For a long time, Christians have celebrated the weeks before Christmas with a season known as “Advent.” Advent is a word that simply means “coming” or “waiting.” It’s a funny name, because when kids are really excited about something, they say, “I can’t wait!” Children overflow with anticipation whenever the time nears for birthdays, visitors, vacations, and especially… Christmas!
For many, many years, God’s people waited eagerly to meet their Savior. He was the king and the warrior who was coming to set them free from their sins. The Bible tells us that the whole world was waiting for the Savior to come. Celebrating Advent is a ways of saying, “I can’t wait for Jesus!”
One of the ways we celebrate Advent is by lighting candles in honor of Jesus–the one who has come to bring us light. The apostle John tells us that when Jesus came into the world:
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out (John 1:5, The Message).
The prophet Isaiah says it like this:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.
For unto 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 9:2, 6 NIV).
The whole world was living in a kind of spiritual darkness. They were lost without Jesus, but when Jesus came, it was like someone switched on the lights. The waiting is over. Truth and hope have come!
Read Luke 1 or Story #79 in The Gospel Story Bible then review these questions with your kids:
ASK: According to the angel, who is going to give Mary a baby? The Holy Spirit
ASK: What name is Mary to give her baby? She is to call his name Jesus.
ASK: What special things does the angel say about Jesus? He will be the son of God. He will be the king, and his kingdom will never end.