As you worship together today, you get to light TWO candles. Only TWO more Sundays to go until Christmas is here! As you light the candles, take some deep breaths and remember that God is with you. Do you have a favorite Christmas hymn you can sing together?
Joel calls us to repent-- a word that means to "turn around." We are to turn back to God and the way God wants us to live. Sometimes this means we need to turn away from something else-- things that get in the way of us following God, or things we've done wrong. But, Joel reminds us that God is merciful and slow to anger. We know that God will forgive us when we make mistakes. Turning back to God is one way we get ready for Christmas!
Joel also tells us that God will pour out God's Spirit on all people. We celebrate this moment on a holiday called Pentecost. But as we get ready for Christmas, we can look forward to the new dream God has for all of us in Jesus!
Here are some questions for you to think about today:
- What are some things you can do to turn back to God as we prepare for Christmas?
- Have you ever made a mistake that made you sad, but then you were forgiven? How did the good news of forgiveness make you feel?
- Think about the new dream God has for us in Jesus. What do you think this perfect future will be like? What does your family. the church, the world look like in this dream?
Activity: God's perfect future
Either write a story or draw a picture of the perfect future you talked about in the last question. Younger kids might simply draw a picture of everyone getting along. Older kids, dig a little deeper as you think about how God's dream affects how we treat each other.
Activity: Handprint prayers
Share prayer needs with your family members, then follow this pattern to pray from Spirit & Truth Publishing: