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Advent is here!

The first week of Advent is when we light the first purple candle on our Advent Wreath (the one opposite the pink candle) and we think about Hope.

Our Music Resource is all about hope and our Picture Resource will help us to think about our own hopes as the Church begins its new year.

For our Action this week we have the chance to create our very own Advent Wreath for our Class so that we can follow the journey throughout Advent in this way.

Our Video will help us to think about what we might be waiting and hoping for throughout Advent and our Scripture takes us on the next step in the story of the birth of Jesus.

During this week think about the hopes that you have during Advent and how you can prepare for Jesus’ birth by being the best person that you can be.

Scripture Bank

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!

Jeremiah 29:11

Psalm 62:5

Romans 12:12

Romans 15:13

Romans 5:2-5

Isaiah 40:31

Deuteronomy 31:6

Psalm 39:7

1 Corinthians 13:13

Romans 8:25

Romans 8:24

Mark 9:23

Proverbs 23:18

1 Peter 3:15

Jeremiah 17:7

Psalm 71:14

Psalm 71:5

Click here for the Music Resource

Listen to this song and watch the video. What examples of Hope can you see?

Here's Hope – Owl City (Non-Official Music Video)

Watch this video on YouTube.
From the song and the video you can see that there are ways that, just like Jesus brings hope to our lives, we can bring hope to those around us.

This doesn’t have to be a huge action, it can be as small as reassuring someone by saying that things will be ok, or helping them out when they need help.

How can you bring hope to others during Advent?

Discuss some of your ideas with your Class.

 

Help us Lord to look after others during Advent and to bring hope to those who need it.

Amen.

Click here for the Picture Resource

What are these children celebrating?

Happy-New-Year-Kids

Advent marks the Church’s new year.

New Year is a time for new beginnings and for making a fresh start.

We have the opportunity to make a change, to be better people and to become more like Jesus.

Think about your school year so far.

What have you achieved so far?

Are you proud of what you have done so far?

What would you like to do even better?

Create some targets for this Advent. Try to achieve the things that you want to do and be a person that you, and others, are proud of.

Click here for the Action

It can be difficult to wait for a long time and in Advent we are waiting for 4 weeks!

One way of helping us as we wait is by having something to do whilst we wait and to see how long we have to wait for.

Last week we created Advent Calendars to help us to have something to do everyday as we prepare for Jesus to come into our lives but another way of measuring the time during Advent is by using the Advent Wreath.

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You may have an Advent Wreath in school but this week we are going to create one for your Class.

There are lots of different parts to prepare so split into teams and then read what you need to do for your part of the Advent Wreath.

 

There are 5 candles on the Advent Wreath:

  • 1st Week of Advent, purple candle for Hope
  • 2nd Week of Advent, purple candle for Peace
  • 3rd Week of Advent, pink candle for Joy
  • 4th Week of Advent, purple candle for Love
  • Christmastide, 1 white candle for Jesus

All 5 candles are on the Advent Wreath throughout the whole of Advent but they are only lit when we have reached that point in Advent. As the light grows it reminds us that the Light of Christ is coming into the world.

Get into 5 pairs and work together to create the candles and a flame that you can stick on when we have reached that point in Advent.

You could have another team who will prepare some nice big letters to label each candle with its theme i.e. hope, peace, joy, love, Jesus.

 

web6The bottom of the wreath is made from holly, ivy and red berries and is in the shape of a circle.

The circle shows that God is everlasting.

The green of the evergreen plants show that God’s love is always with us.

The red berries represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross.

You can make your wreath look more exciting by creating your leaves by drawing around your hands on green paper. When you bring all of these together it will create a lively wreath!

Don’t forget to make some berries too!

 

When you have made your Advent Wreath bring all of the parts together and add the flame to the first purple candle for Hope.

 

Help us Lord as we begin our journey throughout Advent to have Hope and to believe.

Help us to be positive and to wait patiently.

Amen.

Click here for the Video Resource

This video is an advert that was shown a few years ago before Christmas. It is all about waiting and being hopeful but what do you think the child is waiting for?

Watch the video and see if you are right…

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011

Watch this video on YouTube.
Did you guess correctly?

In this season of hoping and waiting we each may approach it quite differently. Some people will be waiting so that they can receive something special and others, as we saw in the video, will be waiting so that they can give something special.

What type of person are you? Are you waiting to give or to receive?

The gift of Jesus in the world is one that is given to all of us so that we can all receive His love. We should try to follow the example of Jesus and give our love to others so that we are sharing hope and allowing everyone to receive a special gift.

With great love comes great hope because when someone loves us and believes in us we can hope in them and their love, and we can feel like anything is possible. This is why God’s love is so special to us because it gives us the hope and courage to go ahead and do great things.

Help us Jesus to follow your example and to share our love with others.

Help us to be kind and generous to others just as you did when you gave your life for us.

Amen.

Click here for the Scripture Resource

This week’s scripture story starts just after last week’s story about Elizabeth and Zechariah.

There are two videos below which both tell the same story. Watch them and think about the questions below.

Ep7 The Annunciation: The Angel Gabriel Appears to Mary

Watch this video on YouTube.

alt.Advent – Episode 04

Watch this video on YouTube.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”

Mary was deeply troubled by the angel’s message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!”

Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God. Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

Luke 1: 26-38

What was the name of the person who came to visit Mary?

In what way was the visitor shown in the two videos?

How did Mary feel when she saw this visitor?

What was the special news that the visitor told Mary?

How did Mary reply?

Which video did you prefer and why? Did you imagine the story differently?

Just as the videos told the same story in two different ways we can all receive news in different ways.

During Advent we are challenged to be full of hope. When we receive surprising news or face challenges we should try to respond in a hopeful, positive way just like Jesus would.

After Mary had received this very surprising news she had to wait until her baby was born.

Waiting can be very difficult because it makes us realise that we are not in control of a situation, instead God is.

Often we are in a hurry trying to get things done, especially when it comes to the time before Christmas because we are waiting for an exciting Christmas Day but we have to realise, just like Mary did, that God is in charge and we have to trust in God and believe that God will take care of us. We must have great hope.

Help us Lord to put our hope and trust in you and to wait patiently as you show us your plan.

Amen.