It’s the second week of Advent so it’s all about PEACE!
In our Music Resource this week there is a catchy tune which reminds us of some of the themes throughout Advent.
Our Picture Resource helps us to think about the way that we show peace to others whilst our Action gives us some time in peace and quiet to think about the peace that we have in our own lives.
Our Video Resource will show us the amazing scenes from the First World War where soldiers came together and made peace with each other at Christmas time.
Finally in our Scripture Resource we will think about how we greet visitors as we listen to how Elizabeth greeted her cousin Mary when she came to visit her.
Try to bring peace into your life this Advent and share it with the people around you so that we are all more like Jesus.
If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.
Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!
If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!
Here is a song which includes some of the themes during Advent.
Listen to the song and then try to join in if you pick up the tune.
Just like we need the different types of water in the song we all need peace, love and joy in our lives so that we can be happy children of God.
This week, as we think about peace, we need to think about how we can share peace with others around us.
It is important to be friends and to be at peace with each other because this is what Jesus has asked us to do.
Please help us Jesus to share peace with other people and to be their friend.
Click here for the Picture Resource
We all know how important it is to share peace with each other but how do we do this?
What is happening in this picture?
What do we call this action during Mass?
Why do we have this part of the Mass?
The sign of peace, that we share by shaking the hands of those around us, comes from the words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel:
So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
Matthew 5: 23-24
The sign of peace is not always a handshake, it might be a kiss or a hug.
The idea of using a handshake comes from ancient times where people often carried weapons and therefore, to shake hands and show an empty hand truly showed that they were making peace with the other person because they did not have a weapon in their hand.
Think about what it means to be at peace with those around you.
To forgive them, to forget mistakes, to avoid arguments and disagreements with them.
Take the time to offer the sign of peace to those around you. As you do it remember to say the words that Jesus used “Peace be with you” and to look people in the eye as you say it.
Click here for the Action
Start this Action by making sure that everyone has one strip of purple paper and one strip of white paper, and something to write with.
You will also need some glue or sticky tape.
Underneath this box is some music that you could use as you complete the Action below.
This week’s action involves us taking some time in quiet and calm to think about peace.
Let’s start by thinking about where we might need to make peace in our own lives.
Think about the questions below carefully and then, using the purple strip of paper, write or draw the things that you need God’s help with so that you can make peace in your own life. We will be using these pieces of paper to create something in a few moments….
Is there anyone that you have fallen out with and need to say sorry to?
Is there anyone that you do not treat very nicely?
Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
Have you chosen to argue rather than to make peace?
Do you make time for quiet, peaceful moments in your life?
Do you leave things to the last minute and give yourself lots of worry or do you take care of yourself and give yourself peace of mind?
In Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans Paul explains that when it comes to the love of God:
nothing can separate us from his love
(Romans 8: 38)
While we may not be at peace with ourselves or with other people God’s love continues and when we forgive each other, say sorry for what we have done wrong and, make time for peace in our own lives we will be at peace with God and we will be able to share in that great love with Him.
To represent this great and constant love write “God” on your strips of white paper.
To show that God’s love still brings us together in peace, even when we find it difficult to make peace, we are going to make a paper chain.
Take your purple pieces of paper and make them into loops using glue or sticky tape. You may want to fold the purple strips so that the writing is on the inside of the loop.
To link all of us together in peace take the white strips of paper representing God’s love and, with the writing on the outside, use these white strips of paper to link each of the purple strips together to form a chain.
Display this paper chain in your classroom to remind you all of the opportunity that each one of us has to bring peace and love into our lives by accepting the help that God offers to us.
Jesus you said to your disciples, “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you.”
Help us to be faithful disciples and to share this peace with everyone that we meet so that we may be more like you.
Click here for the Video Resource
This week’s video is one that you might have already seen on TV.
It is an advert that shows us that even in the darkest, most troubled times there can still be space and an opportunity for peace.
Watch what happened to the British soldiers and the German soldiers during World War One at Christmas time.
How does the story shown in the video make you feel?
If you had been one of the soldiers in those trenches do you think that you would have been able to make peace with the other soldiers?
Where can you bring peace this Advent?
Is it by leaving someone in peace and quiet?
Is it by forgiving someone?
Is it by encouraging those around you to make peace with one another?
Is it by choosing to make peace with people rather than to fight and argue and blame?
Help us Jesus to bring peace to the world just like you did.
Even in times where there are arguments and there is fighting help us to be the people who make the right choices and bring peace to those around us.
Click here for the Scripture Resource
Let’s listen to the next part of the Advent story to find out what Mary did next….
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
(Glory to you O Lord.)
Soon afterward Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby moved within her. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said in a loud voice, “You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear! Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness. How happy you are to believe that the Lord’s message to you will come true!”
Mary stayed about three months with Elizabeth and then went back home.
The Gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)
Luke 1: 39-45, 56
Why do you think Mary went to visit Elizabeth?
What was Elizabeth’s reaction to her visit?
How do you feel when you have a visitor?
Is it different if you have a visitor at your home/ school/ church?
How do you make visitors feel welcome and at peace after their journey to visit you?
People can travel a long way to see us and to spend time with us so it is important that we treasure that and make them feel welcome.
Jesus is with us all the time but we still need to welcome Him into our lives and be at peace with Jesus by following in His footsteps and living a life full of love.
Think about how you can welcome Jesus into your life throughout this time of Advent.
Help us Jesus during this second week of Advent to welcome visitors from near and far into our lives.
Help us to make the effort to make them feel at peace and to greet them with a smile.