This week I am starting my Advent study for the year. I am using the study “Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus!” from Good Morning Girls. If you are interested in joining me make sure to subscribe via email to that site to receive the free reading schedule and e-book.
For the kids we are using “Truth In The Tinsel” which is a great resource full of fun family activities and an ornament craft everyday. This year they are also offering a printable coloring page ornament for little ones or those who don’t have time to complete the more detailed craft.
The first week of Advent is traditionally focused on Hope, so that is where we will start.
Both studies begin here focusing on light. Isaiah 9:2 reads, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned”.
Can you imagine what it might have been like to be in complete spiritual darkness? I think that we have a very troubled world now, but then they didn’t even have the hope of redemption. They had no light to lead the way. Today, even though we are in a world filled with darkness, we have the hope found through Christ our lord and shown through the lives of many Christians.
In the family activity from “Truth In The Tinsel” for light we sat as a family in complete darkness. We talked about how hard it is to see and know what or where to go. Then as a symbol of Christ’s coming we lit a small candle. We eventually all held a lit candle representing the light that we now have from knowing Jesus and allowing him to lead us and light our paths. If we allow that light to spread to others and not hide or snuff it out we are spreading the light to the darkened world. As we spread that light we spread Hope. Hope to those who are hurting, lost, scared and broken.
Often times Satan begins to gain a stronghold in our lives using doubt, the complete opposite of hope. He begins to feed us lies about how messed up our lives are or how incapable/inadequate we are to be worthy of holding Christs light. We begin to believe those lies and extinguish our flames. We begin to hide our God given gifts and talents behind our insecurities. Only when we realize where that voice is coming from and denounce it are we able to rise above.
Look at many of the bible hero’s and heroins, many of them were “broken”, “messed up”, “inadequate/incapable” by the world’s standards. But God used them to show us that not only are they able when they surrender to Him but that His power can overcome our shortcomings.
Today in our readings we focused on Mary. By the world’s standards, she would have fit all the above. She was only a child, not from a distinguished family and probably scared. But through her willingness and obedience God overcame all of that and made her the mother of Jesus. She became our mother! Her life was messy, so what. God is bigger than any of our doubts. He has the Power to overcome!
“The Christmas story is more than just a story about the birth of a child into the world, but about the birth of the world’s Savior, the birth of hope entering our world that long awaited night so many thousand of years ago.”-Angela from GMG
It was about bring hope to the hopeless, about trading mourning for gladness, about trading despair for peace. About letting us experience the light that can only be found through Jesus, The Wonderful Counselor, Prince Of Peace, Almighty God, Everlasting Father. It was about Hope!