Ok… So I am starting to get into the Christmas Spirit. Last week, the kids reminded me and made me get out the advent stuff. “St. Nick” visited our house Saturday night, and I attended a ladies Christmas party Saturday afternoon.
I even wrote down some things to do this week on my calendar that have to do with preparing for Christmas breakfasts and dinners. Yes, I even wrote down to start making some cookies.
This post is about Advent though, not my own issues with procrastination…..
To start, I have an advent candle holder with the traditional 4 candle holders with one more in the center. (kindly disregard the heavy layer of dust covering it!!) This one works with votive candles, and traditionally you would use 3 purple, 1 pink and 1 white in the center. Each one is lit in a specific order, ending with the white one on Christmas day. This one, I had to look up on Pinterest the order and Bible readings. The first week, which we lit the 1st but should have been lit on Sunday, is Hope. With a scripture reading on Hope, Romans 15:12-13.
This is week 2, and we will light “The Bethlehem” candle, another purple candle. Preparation for the birth of Jesus our Savior. Luke 3:4-6.
Week 3 is the pink candle, “The Shepherd” candle. Joy is this one because the angels sang with joy. Luke 2:7-15.
Week 4 is the last purple candle, “The Angel” candle or the Love candle. John 3:16-17 is the reading that day.
We will light a new candle each week up until Christmas and light them all Christmas day. The white candle lit on Christmas day is “The Christ” candle and we read John 1:29.
This devotion is pretty simple and just takes a little time. Perfect if that is what you have. At our house, we like to do a Bible devotion daily as part of school so we do some daily things besides lighting the weekly candle.
Another devotion we have used is called, “Adornaments” a devotion by Family Life Today that focuses on the names of God. Each one is a little cardboard booklet with a scripture verse that corresponds. Another nice, simple advent study. There is also a book with the day’s devotion in it. It takes about 12 days to go through.
It’s one that I have in my collection for those years when we just don’t get to advent.
The one we really tend to use a lot, is the “Jesse Tree” devotional, by Dean Meador Lambert. This one is perfect because it is a daily study, which means that we usually have a few left over because we don’t do them on the weekends and some days we just don’t get a devotional in. Years ago, we, the older kids and I, made all the Jesse Tree ornaments which we pull out and put on a small tree. This year, they have made a some with Legos to add to our collection.
The Jesse Tree title comes from Isaiah 11:1-5, one of the many prophecies of Jesus’ birth in Isaiah:
11 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.
I like this one because it gives us some scripture memory, a verse or 2 and then a short devotional. It ends with a prayer, which we sometimes add to.
It keeps our eyes on the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. That is important to me. I have been reading some great tips and ideas for keeping Jesus center in the holiday season. What are some things that you do to keep your focus on Jesus?
PS: I shared this post over on Mostly Blogging’s Linky party. Go check it out for LOTS of great new blogs to read and awesome tips for bloggers.