: In some countries, they don’t celebrate Christmas because they don’t know Jesus. In fact, there is a large part of the Earth called the 10/40 window where about three billion people haven’t heard about Jesus. https://joshuaproject.net/resources/articles/10_40_window You and the kids look at your map and find the area corresponding to the window. Did Jesus only come for people in some countries?
Kids: No! (At least, we hope that’s what they say. Peck rarely says what I expect.)
You: Jesus came for all people. That’s what the angels proclaim in Luke 2. They say, “We bring bring news of great joy for all people.” Let’s talk about the different parts of that statement. What was the great news?
Kids: Answers will vary.
You: The news was that Jesus was born. Why was His birth so important a mass angel choir announced it?
Kids: Answers will vary.
You: Jesus saves us from our sins and reconnects us with the Father. Next part, who did the angels say needed the news?
Kids: All people.
You: That’s right. ALL people. You, me, our neighbors, the Italians, the Australians, the British, and the people in the 10/40 window. Everyone. Lastly, it says great joy. What is joy?
Kiddos: Answers will vary, but most children will say it means to be happy.
You: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines joy this way: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. Have you ever had a really, really bad day?
Kids: Allow time to share their experiences.
You: On a day like that where everything is going wrong, is it possible to have joy?
Kids: Answers will vary, but many will say no,
You: According to the definition, you certainly would not have well-being, success, or good fortune. So no joy there, but it also says excitement at the prospect of something you want. “Prospect” means it’s coming; it’s just not here yet. If you have a super bad day, you can still have joy in the prospect of a Ninja Steel Combining Megaforce for Christmas. (This is Peck’s big ask this year. Insert whatever your child wants.) Or joy in the prospect of a week out of school for the holiday. Even when you are having a bad day, you can always find joy thinking about good things that are coming. Christians can always have joy no matter how badly things are going in their lives. Why?
Kids: Answers will vary, but kids should include forgiveness of sins, seeing Jesus again, being in heaven with the Father. If not, guide them.
You: Christians can always have joy because of Christ. Through Christ, we have spiritual well-being, success, and good fortune because our sins are forgiven. Through Christ, we have the prospect of seeing Jesus again. Remember that when you are having a bad day.
You: Have the children choose a country listed here https://joshuaproject.net/resources/articles/10_40_window and write it on their coloring page with the marker. We are going to pray for the people of insert country name to know great joy this Advent season.
Light the Hope and Love candles.
You: What did these candles represent?
Kids: Hope and Love.
You: Yes. Our hope to see Jesus again, His love for us, and our love for others.
Light the pink candle.
You: This candle represents the great joy we have through Jesus Christ. His forgiveness of our sins, and the prospect of seeing him again.
“Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:9-11
“The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.” Matthew 28:8
Dear Lord, Thank you for Jesus, and the joy we have from His birth. We pray for the people of insert your country name to know this joy too. Amen