When is it okay to start listening to Christmas music? This is not a trick question—I am not the worship police, but I am very aware that we Christians can be particularly judgy about music. For years, I, too, did not want to acknowledge Christmas music in Advent, not least because I love Advent and its hymns (“Comfort, Comfort Ye My People!”).
Mary does not have a gender-reveal party with a surprise color of cake–teenage pregnancy has always been hard–but she does seem to have a wise friend, and having a wise friend seems to make all the difference. I’ve been thinking about wise friends lately.
There is so much I hoped to do during this Advent, for my own kids, for the children and families in my ministry, and yes, for myself. And as always, come Christmas morning, some of it will have to be put away with vague hopes and promises of next year
In the church year, Advent is a season of waiting. It’s a season when we are all encouraged to slow down and exercise our patience muscles in anticipation of the birth of our Savior.
This song tells us a very important story, like most songs do. It comes from the heart of God’s people, from across thousands of years, and still means something holy and hopeful every single time we sing it. With titles and word pictures taken from the prophet Isaiah’s conversations about the Messiah, we see all the ways Jesus has come to reconcile the world to himself. Each verse reminds us of a different promise God has bought into being, has made come true, in the person of Jesus.
Advent is officially one week away. How are you feeling about it? Will this be the year you are finally able to slow down and enjoy this season of preparation? Grow Christians tries every November to ready our community to do just that.
The church celebrates St. Martin of Tours today, November 11th. Martin is best known for cutting his cloak in half with his sword to share with a beggar. Afterward, he had a vision of Christ, wrapped in the half cloak. It’s a pretty simple story, which is one of the reasons it works so well for young children. My children attend a Waldorf school, and celebrating St. Martin has been a beloved tradition for us since the oldest was in preschool.
Advent in a Box is a resource created by the Christian educators at Family Ministry Tools to help churches equip families to have faith conversations at home. The goal is to send home interactive, fun, and biblically sound activities that engage families and help them grow in their faith. Advent in a Box is a pizza box filled with all-age devotions and activities to help families celebrate Advent and prepare for Christmas.
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