Light the first candle on your Advent Wreath, the candle of Hope.
This is the first Sunday in Advent. Today we light one purple candle. This is the candle of Hope. Advent is a time of waiting and hoping. We wait for the day when we celebrate again the birth of Jesus. We hope that everyone will come to know God and to worship God.
Before beginning, discuss as a family what it means to hope. Not just in the context of waiting for something exciting you want, but how you must feel to need hope.
For thousands of years, God’s people felt lost. God was far away from them and spoke to them only through the prophets. In the Bible, prophets are people that God speaks to when God wants all of God’s people to know something. Prophets would receive messages from God and then take those messages to God’s people. These messages could be delivered in many interesting ways such as dreams and visions. One very special prophet named Isaiah had many such dreams and visions. Isaiah’s prophecies gave God’s people hope.
Read Isaiah 9:1, 6-7
Isaiah spoke of a savior who would come to the world and live among the people teaching them the best ways to live. Isaiah said that this savior would be born to a virgin (a woman who is not married and has not had children), and that he would be part of the house of David. Isaiah told God’s people that this baby, who would be named Immanuel, or “God with us,” would be called “Mighty God, Everlasting Father,” and the “Prince of Peace.” This was God’s promise given to God’s people through Isaiah. That is something amazing to hope for!
Dear God, thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for the words of the prophet Isaiah that remind us that you are the source of our hope. Help us to live each day remembering the best ways to live and showing your love and your hope to everyone that we meet.