Under the Bethlehem Star

Join us this advent as we gather underneath the Bethlehem star to remember that we belong to God and that we belong to one another. Use this Advent Devotional in your homes to ground you/your family’s experience of this meaningful season.

This year, we held an advent Jesse tree workshop, where people had the chance to make their own Jesse tree. If you missed that you can download the printable ornaments and use them in a different way (just cut out the different pictures and place them in a bowl each day, or glue them on a larger piece of paper in the form of a tree – there are no rules, any idea would work!).

We’ve created a devotional for this season that has two parts. The first, helps remind us that we belong to God and are part of God’s family. Each day there is a story from an important person in the line of Jesus’ family for you to read and a prayer to say together. The second part, reminds us that because we belong to God, we also belong to one another. Our church has adopted the Spring Hill Food Pantry this advent season and are doing a food collection drive as part of our Advent Devotional. There is an item to donate each day during the 24 days of Advent.

If you are in a house with younger ones, consider getting a cardboard box sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend and have them help you decorate it, maybe writing and drawing on it all the things for which you are thankful. If you have older ones at home who could help you shop, have them come with you to the grocery store with the food item list and help you shop for all the items. Once at home, store them in a cabinet or pantry and then each day during your devotional time, send your kids to find the item for that day and put it in the collection box. (I know what life with little and bigger ones looks like, so adapt this as you need to – I know our own family won’t get to this everyday, but will appreciate being grounded by this practice when we do!).

Let your kids get waaaay more creative than this :).

Bring your donations each week you come to worship with us – we’ll be collecting them in our welcome area right when you come in the church. The first half of the month we’ll be collecting sides for Christmas dinners and will deliver all of those items to the pantry on December 16th. So try and get those items here by that date. The rest of the month, we are collecting heartier items that will help the many families the Spring Hill pantry serves. Last month they served 848 individuals, with 234 of those being children. We’ll deliver those items after the holidays.

I am really excited about this devotional for my own family, as I always long to have ways to ground my kids during this season that can too often become about Santa, the presents under the tree, and all the sweets they will eat. Jesus came so that we all might know how much God loves us. Jesus came so that we all might learn how to love one another as God loves us. Jesus came so that one day we might live in a world where no one goes hungry, where all get to live the abundant life God created us to live.

May this Advent be a meaningful season for you and yours.

One of our children’s Jesse Trees already set-up and ready in their room for the season. Mom reported that she set it up, and got out her Bible all on her own and is really excited for her Jesse Tree journey. We love helping our families and kids grow in their faith!

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