Celebrating the birth of Christ is one of the most wonderful family worship experiences we have as Christians. I want to pass along a great resources for Family Worship during the Christmas Season: (Just click on the link to open)
The 25 day Advent Devotion From The Gospel Era (My Sister made this for all our family members, for Family Worship)
These are some helpful resources as you set aside time and intentionally focus on the birth of Christ through Family Worship.
First, let me define “advent”. You may have heard this word during the holidays and never really understood what it meant. Here is a definition: advent |ˈadˌvent|the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. 1. the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays. 2. Christian Theology- the coming or second coming of Christ. So simply stated,”advent” is celebrating the arrival of the the Lord of Glory, King Jesus as he was born into the world as a baby.
Second, Here is a definition and some tips for Family Worship.
Family Worship- Family Worship is the regular and intentional gathering of a household to praise God together.
regular = consistent, habitual, normal
intentional = planned, deliberate, on purpose
gathering = coming together, meeting, assembly
household = family unit, everyone living in your home
praise = worship, expressing love, showing
10 Principles for Family Devotion
1. Worship is about God. Family devotions are when you meet with God as a family. Don’t let the details hide the big point – you are gathering together to hear from God and respond to Him in love.
2. Make it important. You can make family devotions a regular and joyful part of your home life, but you must make it a priority. Don’t let time pressures rob your family of the eternal treasure of knowing God.
3. Keep it short. For most families, 15 minutes several times each week will work well. As your children mature, devotion time will naturally become longer. But regular short meetings are better than occasional long meetings.
4. Make it fun. Everyone should look forward to family devotion time. Use role-playing to act out Bible stories, or invent motions to accompany the singing.
5. Use songs that teach. Not all songs are equal in learning value. Choose songs that tell about the character of God and incorporate Bible verses. Joy and I use and love Seeds Family Worship. The songs are set to Scripture and are great to sing along with. Seeds Worship-Itunes
6. Same time, same place. Getting into a pattern (or habit) will make family devotions a normal part of your home.
7. Learn as you go. Experience will become your teacher. Since every family is different, you will need to discover what pattern of family worship best fits your home life.
8. Use variety in prayer. Alternate who leads prayer, or ask the children to pray aloud in turn. You can even have the children copy aloud after you as you pray.
9. Avoid distractions. Turn off the television and remove toys from the area. If you have small children, an illustrated story Bible will help retain their attention.
10. Head of Household should lead. If there is a believing father, he should lead. If you are a single parent or have an absent spouse, you must lead for your family.
3 Objectives for Every Family Concerning the Gospel and Christmas:
1. Teach clearly the scriptural story of Christmas and the doctrinal meaning of Christmas.
Teach The Old Testament Prophecies: Isaiah 9:6–7 (ESV)
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Teach The New Testament Narrative (Luke 2): Luke 2:8–11 (ESV)
Currently, we are trying to memorize Luke 2 as a family, here is Hannah-Ruth 🙂
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Teach The Doctrinal Emphasis (Incarnation): Philippians 2:6–8 (ESV)
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
2. Recognize the Worldview of consumerism and materialism; Beware of The Law of Unintended Consequences.
consumerism: the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods.
The Law of Unintended Consequences is this: if you are not intentional about the meaning of Christmas and the demonstration of the Gospel with your family, you will unintentionally conform to the worldview of our age, consumerism and materialism.
We have a rule that our children only get 3 gifts on Christmas morning. If you ask them why they only get 3 gifts, they will tell you because Jesus only got 3 gifts. This helps us keep our spending and want in the proper place.
My Sister and her family give an offering that equals the largest amount of money they spend on each of their 4 Children to Lottie Moon (IMB Christmas Offering for Overseas Missionaries).
3. Model the example of sacrifice and servanthood.
As a family we do several things intentionally to model this. Here are some ideas:
1. Have your children help make ornaments for the the widows in your church.
2. Find and adopt a family in need.
3. Serve at a local mission, we serve at Calvary Rescue Mission.
4. Give to Lottie Moon (IMB Christmas Offering for Overseas Missionaries).
Philippians 2:4–5 (ESV)
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
John 13:13–15 (ESV)
13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
I pray you don’t miss out on having a worshipful and wonderful Christmas! Be intentional and celebrate Jesus and His birth into this world. Merry Christmas!