A season of waiting
Advent is a season of waiting. It’s a time to remember how God’s people have waited in the past, and celebrate the arrival of Christ on earth as the fulfillment of that waiting. But the Advent season is also a time to acknowledges that we are currently waiting for Christ’s return. As we approach Christmas we take time to celebrate God’s graciousness in sending a messiah, and trust in Jesus’ faithfulness to return. If you’ve been around Our Saviour at Christmas time you might remember that we often celebrate this time each Sunday by lighting candles and reading from scripture. Some years we have recommend a particular devotional book that focuses on Christ’s birth. There are many different ways that people celebrate the time leading up to Christmas. The hope for any celebration is that it glorifies God and refocuses our hope on Jesus Christ.
Resource for this year
This year we’ve put together packets to make advent chains. If you’ve never seen one before they are very simple and easy to make! Strips of paper are stapled (or taped) together to form a chain. You can then hang the chain up somewhere central in your house. Starting on December 1st one link of the chain gets torn off each day to show the countdown to Christmas. The chains are a simple visual reminder of what it’s like to wait for something, specifically what it was like to wait for the savior.
However, our chains have a slight twist. Each link has two bible references printed on it, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. The Old Testament passage is a prophecy or promise to Israel of what the Messiah would be like, or what he would say or do. The New Testament passage shows how Christ came to fulfill that promise to Israel.
A great way to use this chain for Advent is to plan a time each day, perhaps around a meal time, where you can tear off a link of the chain, read the passages, and spend a few minutes reflecting on what prophecy or promise was made about the Messiah and how Jesus fulfilled that promise. Included in the packet is a sheet of paper where you can record each promise from the Old Testament that Jesus kept to show God’s sovereignty and faithfulness to his people. As we go through the month of December and draw closer to Christmas Day the chains will get shorter, but the list of God’s faithfulness to his people will grow longer.
How to get a packet
We’ve printed up a number of these packets already for households to take home. Each packet includes 24 chain links that just need to be assembled and a note sheet for recording what each pair of passage says. If you are unable to grab a packet this weekend there is a PDF download below so you can make your own chain links.Advent Packet
Celebrating God’s faithfulness in December
Whether you use these chains or something else it’s my hope that you find a way to set aside time in the month of December to reflect on God’s steadfast love to his people, his grace in sending a savior, and his faithfulness to redeem a people through the blood of Jesus Christ.