Week four is when we celebrate love and light the love candle!
Station #1 Words About Love
Supplies: A set of magnetic poetry; metal surfaces (we use a pizza pan and toasters…so it can be anything really.)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.Â He was in the beginning with God.Â All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into beingÂ in him was life,Â and the life was the light of all people.Â The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Â There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.Â He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.Â The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
Â He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.Â He came to what was his own,Â and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,Â who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
Â And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a fatherâ€™s only son,Â full of grace and truth.
Using the letters, add words to the surfaces that represent ways you see Godâ€™s love, God Word made flesh, present in the world.
Prayer: God of love, help us recognize and celebrate your love in the world around us. Amen.
Station #2 Love Came Down at Christmas
Supplies: cut outs of the manger scene (I got mine at this link); crayons; scissors, tape
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registeredâ€¦
Joseph went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.Â While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.Â And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the innâ€¦
Â In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by nightâ€¦
Â And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,Â praising God and saying,
â€˜Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!â€™â€¦
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise menÂ from the East came to Jerusalem,Â asking, â€˜Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,and have come to pay him homageâ€¦â€™
(from Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-12
From which perspective would you have liked to have viewed the birth and first hours or days of the Christ Child? Or, whom do you most relate to in the nativity story?
Choose a participant in the Nativity story and color their picture. Cut and tape and leave your representation at our manger scene. Consider the place where you now view the Christ Child. Where do you encounter Christ this season?
Prayer: God, your love came down at Christmas. From wherever we view the Christ Child, help us to trust in your redeeming love. Amen.
Station #3 Love With The Light!
This station, once again, comes from my friend Rev. Ann Marie Montgomery!
Supplies: Tea Light Candles, a large candle (optional)
â€œThe people walking in darkness have seen a great light;Â on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.â€ -Isaiah 9:2
Over 2,000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem Godâ€™s Son, Jesus, was born. This baby was a sign of Godâ€™s unfailing love for Godâ€™s people. With the advent of Christ into the world, the world has been changed forever. A light has dawned and the darkness cannot overcome it! This light is profoundly simple- it is Godâ€™s light and it invades the corners of the deepest darkness. A light shining first in a small village, in a dirty barn, in a farm animalâ€™s manger. A light shining now in our small lives, in our hurting communities, in the messiness of human experience. We cannot deny the darkness that is in the world, but we can celebrate the light that has come to us in Christ Jesus.
As you watch the flickering candle flame, think about your life and the ways that God has sent you light when youâ€™ve most needed it. How has the love of God been shown to you through experiences, other people, etc.? How have you experienced the light of Godâ€™s love shining during the dark times?
LIGHT A LIGHT:Â As you â€œlightâ€ your own candle at this prayer station, remember that Christ has promised to be present with us. We light this candle to remind us that no matter how deep the darkness may seem around us, Godâ€™s love for us shines bright through Jesus Christ. The candles that surround our own candle remind us that no matter how deep the darkness, there are others who are also carrying the light of Christ.
Prayer: God, your light and goodness overwhelms me. Thank you for the people who shine your light into my life. Help me to be a light for others.
Advent is almost finished! May your continued journey be full of knowledge of God’s blessings.