Advent – Week 2 – Joy

smiling dog

Week 2 Advent Devotional:
Psalm 47

Joy is an incredible thing that often gets confused with other things – happiness, in particular. Let me explain the difference. This Christmas, when you open a present and it’s the toy or game you really wanted, you’ll be really happy!

Ask: What are some other things that make you happy?

Ask: What happens if that thing that makes you happy gets taken away?

Joy is different from happiness. Joy is something you can have even if the present you open is something you’re not very excited about. Joy is even something you can have if there are no presents under the tree at all!

We can have joy in every circumstance, no matter what’s going on around us, because Jesus came to earth. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God said he was going to send a Savior who would save us from our sins and offer us eternal life. When Jesus was born, God’s promise came true! So now, we can have joy because our sins, sickness, sadness, and all the other yucky stuff don’t win. God wins! And because God wins, we win too!

Ask: Who is someone we know that could use some joy?

Ask: What is one way we can help that person experience joy this week?

Sing together: “Joy to the World”

This Week’s Readings:
12/10 – Exodus 1:1-14

  • Where are the Israelites living now?
  • When God showed Abraham where he and his descendants were going to live, He called it the land of Canaan. Take a few minutes to research and see if Canaan and Egypt are the same place.
  • Since the Israelites were in Egypt, which was not where God said they’d be, how do you think that made the Israelites feel? How do you think it made them feel towards God?
  • Have you ever wondered where God is or what He’s doing?

12/11 – Exodus 13:1-10

  • What festival are the Israelites celebrating?
  • The Israelites have been in Egypt for a long time, but now they get to leave! Woohoo! Where does it say that God is taking them?
  • Eventually the Israelites will get back to the land of Canaan, which God promised them. Has there ever been something that you’ve prayed or hoped for for a long time and then God has answered that prayer?
  • Take some time to create a Prayer and Answer Log. As a family, write down the things you’re praying for and then make sure to write down when those prayers are answered. Post it on the refrigerator so all can see it and fill it in.

12/12 – 1 Samuel 16:1-13

  • Saul was the first king of Israel, but he stopped following God. So who was chosen as the next king?
  • David’s dad’s name was Jesse. Where were Jesse and David from? How might that be significant as we think about the birth of Jesus?
  • David was the eighth son. Normally, if someone was chosen as king, it would have been the oldest son. Do you remember any other stories from our reading when an unexpected family member was chosen to do something special for God?

12/13 – Isaiah 7:10-17

  • In verse 13, what house is Isaiah speaking to?
  • When Isaiah talks about the house of David, he’s talking about David’s family. Since David, all the kings of Israel had come from David’s family. Some were good and some were not. What actions and characteristics do you think are necessary to be a good king for God’s people?
  • What part of the passage specifically makes you think of Jesus’ birth?

12/14 – Isaiah 9:1-7

  • Isaiah was a prophet and our readings from Isaiah are prophecies. Look up what the words prophet and prophecy mean.
  • Verse 2 talks about people who were walking in darkness and have now seen a great light. What do you think Jesus does to bring light into the world?
  • Read verses 6 and 7 again. Have every family member pick the part that is most meaningful to him or her and share why it’s meaningful.
  • Find “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Messiah on Youtube and watch it together.

12/15 – Isaiah 11:1-9

  • When Isaiah talks about the “stump of Jesse” what day of our readings does that remind you of? Who was Jesse?
  • Verse 2 talks about a lot of things that will be given to Jesus by the Spirit. What are some of those things and how do you think they helped Jesus?
  • What happens in verses 6 through 8? What about Jesus might cause these odd things to happen?

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