Prepare: This series of children’s sermons in Advent will utilize your Advent wreath in your worship space. Each week the as the candle is lit (ask an older child to help with lighting the wreath) you will explain what the candle means and then give them a take home devotion. Download it here! The idea is for the devotion to be copied on the back of the candle ornament to be used as a family devotion. Have a copy made on card stock for each child and/ or
Gather the children to the Advent wreath. Say, “Does anyone know what day today is in the Church?” Accept all answers. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We are gathered here at this wreath with candles on it, we call this an Advent Wreath, and we are going to light just one candle today. Each week of Advent we will light another candle until all of the candles are lit. How many candles do you see here? That’s right four! There are four weeks of Advent; four weeks until we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, Christmas. We light a candle to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world!
Did you know that each candle has a name? This week’s candle’s name is the Hope candle. What is hope? Accept all answers. Hope is expecting something wonderful to happen. We know that something wonderful happened when Jesus was born and also when Jesus died and rose again. This wonderful thing is that God loves us so much and we expect God to be with us always because God promised this to us! Nothing keeps us from God and we are free to love God and everyone around us!
Each of you will get this candle ornament that you can take home and color blue (or purple if you do purple in Advent). You can hang it on your Christmas tree and each week you will get another one to add to the tree. On the back is a Bible passage to read, a prayer and a blessing. You can do this at dinner, in the car or before bed. Let’s practice it now!
God of Hope, you free us from whatever keeps us from you. Thank you for being with us always, amen.
Have everyone in the congregation turn to one another and say this blessing while making the sign of the cross on their forehead or hand: “You are free in God’s love.”
As you distribute the ornaments with the devotion on the back, have them sing "This Little Light of Mine" as they go back to their seats.