This week we light the final Advent Candle—the Candle of Love! Today I spoke with the children about the importance of names. As our Bible tells us, when the angel appeared to Mary, and later to Joseph, he told them what to name their baby boy—“Jesus”—who would also be called “Emmanuel.” These names are significant, for Jesus means “the Lord saves” and Emmanuel means “God-with-us.” Indeed, Jesus was God in flesh and bone, come to be with us, to live among us, as one of us, to save us.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, may we celebrate God’s Love shown to us through the best gift of all—Jesus, Emmanuel—God with us now and always. Amen.
Printable Together @ Home activities for your family can be found below.
This week we light the pink candle on our Advent Wreath—the Candle of Joy! (Pink symbolizes joy.) It is an assurance for us, as is the accompanying text from Isaiah 61, that we have reason to rejoice—for no matter how dire the situation—God has not abandoned us. Instead, God sent Jesus to rescue us—to proclaim our salvation, to heal us, to free us, and to comfort us. (In fact, Jesus stated at the beginning of his ministry [see Luke 4:16-21] that he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 61!)
Feel free to download resources available for your and you family at the link below (Adobe PDF format)
Here are some activities you could do together as a family. Begin with the story and then do as many or as few as you like, in any order. We will be exploring the promise of Jesus’ return! Look in your Bible at Mark 13, verses 24-37. Find activities and discussion ideas related to this week’s lesson in the attachment below.
This week, we look at Matthew 25:31-40 – The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. Let’s talk a little about how showing God our thanks by the way we live is not simply “Thanks-Giving,” but “Thanks-Living.”
You can download and use these activities with your family this week.
Read the story together – choose a Bible translation or children’s story version which best suits your family.
Questions for adults to ask children:
What did Jesus say was the most important command of God? (Hint: Remember there are 2 parts!)
The story says we are to love God with three parts of ourselves. What are the three parts?
Questions to discuss together:
What do you think it means to love God … with all of your heart?
… with all of your soul?
… with all of your mind?
The two commandments Jesus spoke of are sometimes called the Golden Rule. Why do you think they have been given this name? Why do you think these two commandments are so important to remember? Jesus says that loving God and loving others is our “number one rule.” But love isn’t just a rule – it’s a verb too! Love is something we do. What is one way your family can show love to God and others this week?
The Together @ Home activities for this lesson can be downloaded below.
All Saints Day is a good time to think about the blessings we have, and to think about the people who have been a blessing in our lives. When we share God’s blessing with others, we are part of the whole community of saints. What are some ways your family can be a blessing to others this week? Why not talk and pray together about who God would want to bless in your community.
You can find Children’s Activities, Discussion Questions to share with your family and friends, and more in the attached Children’s Ministry Resource for November 1, 2020.
Today’s passage, which describes an encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees, comes from Matthew 22:15-22. In it, the Pharisees attempt to trick Jesus and turn people against him by asking “whether it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.” For many first-century Jews, the question was a difficult matter of conscience given …