Family Devotion for Week 1 of Advent

Introduction

This is a simple liturgy to walk through together as a family, once per week, to guide you in using your Advent wreath.  Advent means “coming.” It is the season leading up to Christmas where we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. An Advent wreath provides a way to mark the weeks of Advent and, with the lighting of each new candle, to contemplate all that led up to the birth of Jesus. It usually is made up of four or five candles. UALC uses four blue candles, lighting a new candle on each Sunday of Advent. The candles are often positioned in the shape of a circle or sometimes a line. Many people add a fifth candle, called the Christ candle, which is white and is placed in the center and lit on Christmas Day.

Centering Prayer

Pray this prayer for your family as you begin your devotion.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, the light that shines in the darkness. Jesus, you are the hope of the world. You interrupted the darkness of the night so long ago by being born into this world as a tiny baby. Bring us light in our darkness and hope to our lives today. Your coming brings us joy! Amen.

Worship Video

Listen below to the Scripture reading for the first week of Advent from Isaiah 9:1-7

Family Discussion Prompts

Questions to Discuss as a Family

This passage we just listened to together is from the Old Testament, where God’s people were suffering and longing for a savior and a king to come and make things right. The candle we lit tonight was the candle of hope.
 

  1. Have you ever hoped for something that is not just for you, but for your whole family, or your whole church? Or even your whole community? What is that hope?

  2. How does Jesus’ birth bring us hope today? What does it look like?

Prayer For Others

Take a few moments to silently think of one or two people who may be experiencing stress, fear, or loneliness right now. Share with each other the person who came to mind and why and ask your family member to pray for them or take turns having each family member pray for the people who came to their mind:

Gracious God, we are truly grateful for ________. Right now, they are experiencing stress/fear/loneliness. I ask that they feel your presence, comfort, and peace today. I pray that you would deliver them hope in the darkness. Help us to love _______ like you love them.

 

Amen.

Closing Blessing

Turn to someone in your family and speak this blessing over each other:

"Lord, bless __________ this week.

Give _________ hope this week.  

In Jesus’ Amen."