- Extended Devotion for Adults and Youth
- Extended Devotion for Kids
- Family Activity
- Social Media Hashtag Challenge
Extended Devotion Adult/Youth:
Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets spoke of the promised Savior, telling the people how to recognize His coming and reminding them that God had not forgotten. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the Son of a virgin, a King to rule according to the lineage of David, ushering in an era of unprecedented peace. Israel watched and waited, filled with longing and expectation for this promised Deliverer.
And then, on a night unassuming and normal, God came—just as He said He would. A young woman named Mary, who was with child, journeyed alongside Joseph, her betrothed, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be counted for the census according to Caesar’s decree. The couple entered the sleepy Judean town, filled to the brim with the descendants of David, and took refuge in the only place available: a stable. And when the fullness of time had come, Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. He was wrapped in cloths, laid in a manger and given the name Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. And just like that, a whisper in the Bethlehem night, a Child was born, a Son was given.
Four hundred and fifty years of silence had passed since the final words of the prophets. At long last, a cry of deliverance was heard again, uttered from the lips of the Word Made Flesh. This newborn’s cry pierced the midnight sky like a trumpet heralding sin’s demise and the defeat of death forever for all who would believe. The Ancient of Days stepped into time and wrapped Himself in the frailty of human skin. He came, full of pity, compassion, and power, to rescue those lost in darkness and carry them into the kingdom of everlasting light. He came, just as He said He would, to do what we never could.
With hindsight, we see in Jesus the fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke concerning the Messiah. We understand that our Lord has done just what He said He would do in exactly the right way, at exactly the right time. We also see that God is full of compassion. He saw the desperate need of His people. He cared and acted by sending His only Son to save them.
May our hearts be encouraged! Let Advent be a time to reflect on God’s good attributes and His faithfulness to do exactly what He said He would.
Extended Devotion Kids:
After reading through the selected reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible, read this following additional commentary and go over the discussion questions in your Advent book.
Do you remember the promise we talked about? God’s promise to send a Rescuer? His promise to send Jesus? Well, Jesus came, just like God said He would! After thousands of years of waiting, on an ordinary night, Jesus came. God gave His people hints and clues about how Jesus would come. He told them that Jesus would come from Bethlehem, be a Ruler, and bring peace. Many expected a soldier; some expected a politician. No one expected a baby. But that’s how Jesus came.
Mary and Joseph lived in a town called Nazareth. One day, the king gave an order that everyone was to go back to their hometown to be counted for something called a census. Mary and Joseph traveled a long way to the town of Bethlehem, where Joseph’s family was from. When they got to Bethlehem, the town was full of other travelers, and there was nowhere for Mary and Joseph to stay. So they found a stable to sleep in. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby, and Jesus, the Savior, was born.
Jesus, the King of heaven, left His perfect home to be born as a baby to a young man and woman. He became fragile and helpless. His room that night was a stable—dirty, smelly, and full of noisy animals. His bed was not kingly and luxurious; it was a feed box that animals ate out of. Mary had to wipe old, rotten food out of the manger and cover it with poky straw before she laid her tiny baby in it.
But everything that happened that night was exactly what God had planned and promised. Jesus came, just like God said He would. God saw that we needed to be rescued from sin. He cared about us in our need, and He acted. He sent Jesus. The events of that night, in that stable in the little town of Bethlehem, would change the world forever.
*Extended devotions taken from excerpts of TVC Advent Guide*
Bring a piece of paper and a pencil to the table for one of your meals as a family. After you have talked with your kids about any daily things they would like to share, ask them to brainstorm with you about places they think are peaceful. Some ideas might be sitting on a chair at the beach, taking a walk through the woods, or sitting under a tree while reading a book. Help each of your kids think about places where they feel peaceful. Write each of those ideas down on the sheet of paper. Remind kids that true peace is trusting God to take care of your needs in any situation. Ask your kids the difference between a peaceful place and the peace that God offers. Explain that being in a peaceful place is only a temporary peace. God’s peace lasts forever.
Social Media Hashtag Challenge:
Just like last week there are a few different ways to gain an entry into the raffle giveaway.
- Take a picture during the devotion time this week and post it.
- If you have kids take a picture of them doing one of their acts of kindness this week.
- BONUS: this last one will get you two entries into the raffle and its super simple. Take a family selfie and post it! That’s it. It’s so easy to forget to take pictures in this crazy season so use this as the extra reminder to capture a moment with your family.
Make sure to tag @ccnlb (whether it is a post on your feed or in your stories) and use #ccnlbadvent.
NOTE: If you have a private profile make sure that you send a screenshot of your post to @ccnlb so that you will be entered into the raffle.