Read: Psalm 111

To catch up, read the previous posts: Spend Less,  Give More, and Love All.

I really get into Advent.

While other people are getting ready for Christmas, I’m fully into Advent. Anticipation. Waiting. Christ is coming!

This, of course, rubs my family and friends the wrong way. My love for Advent comes off as pretty Grinchy. But I’ve been working at it. I don’t want to be taken for anti-Christmas or a buzzkill. I want us to want Christmas as it is and for what it is.

A real Thanksgiving.

Of course, when I was a kid, I loved the toys. The presents. The surprises. We did a Secret Santa at the church and for the four weeks of Advent, a new present would be on the table and on Christmas Eve, a final, fifth present was there, revealing who our Secret Santa was.

I loved getting presents. I totally admit that. But I really looked forward to finding out who it was who was praying for me and leaving me small treats. Finding out who was thinking of me.

As I got older, I got tired of gifts and found myself more looking forward to midnight mass by candlelight and the being with people.

Worship Fully

In our Scriptures, we have constant examples of people responding to moments with worship. From Abraham building altars to the elders bowing on the ground, from Genesis to Revelation, a constant element of our story is worship.

Worship

as a response to the beauty in the world.
as a response to the amazing things we see.
as a response to the challenges we face.
as a response to the love and mercy we don’t deserve.
as a response to the miraculous in our presence.

Worship

as an opportunity to give thanks.
as a chance to express our gratitude.
as an expression of joy.
as how one gives back to God.
as what we do.

From the shepherds in the fields at the news of Christ’s birth to the apostles in the Temple at the news of Jesus’s resurrection. The people worship.

In thankfulness and love.

This Week.

As we explored the last few weeks the ideas of spending less, giving more, and loving all: that GOD wants us to be less selfish and more generous and with love for all kinds of people, we’re now invited to respond to GOD in gratitude and joy. For what GOD has done and what GOD is going to do.

Here’s one way from the Advent Conspiracy family guide:

ASK:

• What do you enjoy most about Jesus the King?
• What do you wonder about him?
• How are you seeing him differently during this Advent season?

PRACTICE:

Use this little template below as a worship experience as a family! Dim the lights, and light some candles to calm everyone. Keep things fun! (Giggling is bound to happen with the little ones, so roll with what you can, and invite your kiddos into it.)

SAY:

ISAIAH 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Wonderful Counselor: let’s thank Christ for how He is the best counselor.
• Draw a picture of something difficult that He is helping you with or that you’re waiting on.

Mighty God: let’s tell His story to each other.
• Write names of God or draw fun pictures of stories you remember that show His power.

Prince of “Setting everything Right”: let’s brainstorm some serving.
• Talk about what ways this season he has involved you in “setting things right” in the lives of people around you and thank him for it! What are some other things you’ll be doing to help the poor or lonely?

Let’s sing the song “Joy to the World” and remember what He’s doing to bring peace.

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

SAY: So Advent, and the final Christmas day celebration is just a tiny, little start. A yearly moment that sets a pattern for what we care about, think about, and hope for. It reveals what our hearts are after, and reminds us what Jesus is after.

So may you worship Jesus more this season. May you care for others in new ways. May you spend less, give more, love all and worship fully!

If you or your family want to follow along, download the family guide and get started!