DAY 25 : CHRISTMAS DAY

 
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verse

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

GALATIANS 4:4-5


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Today is the day! It’s Christmas! As we celebrate with our loved ones by spending time together, don’t forget to think about our Savior.

Christmas day is a celebration and reminder of our Savior, God’s son, that He gave to us as a gift.


PRAY: Dear God, Thank You for giving me access to you through your son Jesus. Help me remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas Day.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Christmas Day. Then hang your twenty-fifth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Exchange gifts with your family for Christmas. When you are finished remind each other that Jesus is the true gift to us and the reason we celebrate Christmas.

    2. Take a photo of your family on Christmas Day. Post your pictures to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 24 : FOLLOW THE STAR

 
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verse

When they saw the star they were filled with joy.

MATTHEW 2:10


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: A very bright star shone over the place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Wise Men saw the star and were  overjoyed because they knew that the star was a sign from God that a new king had been born.

The Wise Men wanted to worship the new king, because they knew He was the king of the Jews, God‘s chosen people. They packed up all their things and some very special gifts for the new king. They set out on a trip to find Him. They rode on their camels and followed the bright star.

First, the star led the Wise Men to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was an important city where King Herod lived. The Wise Men asked King Herod if he knew where the baby king was born. King Herod, full of jealousy, was not happy to hear about the new king God had sent. Herod wanted to be the only king. Herod told the Wise Men to go to Bethlehem, where the prophets had said a ruler would be born many years before. There they would find the new baby King. Herod secretly told the Wise Men to find the baby, and come back and report to him exactly where he was born. He was planning to hurt this new king.

The star rose in the sky above them, and led the Wise Men to Bethlehem. When the star stopped, they found the place where the new King was, with his mother Mary. The Wise Men learned that the new King was named Jesus. They were so excited to meet Jesus that they fell on the ground and worshiped him singing songs and saying thank you to God for sending this very special baby. Then, they gave Jesus the gifts that they had brought for him – – gold, frankincense and myrrh… three very special and important gifts for a very special and important child. The Wise Men loved Jesus and wanted to make him feel special, just like God loves us.

The Wise Men had a dream from God. In the dream, they were told on their journey home they should not go see King. They obeyed God and went a different way.

Just like the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus, we give gifts at Christmas to the people we love. The greatest gift of all though, is the gift that God gives to us. This is the very same gift the Wise Men found all those years ago. The same gift God promised since the creation of the world, someone in to save us. It is the gift of Jesus, a very special child, a king, we could be together with God forever.


PRAY: God, Thank You for sending the baby Jesus as a special gift for me. Thank You for the story of Wise Men who loved Jesus and worshiped him as a special King. Please help me to look for Jesus everyday.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Follow the Star. Then hang your twenty-fourth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. As a family, discuss ways that each of you can give gifts to others that do not cost any money. (Example: the gift of obeying your parents, being kind to someone hurting, etc.)

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 24th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 23 : GOD’S BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

 
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verse

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.

LUKE 2:11


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: One night a long time ago, there was a group of shepherds sitting out in a field, taking care of their sheep. That was their job.

Being a shepherd was not a job that most people wanted. Most people stayed away from shepherds. They thought of Shepherd‘s as “lowly” which means that they weren’t as good as everyone else.

God had a really big surprise to share with people everywhere. His son, Jesus, had been born! The Shepherd‘s who were thought of as lowly were the first people to hear God‘s amazing news!

It was really dark night, and the only light the shepherds had were the stars in the sky and maybe a small lantern. All of the sudden, the sky was full of light and an angel appeared! The angel knew the shepherds were frightened so he told them that there was no reason to be scared. Then the angel told them that God‘s son, Jesus, had been born in Bethlehem and that they could go find him. They would know it was the baby Jesus, because the baby would be wrapped in cloths and the lying in a manger. After the angel shared the news, the whole sky lit up with a choir of angels who were singing and praising God and celebrating that the baby Jesus had been born!

The shepherds were excited that God had shared this news with them, and they wanted to go find Jesus. The shepherds immediately left the sheep and went in search of Jesus. After they found him and worshiped him, they went and told everyone the whole story, so that all people could worship the baby Jesus.


PRAY: Dear God, Thank You for making all people special, even me! Thank You for sending Jesus as the Savior for everyone and for sharing Your news with the Shepherd’s. Amen.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - God’s Big Announcement. Then hang your twenty-third ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Go outside once it is dark and look up into the sky. Imagine what it was like for the shepherds to sit in a field with only the stars for light until the angel appeared.

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 23rd ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 22 : CHRIST IS BORN IN A MANGER

 
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verse

So Joseph went also, He went form the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David. He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby.

LUKE 2:4-5


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Can you count how many people are in your family? Caesar Augustus wanted to count all of the people living in the Roman world. So, Mary and Joseph took a trip to Bethlehem to be counted. God said this would happen. When God’s people were waiting for the Savior, He told them that out of Bethlehem would come the one who would be ruler of His people.

They traveled with a donkey, that Mary rode on, about 80 miles to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were very tired from their travels. It was a starry night and they wanted to find a place to rest. They found an Inn, but it was full already. There was no room for them so Mary and Joseph stayed in a stable where the animals slept. Mary and Joseph settled into the stable, thankful for a place to rest.

That night when it was still quiet, Mary had her baby. God’s wonderful gift had come to the world. The little baby that would change the world had finally arrived. Mary swaddled him in cloths so he would be warm. Joseph and Mary filled the animal’s feeding trough with soft hay and laid the baby in the manger.

Joseph and Mary named the boy Jesus. He is “Emmanuel”, which means “God with us.” He did not come as a mighty king in a castle, or a strong warrior with a fierce sword, but as a humble, helpless baby. The world would soon find out about Jesus. God had a wonderful plan for Him that involved us. God knew we needed someone to rescue us. Jesus was going to make a way for us to be close to God again. Jesus would grow up to die for our sins. He would die a death on a cross and be buried in a tomb. But three days later He would rise again and sin and death would be defeated.


PRAY: Dear God, Thank You for your Son. Thank You that He saves me from my sin, and makes a way for me to be close to You again. I love You, Amen.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments -If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Christ is Born In a Manger. Then hang your twenty-second ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Take time to identify the members of the nativity scene. Have your child tell you how each member played a special role on the day Jesus was born.

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 22nd ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 21 : MARY & JOSEPH

 
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verse

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus.

LUKE 1:31


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: The promise of God to HIS people was about to be fulfilled. How would God come to His people? God chose to bring Himself down to Earth and be born as a small, helpless baby. When no one was looking, He came.

 

A young girl names Mary was engaged to marry a man named Joseph. Joseph was one of King David’s descendants. One day, while Mary was at home, the angel Gabriel appeared. Gabriel said, “Do not be afraid! God is very pleased with you. I have some wonderful news. Mary, you are going to have a baby. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. Just as God promised long ago, He will be a king like Dave and His kingdom will never end. He’s the One you have waiting for! He’s the one to save God’ people from their sins. You must call him Jesus.”

The news was hard for Mary to believe. But Mary trusted God and wanted to do whatever God wanted her to do. Just as the angel said, A baby began growing in Mary’s belly. Some time after, an angel appeared to Joseph while he was sleeping. The angel said, “Joseph, take good care of Mary. She will give birth to a son, and  you are to call him Jesus. He will be from the throne of King David. He will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph woke up from his dream and he was filled with wonder. He might have known about the promises of God, but never dreamed he would be the earthly father of God’s son! “The child will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’ He will be the one to give us a new, clean heart. He is the one to make a way to God, so we can be close to Him.”

The first Christmas Day was coming soon. The day Jesus Christ would be born. The little baby who would grow into a man and lead us to God, the Father, who loves us so much!


PRAY: God, thank You for sending your son, Jesus, to the earth in the form of a baby, who grew up and showed me how to have life forever by believing in Him. Thank you for loving me that much!


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments -If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Mary & Joseph. Then hang your twenty-first ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Make an angel ornament. You can do an angel cookie shape or you can craft it with construction paper and ribbon. Hang them on your advent tree to remind you of the Angel Gabriel that appeared to Mary to tell her about the new baby Jesus.

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 21st ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 20 : JOHN THE BAPTIST

 
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verse

I baptize you with water. But he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

MARK 1:8


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: It had been almost 400 years since any of God’s people had heard a message from one of God’s prophets. God had been silent. They were waiting to hear from God and thought that He had forgotten about them.

Then one day a man named Zechariah was visited by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son who would be God’s special helper. He would help turn many people’s hearts toward God and get them ready for Jesus. Zechariah had a hard time believing the angel because he and his wife were very old. Gabriel then took away Zechariah’s voice because he did not believe God. Zechariah was unable to speak for 9 months.

When it was time for Elizabeth and Zechariah to have their baby, something miraculous happened. When their friends and family asked what the baby’s name would be, Zechariah wrote the name John down on a piece of paper. Right at that moment, Zechariah’s voice returned and he shouted, “John! His name is John!” Zechariah could speak again. He began to praise God!

When John grew up to be a man, he did odd things. He lived in the desert, wore outfits made of camel hair, he grew his hair really long and he ate locusts dipped in honey. From the outside, John was very unusual, but God sent John to tell his people about the coming of Jesus. He warned people to stop sinning and to ask for forgiveness. Many people listened to him and wanted to be saved. They asked John to baptize them to show others publicly that they wanted to follow God.  

And one day, John would have the chance to baptize someone very special. As he was baptizing in the Jordan River, Jesus walked to the edge of the water. This was the moment he had been waiting for all his life. John exclaimed, “This is the lamb of God! He takes away the sins of the world!” Jesus asked John to baptize him.

When Jesus went under the water and then came up, the sky opened up with light and shone down on Jesus. Just then, the Spirit of God flew down, like a dove, and rested on Jesus. God’s loud voice said, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Heaven shone down on everyone there. God’s plan to save His people was coming true!


PRAY: God, prepare my heart for the celebration of Christmas. I want to know You more, and love You more. Amen.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments -If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - John the Baptist. Then hang your twentieth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Let your children have a sip of vinegar, followed by a taste of honey. After the taste of vinegar, remind them how the people of God had to wait for 400 years of silence before they heard any message from God. Talk about how hard that must have been and so lonely. Then, give them the honey. After the honey, celebrate that today’s story was the sweet great news! Jesus was coming!

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 20th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!



DAY 19 : GOD’S MESSENGERS

 
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verse

But I will still be glad because of what the Lord has done. God my Savior fills me with joy.

HABAKKUK 8:18


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: The children of Israel were living in disobedience to God. They had forgotten about God. They had forgotten about the commandments He had given them to keep them safe. God had to send them a message. The people had to leave their homes and live in a foreign land for 70 years. But God promised that He would bring His people out of the foreign land, and God always keeps His promises.

The problem was that God knew even when He brought His children out of this separation they would disobey again. The separation was not enough to give His children a desire to do the right thing. They always wanted to do the wrong thing. It was like the people had hearts made of stone. Their hearts were hard towards doing right for God. He knew He would have to send a very special present that could soften His children’s hearts and give them a desire to obey Him. This gift was Jesus.

You see, even though the Children of Israel had hardened hearts and disobeyed, God could never stop loving them. He didn’t want to be separated from His children, but the desire to disobey God separates us from Him. That’s why He promised to send Jesus. Jesus changes people’s hearts to obey God and makes it so they never have to be disconnected from God ever again.  

We are God’ children like the Children of Israel, and God promised the present of Jesus for us too.

God’s messengers, the prophets, knew that this was true about God and never stopped telling God’ people He loved them. That is why Habakkuk, one of God’s messengers, stood on his watchtower and waited for God. Even though the Children of Israel were separated from God and it seemed like it would never end, Habakkuk knew it would because God always keeps His promises.

So, remember, just like we have to wait for Christmas to get here, it will come just like it did so many years ago with the best gift ever-- Jesus!


PRAY: God, thank You that You will never stop loving me. Thank You for promising Jesus who takes my hard heart and makes it soft so that I can have joy in my heart.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments -If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - God’s Messengers. Then hang your nineteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Wrap an empty box to look like a Christmas present. Ask your children, “What do you need to do to receive this gift?” Help them come to the conclusion “to take it.” Share how God’s gift is Jesus, and the way they receive Him is just like the gift. It is by faith. They don’t have to earn it.

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 19th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the Facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 18 : QUEEN ESTHER

 
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verse

Then he sent back an answer. He said, "You live in the king's palace. But don't think that just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape. What if you don't say anything at this time? Who knows? it's possible that you became queen for at time just like this.”

ESTHER 4:13-14


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Esther found herself in a situation where she would have to trust God even though it would be really hard. There was a king who ruled over the land of Persia, King Xerxes. King Xerxes was looking for a wife, so he had his servants search the land for the most beautiful women. Esther was one of the women chosen. She was raised by her cousin named Mordecai, who was a faithful and godly man. He was like a father to her. Mordecai and Esther were Israelites, also known as Jews. In order to protect Esther, Mordecai told her to keep her Jewish background a secret.

Out of all of the women in the kingdom, the king liked Esther the best! She became his wife, the queen, and went to live in the palace. There was an evil man, named Haman, who was in charge of all the royal officials. He wanted everyone to bow to him. But cousin Mordecai would not bow to him. Mordecai would only bow to God. As a result, Haman did not like Mordecai. When Haman discovered that Mordecai was a Jew he planned to destroy him. He lied, and told the king that the Jews were not obeying the laws and they should be punished. The king agreed to have the Jews punished because he believed Haman. The king did not know that Queen Esther, his beloved wife, was a Jew.  

Mordecai told Queen Esther of Haman’s evil plan and asked her to go to the king and plead for the lives of the Jews. He thought the king would listen to her since he loved her. But Queen Esther was afraid. She knew that if she approached the king she could be put to death. The only way her approach to the king would be accepted was if he extended his golden scepter to her. She could die if the king did not hold out his golden scepter. Mordecai encouraged Queen Esther and told her, “Maybe God has made you queen at this moment so you can save the lives of the Jewish people!” She knew the only way to save the Jewish people would be for her to intercede for them.

When it was time for Queen Esther to speak to the king, she went to the inner court of the palace and stood in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his throne and when he saw Queen Esther, he was pleased with her. He held out his golden scepter. Then King Xerxes asked, “What can I do for you, dear queen? I will give you whatever you ask, up to half of my kingdom.” Queen Esther made her request and asked him to spare the lives of her people, the Jews. The king was shocked to find out that Queen Esther was a Jew. He asked her who was responsible for putting the lives of the Jewish people in danger. Esther pointed to Haman. The king was upset with Haman for being so cruel, so he had Haman killed. Queen Esther and the Jewish people were saved!

Queen Esther knew that God put her in that place at that time for the purpose of saving the Jews, God’s people. God is at work in everything! God works everything in His perfect time so His perfect will can be done. Little did Esther know, she was paving the way for the coming of the world’s Savior by protecting the Israelites from death. One day, a Jewish man named Jesus, would make a way so that His children could approach God with confidence and grace.


PRAY:  Dear God, help me to love and honor You above everyone else. Fill my heart with love for other people, and open my eyes to see the special plans You have for me.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Queen Esther. Then hang your eighteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. If you have a little girl, let her dress up like a princess. Take a magic wand (golden scepter), and act out the story of Esther. For a boy, dress up like a king, and do the same!

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 18th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the Facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 17 : DANIEL AND THE LION’S DEN

 
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verse

He sets people free and saves them. He does miraculous signs and wonders. He does them in the heavens and on the earth. He has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

DANIEL 6:27


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Things had really changed for the people of Israel. They had been taken from their home and were now living in Babylon as slaves to the king. But God had not forgotten about them.

Daniel was one of God’s hard-working children. The king trusted Daniel so much that he put him in charge of the kingdom. This made the other men who helped the king jealous of Daniel. They tried very hard, but the king’s helpers could not find any fault in Daniel. They became very angry and came up with a plan to get rid of Daniel. They went to King Darius and told him that he should make a law that everyone in the kingdom should pray only to him. The law would state, “Anyone who does not follow King Darius’ command will be thrown into the lion’s den to be eaten by lions.” The king agreed and made the law.

But Daniel believed in God and refused to pray to anyone other than God. The king’s helpers saw Daniel praying to God and reminded King Darius of the consequence for anyone who prayed to God rather than the king. So the king had to give the order to put Daniel in with the lions. They put a large rock over the door to close off the mouth of the den to ensure Daniel could not get out. The next morning, King Darius went to see if Daniel was alive. He heard Daniel cry out, “My king, God sent his angel to close the mouths of the hungry lions. They did not hurt me.” Daniel was alive! The king was overjoyed.

King Darius punished the men who tricked him by putting them and their families into the lion’s den. Then he wrote a letter to the world saying that the God of Daniel was the living God and God’s kingdom would never be destroyed. Because of God’s power in saving Daniel, many people came to believe and honor God that day. One day soon, God would send Jesus to die on the cross and save us all from the dark den of sin.

PRAY:  Thank you, God for blessing and protecting us. Please help us to put our trust and faith in You each and every day. Please help us to love and worship You above anything else. Amen.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Daniel & The Lion’s Den. Then hang your seventeenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Make a lion cookie! You will need a cookie, popcorn, yellow icing, and black gel icing. First, ice your cookie. Let the children put popcorn all around the edge to make the mane. Help them draw a face and whiskers using the black gel icing. Eat and enjoy!

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 17th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the Facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 16 : THE COMING LIGHT

 
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verse

The people who are now living in darkness will see a great light. They are now living in a very dark land. But a light will shine on them.

ISAIAH 9:2


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Just like we all do, the Israelites disobeyed God too. David was a good king, but the kings after him began to lead the children of God astray. Even though God had given them laws to teach them how to live, they chose to be wicked to one another and turned away from God. God sent a man named Isaiah to tell His people this message: God is going to bring terrible judgement to you because you have stopped obeying Him and are living selfish and wicked lives.

God gave Isaiah another message of hope! “Rise and shine my people! Wake up from the darkness of your sin, turn to me, and let your heart be full of joy! I am coming to save you from the dark - a Light that will swallow up the darkness because it is so bright!” Even though God was going to destroy many people because of their sin, He would save some of them. This “remnant” of people would be the proof of His glorious love. He would keep His promise to His people. The Savior would be coming and He would replace their sin-filled hearts with love and a desire to follow God.

PRAY:  Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus, the light of the world, to remove the darkness of our sin. Help us walk in the light and obey your word so that others may worship you.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content -The Coming Light. Then hang your sixteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Take your family to look at Christmas lights. Grab some hot cocoa and your favorite Christmas treat as you look at all the bright lights. Celebrate that Jesus is the “Light of the world!”

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 16th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the Facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 15 : JONAH HIDES

 
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verse

Nothing God created is hidden from Him. His eyes see everything. He will hold us accountable for everything we do.

HEBREWS 4:13


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: Jonah lived in the day when God’s people had turned away from God. In fact, the Jews were taken away from their homes and had to live as slaves in other lands. One day, God told Jonah that He wanted him to go to the city of Ninevah to warn the people there that He would destroy their city if they didn’t turn from their evil ways.

Instead of obeying God, Jonah decided to run from God and go as far away from Ninevah as he could. Jonah found a ship that was going to the farthest city he could find. But, God knew exactly where he was. God caused a huge storm to come up. The sailors were afraid that their ship would sink so they started throwing everything overboard. They went to Jonah and said, “Please pray to your God! Maybe He can stop this storm!” But Jonah knew that God wouldn’t stop the storm until he obeyed God.

Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard. As soon as Jonah hit the water the storm calmed and all was quiet. Jonah began to sink into the sea. But God didn’t want Jonah to drown, he simply wanted Jonah to obey Him. God sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah and take him to the depths of the sea. Jonah prayed and asked God to forgive him for disobeying Him.

Finally, after three days of being in the dark belly of the fish, the fish came up to the top of the sea and spit Jonah out onto the shore. Then Jonah obeyed God and went to Ninevah. He told the people to stop sinning. He told them that even though they had run far from God, God loved them. They believed Jonah and God saved them.

Just like Jonah was a messenger, God was going to send another messenger to tell everyone to run to God. Just like Jonah spent three days in the dark belly of a fish, God’s messenger would spend three days in a dark tomb. This messenger was Jesus. And just like Jonah had a message, Jesus would have a message too that would save the world from their sins.

PRAY:  Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we can be forgiven. We thank You because we don’t ever have to hide from You or be alone.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Jonah Hides. Then hang your fifthteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Play “Hide and Seek”! Let your child pretend to be Jonah, and you try to find them. Take a big blanket and swallow them up when you find them and spit them out onto dry land (your bed)!

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 15th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 14 : ELIJAH & THE BIG FIRE

 
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verse

The Lord is the one and only God! The Lord is the one and only God!

1 KINGS 18:39


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: During the days of the kings of Israel, there were many bad kings and only a few who followed God’s commands. God would send messengers, or prophets, to guide His people back to Him. One of these prophets was Elijah.

Elijah lived during King Ahab’s reign. King Ahab was not a good king. He did evil things in the eyes of the Lord. He and his people worshipped idols. King Ahab wanted his people to worship a false God named Baal. This made God very angry.

The people were in time of drought and were very thirsty. So, God sent Elijah to King Ahab and his people with a message. Elijah said, “Stop praying to Baal. Turn your hearts back to God!” But the king and his followers did not want to listen to Elijah. So, Elijah built an altar with stones and put sticks on it. He challenged the king and his prophets of Baal to build an altar with stones and sticks on it too. They would both pray for their God to send fire to the altar. The prophets of Baal built their altar and prayed that their god would send fire. Nothing happened. They prayed all morning and still their god did nothing.

Then, Elijah built his altar with 12 stones and put sticks on it. He even poured water on the sticks and all around the altar. When Elijah prayed to God, God immediately sent fire to burn at the altar. The fire burned up the altar, the stones, and even the water around it. King Ahab and his prophets were amazed and began worshipping the one true God. Then God sent a heavy rain to give water to the earth that was in drought.

Nothing is too difficult for God. God sent fire and rain. God even changed King Ahab’s heart. There is no doubt that even though there were many people choosing to disobey God at this time, God was still at work and had a plan. He would one day bring Jesus from this group of people. Just as God changed King Ahab’s heart, Jesus would turn the hearts of God’s people back to Him.

PRAY:  Thank You, God that You are the one true God. Thank you that you are in charge of the world and nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you for reminding us of that and listening when we pray.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Elijah & The Big Fire. Then hang your fourteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories -

    1. Let your children make necklaces from string, such as yarn, and “O” shaped cereals to help them remember that there are zero other gods besides the one true God.

    2. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 14th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 13 : GOD CHOOSES A NEW KING

 
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verse

Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. I do not look at the things people look at. Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: A king is a person who is in charge, makes the rules, and makes all the decision for a group of people. The Israelites wanted to have a king like other nations did, so they begged God to give them a king. God heard their prayers and appointed a man named Saul. Saul wasn’t a very good king and did not do what God asked him to do. So God appointed a new king.

God spoke to a man named Samuel and told him to go to Bethlehem, throw a party, and make sure to invite Jesse and his sons. “I will choose a king from one of Jesse’s sons.” Once he was at the party, Samuel looked at the oldest and strongest son of Jesse. He thought surely this was the one God would choose. But God told him, “...I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way that people see. People look at the outside of a person. I look at the heart.”

Seven of Jesse’s sons were turned away. Finally, Jesse’s youngest son who was out working in the pasture was called in. As he walked towards Samuel, God’s voice spoke to him saying, “This is the one that I want to be king. He has a heart like Mine, full of love. He will help fulfill my plan for my created people.” So Samuel chose David to be the new king. Samuel poured oil on David’s head to show that he was special and set apart by God. David was chosen because of his heart. He grew up to be Israel’s greatest king. He wasn’t perfect, but David knew only God could take his heart full of sin and make it new. David wrote many songs to express his love for God.

God sees you for who you are and not how you look. He looks at you with eyes full of love because you are precious treasure to Him. You are not perfect, but God can take your mess and make it work in His plan. Just as God forgave David, He wants to forgive you too. That is why His plan was to send another shepard who would lead all of God’s children back to the place where they belonged--close to God’s heart.

PRAY:  Thank You, God that You see our hearts and chose jesus to be our Forever King. Help us to love people like you do. Thank You, God that You have a plan and You know best even when we don’t understand.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - God Chooses a New King. Then hang your thirteenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories - Ask the following questions to your kids:

    1. As a family, make a list of kind things that you could do for others this Christmas.

    2. Get 2 bananas. One needs to be really green on the outside and the other needs to be speckled brown and have a few bruises. Identify which one is sweetest. Then discuss how God looks at our heart not the outside.

    3. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 13th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 12 : RUTH & BOAZ

 
 

verse

May the Lord reward you for what you have done. May the God of Israel bless you richly. You have come to him to find safety under his care.

Ruth 2:12

PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: After Joshua and the Israelites moved into the Promised Land, things went well for a little while, but God’s people began to disobey Him. Even though there were a lot of God’s people who were making bad choices, there were always those who loved God and wanted to obey Him. Ruth’s story is about a family who loved God and trusted Him. Her family would play a very important role in God’s plan to rescue us from our sin.

Ruth moved into a new home where she didn’t know anyone except her mother-in-law Naomi. They lived in a land called Moab. Ruth was married to Naomi’s son. Ruth grew up in a land where there were false gods. But, while Ruth lived with Naomi and her husband she saw them worship the true living God and heard of His wonderful acts. Ruth made the decision that she, too, would worship God.

Some time later Naomi’s husband and son, Ruth’s husband, died. Naomi and Ruth were sad. So, Naomi wanted to move back to Bethlehem. Because Ruth loved Naomi she moved with her. God had a plan for Ruth. When they got to Bethlehem they did not have any food to eat. Ruth would go into a field nearby and gather wheat to make into bread for them to eat.

Now, Ruth did not know it, but the field where she gathered wheat belonged to a wealthy and important man named Boaz. Boaz loved God. One day Boaz saw Ruth in his fields and observed her. He learned that she loved God and loved others. He learned that she took care of Naomi and others around her. Boaz grew to love Ruth and eventually they got married. Boaz took care of Ruth and Naomi from then on and they never went without food again. Just as Boaz provided for them, God takes care of everything we need.

Ruth and Boaz had a baby boy named Obed. He would be the father of Jesse. God had a special plan for Ruth. Later, through her family, the Savior of the world was going to come! God has a special plan for you too!

PRAY:  Thank you God for the story of Ruth. Thank you for having a plan for my life just like you had for Ruth. Please help us to be kind and love others like you love us.

activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Ruth & Boaz. Then hang your twelfth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories - Ask the following questions to your kids:

    1. As a family, make a list of kind things that you could do for others this Christmas.

    2. Take a photo of your list and/or a video of your kiddos doing their kind act. Then put your 12th ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the Facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!


DAY 11 : joshua & the battle of jericho

 
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verse

Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.

Joshua 1:9


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: A new leader, named Joshua, was chosen for the Israelites after Moses died. God told Joshua that after 40 years of wandering, the Israelites would leave the desert and enter into a new land. But a large city named Jericho stood in their way. God kept telling Joshua to be strong and brave. He told Joshua, “Remember that your name means, ‘The Lord Saves!’ Follow my commands and obey Me and I will be with you wherever you go.” So Joshua and the Israelites believed God.

Jericho heard about all God had done for the Israelites so they were very afraid. They locked their doors and stayed behind their walls to protect themselves. But instead of attacking the big walls of Jericho, God had the people march around the city once a day for 6 days. There were seven priests with seven trumpets of ram’s horns leading the people. But the people were not allowed to say a word to each other until Joshua told them to shout. On the seventh day, God told the people to march around the city seven times, just as they had done before.

 The seventh time around, the priests sounded the trumpet blast and Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!” So the people shouted as loud as they could and the trumpets blew as loud as they could. They were so loud that the walls of Jericho crumbled to the ground. Then the army of Israel went in and took the city. God used Joshua to lead his people into the Promised Land. And God brought us an even greater leader, Jesus Christ, who will one day lead us all to Heaven where we will be with God forever. But until then, Jesus helps us be brave and strong.

PRAY:  Thank you God for giving us the strength and courage to do hard things. Thank you for being with us even when we are scared. Remind us daily that Jesus is with us!


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Joshua & The Battle of Jericho. Then hang your eleventh ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories - Ask the following questions to your kids:

    1. Have the kids build a city out of blocks. Or, even better, have them build Jericho on the kitchen table out of a fun dessert like Rice Krispie Treats or cookies. Then have them march around the table and reenact the story!

    2. Take a video of your kids answering the above questions and putting your 11th ornament on your Advent tree. Then, post your video to the group or tag @summitparkchurch!


day 10: Moses & the 10 commandments

 
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verse

Deuteronomy 5:1 - Israel, listen to me. Here are the rules and laws I'm announcing to you today. Learn them well. Be sure to follow them.

Deuteronomy 5:1


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: After Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, they lived in the desert. It was a long journey to get to the land God had promised them. They were tired, hungry, and hot. They began to complain. God had set them free from Pharaoh and led them across the Red Sea on dry land but still they were not happy. They said, “God doesn’t care for us! Did He lead us out here to let us die in the desert?”

But God was showing them He wanted to help them. He sent food when they were hungry. He even made water flow from a rock when they were thirsty. But they kept complaining and tried to do their own things to make them happy.

So God asked Moses to come up the mountain with Him. There He gave Moses a list of 10 Commandments to help the people learn to obey God and show others they were different. God etched the 10 Commandments on two stone tablets that Moses carried down from the mountain.

The Israelites agreed to follow the 10 Commandments. But God knew His people would not always obey His instruction ALL of the time. We all sin and make mistakes. But God knew He had a plan to send Jesus to save us from our sins. Jesus is the perfect example of how we should live.

 When we choose to obey the commands God gave us, we show God how thankful we are. The 10 Commandments are for us today as well. You can show love to others and to God by following these rules.

  1. There is only one God.

  2. Worship no one else but God.

  3. Use God’s name in special ways.

  4. Use the sabbath to honor God.

  5. Respect your mom and dad.

  6. Never kill anyone.

  7. Love the person you marry.

  8. Never steal anything that isn’t yours.

  9. Don’t tell lies.

  10. Be content with what you have.

PRAY:  Thank you God for giving us the 10 Commandments to follow. Show us when we are not being obedient to You. Thank you for sending Jesus to save us from our sins even though we fall short of being perfect. Amen.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Moses & The 10 Commandments. Then hang your tenth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories - Ask the following questions to your kids:

    1. If your “neighbor” has a toy truck you want, what do you do?

    2. Think of how much you love your “doll”, God wants us to love Him more; If we ask you to pick up your trains and put them away, how does God want you to respond?

    3. Take a video of your kids answering the above questions and putting your 10th ornament on your Advent tree. Then, post your video to the group or tag @summitparkchurch!


day 9: Moses & the passover

 
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verse

The Lord will go through the land to strike the Egyptians down. He’ll see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. He will pass over that house. He won’t let the destroying angel enter your homes to kill you.

Exodus 12:23


PAUSE + PRAY

PAUSE: The Israelites grew to be great in number in Egypt. But a new Pharaoh came into power and made all the Israelites slaves. God wanted to rescue the Israelites. Just as God promised Abraham that He would make his family into a great people, He was now going to prove faithful once again. He would set His people free and He would use a man named Moses to do it. God showed Himself to Moses in a burning bush to get his attention. God spoke to Moses out of the bush and told him he must go and rescue his people from the Egyptians. Moses was afraid but God promised to help him. Moses and his brother Aaron went to Egypt and spoke to Pharaoh. Moses told Pharaoh it was the Lord’s command that he let the Israelites go. Pharaoh didn’t believe Moses and got very angry. He treated the Israelites even worse than before.

 So God gave Pharaoh ten “plagues” as warnings.

  • He turned the Nile River into blood.

  • He caused a large number of frogs to run over the land doing great harm.

  • He sent gnats and other flies to pester the people.

  • He caused important animals to grow sick and die.

  • He sent boils.

  • He sent millions of locusts.

  • He sent huge hail storms.

  • He sent a plague where the land was dark for many days.

 Pharaoh still refused to free the Israelites. So God sent the absolute worst plague. He said that during the night, the first-born son of every Egyptian family would die. But God had a plan to save His people. God told the Israelites to kill their best lamb and to paint the front door of their house with its blood. When the angel of death came in the night and saw the blood, he would know that a lamb had died there and would pass over the home and spare the first born. That night it was just as God said. Pharaoh’s oldest son died. Finally, he did what God commanded and let the people go! They were free! Moses led his people out of Egypt. The people of Israel remember this great rescue as the “Passover.” Years later, God would send Jesus as the human lamb sacrifice to rescue His people again from the bondage of sin.

PRAY:  Thank you God for always being there to protect me. I praise you Lord for Your power and strength. Thank you for sending your son to rescue me from my sins.


activity

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Moses & The Passover. Then hang your ninth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family memories - Draw a large door on a piece of paper. Using red paint or marker, let your children paint around the doorframe as a symbol that Jesus has passed over their sins!


Day 8: JOSEPH & HIS COAT

 
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Verse

You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives.

-Genesis 50:20

pause + pray

PAUSE: Joseph came from a big family. He had 11 brothers! Jacob was Joseph’s dad. Out of all of his brothers Joseph was his dad’s favorite. One day, his dad got him a beautiful coat made out of many different colors. To top it off, Joseph kept having dreams that his brothers were bowing down to him. He would share this with his brothers. This made them very jealous of him and they grew to hate him.

One day Joseph went to check on his brothers while they were working in the fields. They took his coat and threw Joseph into a pit and later sold him to slave traders on their way to Egypt. They wanted to get rid of Joseph forever.

Joseph continued to trust God even though things got worse for him. He worked hard as a slave and he was eventually thrown into jail for something he did not do. One night Pharaoh had a dream about skinny cows eating up fat cows. He heard that Joseph could interpret dreams so he sent for him. Joseph told Pharaoh his dream meant there would be seven years with plenty of food and seven years with no food. Pharaoh was so pleased with Joseph that he put him in charge of collecting food for the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s family was not doing well. They were running out of food. They heard Egypt had plenty of food so they traveled there to buy some. They went and knelt before Joseph just like in his dreams. His brothers did not recognize him but Joseph knew who they were. When Joseph revealed himself to them they were afraid because of all they had done to him. They deserved punishment. Instead, Joseph forgave his brothers. He told them, “What you meant for evil God has used for good. You meant to kill me but God used all of these bad things to save thousands of lives and even yours.”

God had a plan for Joseph and his family. Many years later, the baby Jesus would descend from the family of one of Joseph’s brothers, Judah. Jesus would die on a cross so that we could be forgiven.  

PRAY:  Jesus, help us to trust You even when things are not going well for us. Help us remember that you are in control. Thank you for loving us and letting us be a part of your plan.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Joseph & His Coat. Then hang your eighth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Go on a “trust walk”. Blindfold your child and lead them by hand or voice through an obstacle course. Use this opportunity to talk about how Joseph trusted God through hard things even though he could not see what God was doing.


Day 7: Jacob’s Ladder

 
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Verse

I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

-Genesis 28:15

pause + pray

PAUSE: Isaac grew up and he, himself, had a son. His name was Jacob. When Jacob got older, he went on a journey to find a wife. It was a very long trip, so Jacob found a smooth rock to lay his head on and fell asleep. While he was sleeping, Jacob had a special dream sent from God. In his dream, there was a ladder that went all the way up into heaven. Angels were on the ladder, and God was at the top. God said to Jacob, “I will give you and your children this place to live. Just like your father Isaac and your grandfather Abraham before you, I will give you many children. They will be like the dust of the earth that can’t be counted. I am still unfolding my wonderful rescue plan to save my people from sin. I promised I would bring this savior from your family line. I will keep you safe wherever you go, and I will always keep my promises.” After this dream, Jacob knew he would never be alone.

Jesus, God’s son, is the only way we can get close to God. He is like our ladder to heaven. He makes us right, forgiven and holy. He gives us the Holy Spirit so we can live like Jesus while we are on earth. Jacob trusted God and knew that He would always be by his side. God is always with us too!

PRAY:  Thank you God for always being with us, wherever we go. Thank you for sending Jesus to be our ladder to heaven so we can be with you forever. Amen.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Jacob’s Ladder. Then hang your seventh ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Make a ladder out of popsicle sticks glued to paper. Have the kiddos color themselves at the bottom of the ladder with God at the top. Then draw a big cross on top of the ladder, and show your children that Jesus is the bridge to heaven!


Day 6: THE OFFERING OF ISSAC

 
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Verse

Abraham answered. 'God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering...'

-Genesis 22:8

pause + pray

PAUSE: Abraham was a man who loved and trusted God. But did he trust God with his whole heart? God blessed Abraham. But now God asked Abraham if he would worship Him even when it was hard. God said to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and show Me how much you love Me by giving him back to Me as a sacrifice.” God was asking Abraham to sacrifice the thing Abraham had dreamed of and longed for, his son Isaac. Abraham remembered God’s goodness and faithfulness, so he obeyed. The next morning he took Isaac to the mountain. Abraham believed God’s promise that Isaac would grow up and have a special family. He believed they would come back from the mountain together. As they were walking up the mountain Isaac asked Abraham, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” They kept walking and found the place where they built an altar.

 Abraham was sad. He didn’t understand but he remembered that God was bigger, stronger and better than anything in the whole world. Even if Isaac died, God could raise him to life again. So, Abraham lifted his knife. Then God called out, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know you love me more than anything because you have not kept your only son from me.” Abraham looked up and found a ram caught in the bushes. God had provided the lamb for the sacrifice just like Abraham told Isaac! Abraham and Isaac worshiped God on the mountain together. God blessed Abraham. Many years later, God would provide another lamb. He would send His only son, Jesus, to take away our sins.

PRAY:  Thank you God for being my provider. Thank you that you love me so much that you would give your one and only son, the lamb of God. Help me to have faith and trust in you.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - The Offering of Isaac. Then hang your sixth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Talk about all of the ways that God has blessed you. Make a paper chain and write one blessing from God on each strip. Glue or tape the strips together and hang them on your tree!


Day 5: ABRAHAM & GOD’S PROMISE

 
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Verse

Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. He was born at the exact time God had promised him.

-Genesis 21:2

pause + pray

PAUSE: Time passed after the flood, and people were not acting any better. But God had begun a plan to help save the world through a man and his family. One day, God visited a man named Abraham and said to him, “Abraham, I am going to do something wonderful. I am going to give you many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Just as you cannot count the stars in the sky, you will not be able to count your children either.” Abraham doubted God because he did not have any children. He was an old man. He was 99 years old, and his wife, Sarah, was 90 years old.

God just wanted Abraham to believe and trust Him. He told him, “Is anything too hard for me? I am going to rescue the hearts of my people. I am planning to make you into a great nation so that all people on earth will be blessed.” God knew that one day, His son Jesus, would be born from Abraham’s family. God promised He would give Abraham a son, and He would carry out His promise through him. Even though Abraham had to wait a long time for his son Isaac to be born, he believed and trusted God to keep His promise. Abraham’s faith made him right with the Lord.

And just as God had promised, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy named Isaac which means “son of laughter.” When God promises He will do something, He will do it! And God’s plan of blessing the whole world through Abraham and Sarah’s family was just beginning...

PRAY:  Thank you God for always keeping your promises. Sometimes we think things are impossible, but we know that you are always faithful. Thank you for giving us your only son.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Abraham & God’s Promise. Then hang your fifth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Go outside and look at the stars. See if you can count them. Remember God’s promise to Abraham and tell your children that God has a wonderful plan for them too. They can trust in Him because He always keeps His promises.


Day 4: NOAH & THE FLOOD

 
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Verse

Noah did everything the Lord commanded Him to do.

-Genesis 7:5

pause + pray

PAUSE: After the first sin, almost everyone in the world was living in disobedience to God. But there was one man who loved and obeyed God. His name was Noah, and God had a special plan for him. God told Noah there would be a storm that would flood the earth and wash away all sin. God told Noah to build a big boat called an ark. He assured Noah that He would keep his family safe from the storm in the ark. God also told Noah He was going to send two of every kind of animal to the ark. Even though rain had never fallen to the earth before and people said Noah was crazy, Noah obeyed God anyway. Noah cared more about what God thought rather than what people thought.

Once the ark was ready, Noah’s family and all the animals climbed inside the ark and God closed the door. Then, as God said it would, it rained for forty days and forty nights and the land was flooded. But God kept His promise and kept Noah and his family safe the entire time. When the rain stopped and the sun came out, Noah sent a dove to explore. The dove came back with an olive branch, meaning there was a living tree and dry land for them. Noah praised God for keeping His promise. Then God revealed a rainbow in the sky and made another promise to never flood the earth again. Even though people would still choose to disobey God, God was planning to send Jesus to flood the people’s hearts with forgiveness and mercy. He was planning to give His people “new” hearts.

PRAY:  Thank you God for giving us Noah as an example of obedience. Thank you for sending a rainbow as a physical sign of your promise to us. And thank you for sending Jesus so that we can be with you forever. Amen.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Noah & the flood. Then hang your

    fourth ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Get a box and pretend it’s an ark. Gather your child’s stuffed animals and have someone pretend to be Noah and walk all the animals into the ark! DON’T FORGET TO POST a video or a picture of your family in our Facebook group or tag us on your feed!


Day 3: The first sin

 
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Verse

So the Lord God drove the man out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground he had been made out of.

-Genesis 3:2

pause + pray

PAUSE: God loved His children, Adam and Eve, very much. They lived in the garden that God created for them called the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in perfect relationship with God. God gave them one rule, “Do not eat fruit from the tree of good and evil.”

The enemy, Satan, didn’t want Adam and Eve to be in perfect relationship with God. So he disguised himself as a snake and tricked Eve into doubting the loving command God had given. Eve listened to Satan’s lie and ate the fruit. Then Eve gave Adam the fruit and he ate it as well.

When God came into the garden, both Adam and Eve hid because they were naked and ashamed.

God calls anything we do in disobedience to His commands a sin. And because God is completely good, sin cannot be near Him. Therefore, Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from God. Adam and Eve, no longer perfect, could not live in the garden with God. They would have to leave and ultimately the payment for their sin was death.

BUT, this is not the end of the story. God promised that he would send a Savior (Jesus) to the world to destroy Satan and save us from our own death, by dying on a cross himself. And through Jesus we can once again be near to God.  

PRAY:  Thank you God for being forgiving and kind. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and sending Jesus to pay for my sins. Guide me in obedience today.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - The First Sin. Then hang your third ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories -Draw a target. Try to toss an object and hit the target every time. When you miss, explain to your family how missing the target is like sin: “missing the mark” of God’s holiness. Explain that everyone (even them) was born a sinner. Explain that we will always miss the mark on God’s holiness, but Jesus gives us forgiveness and allows us our imperfect shot to hit the bullseye and be near to God. DON’T FORGET TO POST pictures of you and your targets!


Day 2: CREATION

 
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Verse

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

-Genesis 1:1

pause + pray

PAUSE: In the beginning there was emptiness. But God had a great plan to create all things. He spent 6 days speaking all things into existence.

  • On the first day He said “Let there be light”, divided the light from darkness, and called the darkness night.

  • On the second day He created the atmosphere and divided it from the oceans.

  • On the third day He created land and divided it from water.

  • On the fourth day He created the sun, moon and stars.

  • On the 5th day He created creatures to fill the sky and water.

But, God wasn’t done. He saved His best creation for last. He longed for relationship, so on the 6th day God made man from the dust of the ground a woman from the man. God created us to be in relationship with us, because He loves us so much.

Creation is the beginning of God’s story of love for us. This story leads to Jesus and the very first Christmas.

PRAY:  Thank you God for making all things. Thank you for loving me and wanting to be in relationship with me and thank you for sending Jesus.  

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Creation. Then hang your second ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories - Go on a nature walk to admire all the things God has created. Try to find something in nature the shape of a heart. Take it home as a keepsake to remind you of God’s love for you!


Day 1: THE ROOT OF JESSE

 
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Verse

A new little tree will grow from its stump. From its roots a Branch will grow and produce fruit. At that time the man who is called the Root from Jesse's family line will be like a banner that brings nations together.

-Isaiah 11:1,10

pause + pray

PAUSE: The definition of advent is "the arrival of a notable person". As we use the advent calendar for Christmas, we know that we are talking about the MOST notable person, Jesus. The true reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

 For Jesus to come to earth as a man he came through an earthly birth as we all do. Jesus was born into an earthly family that descended from Jesse. This verse in Isaiah is a promise from God in the Old Testament that he would be sending a Savior through Jesse's family, a family full of messes.

 The analogy of the branch is a beautiful one. Just as a new branch buds and eventually grows into a beautiful healthy tree, we too can grow and be made whole through Jesus!

PRAY: Thank you God for your promise and plan to send your son Jesus to save us. Open our hearts to know more of you through the story of the birth of Jesus.

ACTIVITY

  1. Advent tree & ornaments - Get your current tree or an additional tree ready! Involve your kiddos as much as possible. If you don’t already have Advent ornaments you can take this time to craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - The Root of Jesse. Then hang your first ornament on the tree.

  2. Family Memories - Look through keepsakes, pictures, and share stories of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents!