So the season of advent is one in which we anticipate the coming of Jesus. Advent is primarily a time of waiting. Somewhere between the endless Christmas parties and shopping, the idea of waiting has been lost on our culture.
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By intentionally stopping and reflecting on the season of Advent, we are being reminded of our need to pause, take a breath, and remember what life is really all about. At Sojourn we participate in Advent in two primary ways: through our Sunday gatherings and in our daily devotions. In the church, the Advent season is officially marked by the four Sundays leading up to Christmas day.
Advent Resources: Devotions
So for these four Sundays our music, our prayers, our aesthetics and our sermons are marked by the theme of Advent. We also encourage our people to set aside time in each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas in order to reflect and remember what the season actually means.
This year we have put together our very own Advent guide. This Advent guide features 24 days worth of content and is designed to be used from December 2 through Christmas Day. This content was designed with simplicity in mind so as not to overwhelm you in what is always a busy season. But we, in , have a unique perspective because we know that he has come and we have received the benefits of his coming. That through his life, his death, and his resurrection we are set free from sin and death and made alive now and forever.
But even now we should have anticipation. Not just for what has happened, but for what will happen. Christ our Savior has come, but he will come again to rule and reign forever and ever. We do not know the day or hour, but we know that his return is imminent.
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With that knowledge we should have a longing and expectation for the return of the King—for the Second Advent of Jesus. We take time to celebrate the arrival of Jesus, the one that happened in the past and the one that will happen in the future, because it is easy to forget.
As we look back and look forward, now is not a time of distraction, though it is easy to be distracted. Christmas has become culturally consumeristic in nature. In some regard it might still be better to give than to receive, but on the whole our culture has lost the view that Advent and Christmas are a time of joyous receiving. Not of presents wrapped in paper, gift cards stuffed in stockings, or money slid into envelopes. Finally, you might consider these Bible memory ornaments from She Reads Truth , which provide Scripture memory passages for each day of Advent.
Have you ever used a Jesse Tree in your home? If so, what tips have you found to be helpful? We are three guys—all dads and pastors—who work in ministry with kids, students, and their families. This blog is our joint venture. The focus of the blog is family discipleship. We will write here about parenting, family ministry, and leadership. This blog is for you. From January to June of , I'll be leading a group of children's ministers in a unique leadership development experience.
You'll learn to assimilate and train volunteers, build a child protection policy for your church, and partner with parents. Do your kids have a hard time reading the Bible?
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Do they find it boring? As parents, how can we help them? Pick up this new book, Transformed by Truth by Katherine Forster. Spader writes about the way Jesus discipled and learns from his method.
So, how do we make teaching them about missions a priority? Here are five practical suggestions.
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