Use these Advent Wreath Devotions for families. Simply email or mail these messages to families weekly.
What You’ll Need: Email or mailing addresses for your families
What You’ll Do: Help families mark the four weeks of Advent by sending mailings that focus on the traditional theme associated with each candle on the Advent wreath. These mailings, brief enough to fit on a postcard, will remind families that Jesus, the Light of the world, is coming soon.
Week 1: A Week of Hope
Over the next four weeks, you’ll receive mailings to help you celebrate Christmas with an Advent wreath. If your family doesn’t already have an Advent wreath, buy or make a simple circular wreath that’ll hold four (or five) candles. These candles remind us of the approaching birthday of Jesus, the light of the world.
According to tradition, each candle has a special meaning. The first one, usually purple, is called the candle of hope. People in the Old Testament knew that God had promised to send a Savior. And we’re filled with hope because we know that Jesus came to Earth on the first Christmas so he could tell people about God and die for our sins.
Light the first candle on your Advent wreath and read aloud Romans 15:13. Then share some ways that you’re filled with hope because you know Jesus.
Week 2: A Week of Preparation
The second candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple, represents preparation. Just as we get our homes and churches ready for Christmas, we also get our hearts ready for baby Jesus.
As a family, brainstorm a list of things you do to get ready for house guests. Talk about what you would do differently if Jesus were coming to stay at your house.
Read aloud Mark 1:3-4. Say: John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, spread the word that Jesus was on his way. Part of our preparations for Christmas can include letting other people know what Christmas is all about-the birth of our Savior.
Light the first two candles on your Advent wreath and pray that God will bless your preparations for his son’s arrival.
Week 3: A Week of Joy
The third candle on an Advent wreath, usually pink, symbolizes joy. Christmas excitement is building as the holiday quickly approaches.
Read aloud Luke 2:10. Say: The angels made a big announcement on the first Christmas, calling Jesus’ birth ‘good news’ that would bring ‘great joy.’ Everything we do to get ready for Christmas can fill us with joy about Jesus. When we’re joyful, we, like the angels, can help spread that good news.
Light the first three candles on your Advent wreath. Then let each person share one thing they’re especially joyful about this Christmas.
Week 4: A Week of Love
The fourth candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple, is often called the candle of love. Christmas happened because of God’s great love for all people.
As your family gathers to open Christmas gifts, talk about why we give nice things to people we love. Ask: What are some of the most memorable gifts you’ve received? How can you tell when much love and thought go into a gift?
Read aloud John 3:16. Say: At Christmas, God gave us the best gift ever. He sent his Son, Jesus, to live, die, and rise again so we could live with him forever in heaven. Although this gift required great sacrifice, God knew we needed Jesus.
Light all four candles on your Advent wreath. (If you have a fifth candle, usually white, light it on Christmas Day, as the Christ candle.) Close in prayer, thanking our loving God for sending Jesus as our best Christmas gift.