My family is not unusual. Just like yours, there are Christmas programs, school concerts and cookies swaps. December 1st rolls around with the reminder that there are 24 days to Christmas. Yikes!
Since I wrote my Thanksgiving Blog, Take Time To Hide, I have been thinking about how can we slow down to seek God. My goal this Advent and Christmas season is to help families – including my own – to take some time to hideaway with God by using Rich Melheim’s FAITH5.
It’s simple! Using the formula of Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless, families gather around the table or before bed, light a candle and engage in a 5-minute daily check-in. Follow the directions and timeline below:
Share the best and not so best part of the day.
Read the Bible verse assigned:
- Advent Week #1 (December 3-9): The Gift of Hope – The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” — “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” (Mark 1:1-3)
- Advent Week #2 (December 10-16): The Gift of Peace – 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. (Isaiah 9:6)
- Advent Week #3 (December 17-21): The Gift of Joy – And why has this happened to me [Elizabeth], that the mother of my Lord, [Mary] comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:43-44)
- Advent Week #4 (December 22-24): The Gift of Love – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
- Christmas Week #1 (December 25-30): The Gift of Jesus Christ – While [Mary and Joseph] were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 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 inn. (Luke 2:6-7)
- Christmas II (December 31-January 5) – The Gift of Angels & Shepherds – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2: 13-15)
- Epiphany (January 6): The Gift of the Kings – After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
Talk about the Bible verse using daily questions.
- Advent Week #1 – God gives us hope. How were you a messenger of hope today?
- Advent Week #2 – God gives us peace. How did you help promote peace today? How were you a peacemaker?
- Advent Week #3 – God gives us joy. Did you experience something today that brought you joy? Did you do something joyful for someone else?
- Week #4 – God gives us love. Did you share your love with someone today? Did someone share their love with you? Is there someone who is lonely or sad that would love to hear from you?
- Christmas Week #1 – God gives us Jesus Christ. How can you share the love of Jesus Christ with someone today?
- Christmas Week #2: God gives us shepherds and angels. How did you share the Christmas story to today? Who has been an “angel” to you today?
- Epiphany Day: God gives us the star and the magi. How did you follow Jesus today? What is the best gift God has given you?
Pray together by filling in the blanks: Dear God, Thank you for__________. Help me _________. Amen.
Bless each person by making the sign of the cross on each other’s hands or foreheads, saying: “Blessed are you, follower of Jesus Christ, go and share God’s love. Amen.”