Try this first Advent candle reading with your family.
Imagine your kitchen table at Christmastime. Little mouths hush as little fingers flick off all the lights in the house. All that is left is darkness. And stillness.
These Advent Candle readings have become my very favorite Advent tradition because of the emotional and physical hush they bring over the house. We intentionally quiet down and listen in while watching the flickering of a single candle.
I also love that it’s something SIMPLE I can do each Advent season. It doesn’t take any prep work and I don’t need supplies, other than the candles (which last a few years).
This is the first of 5 Advent readings, one for each weekend of Advent and one for Christmas Eve. Receive them in printable form and emailed on each weekend of Advent by signing up here.
If you would like more info about the Advent candle tradition, pop over here.
First Advent Candle Reading
Turn off most of the lights in the room.
SAY: God made some promises to his people a very long time ago. He promised that they would never be alone, that he would protect them and give them a future. But the greatest promise of all was that he would send someone to save them. So God’s people waited for the promise to come true. They waited for a Saviour. They waited, and waited, and waited some more. The people who shared God’s promises with his people were called “prophets”. One prophet, named Isaiah, had this to say:
“But the Lord will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 CEV)
ASK: Do you know what pregnant means? It means to have a baby. So the promise from God that Isaiah shared was that a young woman was going to have a baby boy.
As you light the first purple candle, teach your children the following line. It will show up each week. SAY together:
God’s people waited for the promise to come true.
SAY: Another prophet had this message from God:
“Bethlehem Ephrath, you are one of the smallest towns in the nation of Judah. But the Lord will choose one of your people to rule the nation – someone whose family goes back to ancient times.” (Micah 5:2 CEV)
ASK: Have you heard of Bethlehem? That’s where Jesus was born! Different prophets told us that God promised that in Bethlehem a baby boy would be born. A baby boy that would be named Jesus and be the Saviour.
ASK: Do you think that God was going to keep his promise? Yes! But it took a very long time. That’s why we’re only lighting one candle today. We have to wait to light all our candles, just like God’s people had to wait for their Saviour.
Sing or listen to “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. (Your children probably won’t understand the lyrics, but they can understand the haunting melody that just oozes expectant waiting!)
O Come O Come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Shall come to thee, O Israel
SAY: The people were waiting and waiting for their Saviour, and then finally they got to rejoice that God had kept his promise! What can we rejoice about today?
FINAL PRAYER: Thank you God for keeping your promise to send a Saviour. Help us to wait for you this season, and to rejoice in what you do in our lives. Amen.