FAMILY ADVENT - WEEK 3
Have you ever felt so happy you could burst? When we receive a gift or enjoy Christmas traditions with people that we love we can experience happiness so great that it feels like something even bigger! Joy is the word that the Bible uses to describe the feeling of forever happiness and true contentment that believers receive only from knowing God and knowing our hope is in Him. Joy is also the word the angels used when they announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. This special news didn't come in a way we might expect today, like a text message, email, or letter. This important news came directly from angels from heaven who appeared, celebrating and praising God! Can you picture it? Imagine standing outside on a dark night, and suddenly angels appear with news of
great joy just for you!
The shepherds were terrified, but their fear quickly gave way to joy as they heard the news of the promised Messiah being born.They hurried off to see Jesus and told Mary & Joseph about the special message from the angels. Everyone was amazed! They returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard. What great joy! The promised Savior had come.
When you experience something that brings you joy, you want to tell someone about it! The shepherds responded to the joyful message by worshiping God and telling others! The news of Jesus leads us to respond by joyfully worshiping Him. When we worship Jesus, it
leads us to share our excitement about the good news of His birth.
Talk About It
Why did the shepherds have so much joy?
What is something that brings you joy?
How does it feel inside when you are really excited about something?
The shepherds had great news that would change the world. We have the same news today. How can we share the joy of Jesus' birth with people today?
"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
As a family, choose one thing to do together that brings joy! It could be playing a game together, going out for a special meal, or taking a drive to look at Christmas lights. Finding time during Advent to celebrate the joy we have through Jesus is just as important as checking off items on our to-do list. While you do this, you could talk about how your family can make joyful celebrations a part of your regular routines moving into the new year! As Christians, celebrating Christ’s joy can be an intentional rhythm of our lives year round!
Sing “Joy to the World” together as a family! If you need some help you can sing along with a video here: https://youtu.be/1L8mXMraoOM. Talk about what your family can do to bring joy to someone. Think of a neighbor, friend, family member, or even someone you see regularly but haven't connected with who might need a little extra joy during Christmas time. Work as a family to come up with an idea of how you encourage that person and follow through with it this week. Let your child decide on what to do. Maybe it is giving a gift or a meal, writing a letter, or calling someone to brighten their day!
*This devotion adapted from LifeWay Publishing, Family Advent Guide.