Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Celebrating Advent

During the Advent season, our family worship takes on a Christmas theme. Last year I wrote Advent about our traditions. Michael reads to us from Scripture that explains one element of our Jesse tree each night. We sing Christmas hymns, memorize Bible verses from the Christmas story, and read The Advent book.

This year, Michael thought we needed to change things a little. The boys have reached that place in their development that they know the Christmas story inside and out. We are also incorporating a lot of Scripture memory into our regular school day. It's not that we think you can reach a place of knowing Scripture too well; however, he thought it would be beneficial to build on the foundation that has been laid. This year he is not reading the Advent book and we are not having the boys memorize Christmas verses.

Instead he is holding a sword drill. Each night he reads an Old Testament prophecy and the New Testament fulfillment and requires the boys to learn the Scripture reference for each. After he does some teaching and discussing with us, I read one of the passages for the night, not naming the reference. He and the boys seek it out in their Bibles and step forward when it is found. Once all three have located the passage, I call on one of them to read the reference and the first phrase, much like a traditional Sword Drill.

In between passages, I call out a book of the Bible. Each boy locates it and steps forward. Michael participates and occasionally pretends to have difficulty locating the book. The boys think this is a lot of fun and work hard to "get there" before Dad.

We still sing Christmas hymns and let the boys explain the Jesse tree ornaments. We are having such a great Advent season singing and worshipping, spending time in the Word, learning together, and having fun as a family.

When we finish our family worship time, the boys take a piece of candy from this candy tree we made quickly and easily with toothpicks and a Styrofoam base.

I would love to hear from you. What are your Advent traditions? You can leave a comment if you would like or participate in the new discussion I started on the topic in my Blog Frog community.

Happy Advent!



I am blessed! said...

I love the idea of memorizing OT prophecies and NT fulfillments!

My kids are re-memorizing Luke 2:8-15(3rd yr) and adding Isaiah 53:3-? for this year. They recite for our family Christmas eve and also for the church at the Christmas eve service. I guess I'm doing a version of this with Isaiah 53, but I would like to get more specific next year with the prophecies. On my blog I've been posting an Advent series looking at OT scriptures and types that point to the coming of Christ.

Molly said...

Thanks for this contribution to the Mentoring Moments blog carnival! We are doing some different things this year, too...keeping some old favorites but adapting things as the boys are growing older. Traditions are great, but they shouldn't become a bondage...they should be able to change with us!

Joyful said...

I like the way you are celebrating the advent. I also read the `about me` area. Congrats on being married 14yrs. Our two youngest boys are close in age this time of year also. One is 16, as of Sept. and the other turns 18 in Feb.
Merry Christmas

Kellie Renfroe said...

Wonderful post!