Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent: Week 3

Third Sunday of Advent: Joy
“So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:16

Call to Worship
Let’s get ready!
Children: Let’s get ready!
Let’s get ready for Baby Jesus!
Children: Let’s get ready for Baby Jesus!
Only two more weeks until his birthday!
Children: Only two more weeks until his birthday!
Let’s light the Advent wreath!
(There will be a wreath on the table for Advent.)

Joys and Concerns
Have the children share a few joys and concerns they have and follow with a prayer thanking God for our joys and asking God to be with us in our concerns. 

Ask: Today is the Third Sunday in Advent. The word Advent means the arrival of something. Do you know who we are waiting for to arrive? (Jesus)Yes! Advent is the time we use to get ready for the birth of Jesus.

On Christmas morning, boys and girls around the world will wake up early and run excitedly downstairs to see what Santa Claus has left for them... Well, that's not exactly how it goes -- around the world children celebrate the Christmas holidays in many different ways.
In Germany, the 6th of December is a special day:
...There's a special tradition all over Germany on December 6th. [On] the evening of December 5th you put your cleaned (big) boots outside the house in front of the door (or inside). Some people also put a plate there or on the windowsill. The bread in the plate is for the white horse of Santa Claus ... In the morning you see that Santa Claus really was at your house and put nice things into the boots or plates, e.g., all kinds of nuts, oranges, apples, sweets, chocolate, small presents ... But if you [weren't] well behaved the whole year you only get a switch so that your parents can punish you, but they don't!
Kristine and Wiebke, Germany

And in Italy, January 6th is a day long-awaited by many children:
The 6th of January is the day on which the three Wise Men arrive at the Bethlehem cave in which kid Jesus is and give him gold, incense and myrrh and for this reason in Italy children receive presents traditionally brought by the "Befana," a good old witch who comes into their homes through the chimney. This is the last day to the Christmas holiday in Italy.
Elisbetta, Italy

In Sweden, December 13th is a special day that children look forward to all year long:
Saint Lucia [Day] is celebrated all over Sweden on December 13th. The custom with the girl dressed in white with candles on her head has a complicated background ... In our school we celebrate Saint Lucia Day outside very early in the morning while it's still dark. Our Saint Lucia is coming in a carriage pulled by a very small horse. She is followed by Santa Claus on a big horse and a lot of girls and boys in white gowns and a lot of candles. They all sing traditional Christmas songs and read poems. After the ceremony we all eat ginger cookies and bread with saffron. To celebrate is very important to Swedish people.
What are some of the Christmas traditions your family have?
A long Christmas tradition is the tradition to send Christmas cards. Today we are going to make a card for someone special!

God of our world, thank you for Advent! Amen.

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