Below is the discussion guide on HOPE for families with younger kids, along with a craft idea. Don't forget to go back to the main Advent page for the LOVE IN ACTION weekly challenge and this week's videos on HOPE.
Advent Wreath: Light the first candle
Prayer Focus: Jesus, let others see the hope you bring us reflected in our lives. Amen.
How do we live out HOPE:
SAY: The Bible shows us that living in a world without God is hopeless, but as long as we know God, we can have HOPE! (Eph. 2:12). The Prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah knew this and knew that no matter how bad the current situation was and seemed, God was still in control. Which meant there was hope. Kinda like you, trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, anxiously awaiting Christmas morning to open the present you've been wanting.
- What is something you are waiting for with great anticipation
- Why is waiting so hard sometimes?
- What can make waiting easier?
- What do you think it was like to wait for something as big as the Messiah and Savior?
ASK: What is a situation that feels hopeless right now? Why does it feel hopeless?
Remember that our source of hope is not in what we can do, but in what God can do and His promises because he is our anchor (tell of a time that God gave you hope)
SAY: HOPE happens in times of waiting, which is what the Advent season is about: waiting on Jesus. A lot of times we don’t like the idea of waiting. Today, as you have to wait on something (waiting in line, waiting for dinner to cook, waiting for your turn while playing a game, etc. ) remember that good things are worth the wait. Thank God for the HOPE we have in Jesus.
SAY: Let's make a list of the little things you look forward to and appreciate
each day (i.e. morning cup of coffee, recess time, snacks after school, family time, playing with a friend), and thank God for
the HOPE that can be found in looking forward to these simple pleasures.
PRAY: Have your kids pray for those who may be in a hopeless situation right now, along with any areas in their own life where they need HOPE from Jesus.
(Don't forget our LOVE IN ACTION challenge this week: Write a note of encouragement or gratitude to someone who needs HOPE, or go a step further and donate to a family in need. You can email email@example.com if you would like to bless an individual or family this Christmas.)
CRAFT IDEA: Anchor
Supplies Needed: Paper, markers, and scissors.
Directions: Draw out an anchor and write your favorite verse or Jesus’ name in the center (click on picture above for details).
Attach a paper chain in the top of the anchor.