Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

I will wait, I will wait for you

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Advent

Mumford and Sons help us prepare in our waiting for Jesus’ coming

Advent Prayers

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Advent, Prayer

Advent Prayers

Advent Prayer During Exams

Come, Lord Jesus.
You bring joy and salvation into the world.
Give us the strength to find joy amidst the stress of semester tests
And the wisdom to find truth in our studies.
We ask this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Advent Prayer for the Poor
Gracious God,
You bring glad tidings to the poor.
Create in us this Advent season, the desire to help those in need
That we may recognize in them the face of Christ
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Advent Prayer of Reconciliation
Merciful Father,
You have given us your Son as your loving presence in this world.
Create in our hearts the room for your love to grow.
Forgive our shortcomings and prepare our hearts for your coming.
We ask this in the name Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, one God, forever and ever,
Amen.

Advent Prayer of Light
Son of God,
You are the light of the world.
Shine your light on all our choices this day.
Create in us the ability to let your light shine forth for others.
We ask this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Prayer from The Unsheltered Heart for the Third Week of Advent (abbreviated)
Jesus,
Only you help me not to find my identity amid people’s misfortunes.
You are the one I seek because I no longer trust my own thoughts and reactions.
Your life teaches me to live amid the shackles of people’s suffering

In these Advent days, I slowly find my heart awake and singing.
Faith creeps out of the cracks of my soul from my uncertainty.
Gratitude lights up the morning inside me and relaxes my silence in my still body.
Amen.

Advent Prayer Activity
Consider providing students with the opportunity to create their own Advent prayers. Give them the opportunity to share these prayers with the class or divide the students up according to the number of meetings leading up to Christmas. These prayers need not have the structure of the examples above, so invite students to speak from the heart

What is Advent?

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Advent

Advent is not about stressing, planning or buying but expecting, waiting, hoping and prayer. Enjoy this little reminder.
The video ends by advertising an online Advent Calendar. This calendar is brilliant and can be found at: http://bustedhalo.com/features/advent-calendar-2013

Creating a Jesse Tree

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Advent
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Creating a Jesse Tree

MFL and RE are working together to build a giant Jesse Tree with Year 7 pupils, but what exactly is a Jesse Tree?
The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus. The name is taken from Isaiah 1:1 in which Jesus is referred to as a shoot coming up from the stump of Jesse, the father of David. The ornaments or pictures on the tree represent Jesus’ ancestors, and events leading up to the birth of Jesus. How many of the above symbols can you recognise?

Using Coldplay to reflect and respond

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Advent

This tune tells of a broken relationship at Christmastime:

Christmas night, another fight
Tears we cried a flood
Got all kinds of poison in
Poison in my blood

I took my feet
To Oxford Street
Trying to right a wrong
Just walk away
Those windows say
But I can’t believe she’s gone

When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall
Doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all.
Invite responses to the song.

Ask:
Why do you think Coldplay would create such a melancholy song for Christmas?
Who do you think could relate to this tune?
Why does it sometimes seem, even in the middle of December, that it doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all?
The song talks of “waiting for the snow.” What else do you think people in need are waiting for this Advent?

Post several large sheets of paper around the room. At the top of each, write one of these words: school, family, city, country, world. Invite your class to take time at each sheet of paper to write down what people in need in those contexts are “waiting” for this Advent season. What might be on their Christmas lists this year? (e.g. peace, a new job, health care, less crime in the neighborhood, enough food, end of war, etc)

Reflecting & Responding:
By the end of the song there is a glimmer of hope (“Oh Christmas lights Light up the street / Light up the fireworks in me / May all your troubles soon be gone / Those Christmas lights keep shining on”).

Ask:
What do you think the Christmas Lights represent in the song?
Who might the Christmas Lights represent?
Invite the group to consider how we might have a part in the prophet Isaiah’s call to “Prepare the way of the Lord, [and] make his paths straight.”
How might each of us reorient our hearts toward God, in specific and tangible ways, in the coming year to help bring a measure of God’s Kingdom of Peace to those around us?
Provide each student with paper and pen and ask them to write a short letter to themselves committing to specific ways they might do this in 2014. Seal the letters in envelopes with the student’s name and plan to giver it back to them in mid-January.

Close in prayer.

Form activities:

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Advent

Form activities:

Prepare in advance a string (or more) of Christmas lights all tangled together in a bundle. Challenge your class to untangle the bunch in one minute or less (while showing care not to damage the lights!). Increase the challenge by having them work together with each person keeping one arm behind their back. Afterwards, invite the group to think about how this activity might represent how some people see their lives this time of the year. While so many people are celebrating and the radio tells us this is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” for some (including perhaps a few of your class) this is a season of brokenness, doubt, and hopelessness. Help your students identify where that brokenness might be manifest in their schools, your community, the world.

First week of Advent

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Advent

Matthew 24:36-44
“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.