I love Christmas and can hardly wait to hang Christmas lights outside my home and put up our Christmas tree and other inside decorations. It’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year!
But the Christmas season often carries a wide range of emotions for many people. Some people look forward to it all year long, while some struggle throughout the season due to loss, weariness, and loneliness. It is important to me to be sympathetic and sensitive to those who grieve or struggle during the Christmas season. We have all experienced seasons of weariness, and it is important during Christmas that we walk alongside those who are weary or hurting. But, we don\’t walk with others in an effort simply to lift their spirits for a season. We walk with purpose. We walk with hope and joy. When we gather together at Christmas, we do so rejoicing, not in our circumstances, but that the Lord has come!
During the Christmas season, hope, joy, peace, and love are almost tangible, aren’t they? Even those who are non-religious seem to be more open to being more kind and joyful during the Christmas season. We sing together. We exchange gifts. We smile more. And as Christians, we have a great opportunity to share the true meaning of Christmas along with the hope, joy, peace, and love that Jesus brings with those in our families, neighborhoods, and communities.
As church leaders, many of us are looking for ways to minister to families, both those who experience joy and sadness, and equip them to have meaningful conversations about Jesus in their homes as they celebrate and create new memories during the Christmas season. The 2021 Family Advent Guide is a great way to encourage families to discuss, read, pray, and do family activities that are centered around Jesus’ birth this Christmas season.
Tips for next steps:
- Download and print copies for the families in your church.
- Distribute family connection cards each week.
- Email the PDF and/or connection cards out to families.
- Post the link to this page or a page on your church’s website on your social media pages to encourage families to utilize the devotional guide.
- Consider ways during each week of Advent to encourage families to spend time together this Christmas learning about the hope, love, joy, and peace that Jesus brings to us.