The tree is up (it was up early this year… before Thanksgiving… don’t judge), our homeschool community is on break (at least most of us… the twins have one more week), and the Christmas orders are steadily rolling in through our small family business. All indications are telling me it is December. Although this year has been oh… so… different, I am SO glad this month is here.
I’m not glad because the pace is slower, or because the family is closer, or because the house is more festive. These seasonal qualities may be true, but they don’t pull my heart to long for December to come around.
Celebrating Jesus with my family. This is what I’m most excited about.
We will begin our Advent Family Worship tonight. My husband will lead us in reading, understanding, obeying, and treasuring Scripture. He will lead us in singing praises to the glory of God. He will lead us in prayer and thanksgiving. Even though we engage our family in worship most nights of the year, December is special. Not that it is more holy (it is not), but because we spend more time together focusing on our Savior who came in the flesh and will come again.
We actually light candles each night during Advent at our house. We like the reminder of light overcoming darkness.
As we pulled the new candles for this year out of storage, we discovered something. (You’ll need to know we moved last year and in this particular house we decided to store the candles along with all our Christmas decorations in the… attic.) We realized we had overlooked the fact that Texas heat rises.
After peeling pieces of plastic out of the candles, it would have been right to venture out to the store and replace them! But instead, we’ve decided to embrace the candles and feature them in the center of our living room.
We’ve named them the 2020 Candles, and I’ll share their joy in a photo.
The 2020 Candles reflect the year.
Not what we expected.
Not what we wanted.
But I think we will find just what we need.
Not perfectly smooth or straight, and not without blemish, but certainly not without hope! Light is going to shine through those candles!
And those candles will remind us of the year, and how the light of the glory of God can shine through us who are bent but not broken.
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.2 Corinthians 2:3-10 (ESV)
As you begin your Advent study and celebration, we pray that the remarkable light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ will shine brightly in your home!
As December begins, we want to share with you the Scriptures and daily themes we will be using for Advent. You can download them for free here along with a printable countdown that also serves as a reminder and review for teaching the biblical truths.
If you want more guidance, we compiled this digital guide of daily reflections, discussion questions, activities, resources, links, and more to encourage you in following Jesus this season.
Songs to Sing for Week 1
Online Resources for Week 1
Advent Prayer Chain – from Weave Family
Sacrifice and Atonement – a video from the Bible Project
Books to Consider
Buying through these links help to support this website.Hosanna, Loud Hosannas
Our family enjoys this hymnal throughout the year, and it also includes a page for each hymn about its background.Hosanna in Excelsis: Hymns and Devotions for the Christmas Season
We don’t have this one, but it looks good!The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden
Both the storybook and the short animated DVD are popular with our kids.