A Family Worship Service for the Four Sundays of Advent
- Thursday, December 18, 2003
First Sunday in Advent
Sing: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
First reader: Today is special because it is the beginning of a new season. We call this season “Advent.”
First child: What does that mean?
First reader: “Advent” is a word that means “to come.” It is a time when we get ready, preparing ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child.
Second reader: What are some things that we might be doing to get ready?
Second child: We should get our hearts ready by thinking about Him.
Another child: We should become “expecters.”
Second reader: What we are doing right now around our Advent wreath is a way of preparing for Christmas.
(Pause — Take time as a family to plan ways to prepare your hearts and home for the birth of the Savior.)
First child: (Light the first candle.) I light this candle on the first Sunday in Advent to remind us that we must prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child.
First reader: Isaiah 9:2, 6–7: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned ... For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (NIV).
(Talk about the preparation in the Old Testament for the coming of the Messiah through the words of the prophets.)
First reader: This candle is symbolic of the long years of waiting and hoping. The prophets, inspired by God, kept reminding the people to look forward to the coming of Messiah, the Son of God, who was to redeem the people from their sins. The Hebrew word for Jesus means “salvation.” Before Jesus left this earth to return to His home in heaven, He told us we should watch and wait for His return.
Sing: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Prayer time: Ask God to help us make room for Jesus in our hearts and in our home.
Thought for the week: “Prepare a road for the Lord through the wilderness, clear a highway across the desert for our God. ... Thus shall the glory of the Lord be revealed” (Isaiah 40:3, 5 NEB).
Second Sunday in Advent
Sing: “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
First reader: This is the second Sunday in Advent. Do you remember why we are taking time to be together in this circle around our Advent wreath?
First child: (Relight first candle.) Last Sunday we lit the first candle, to remember that Advent is a time of preparation. During these days we are getting our hearts ready for the coming of the Christ Child.
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