We have prepared this guide to help you celebrate Advent at home this week. We encourage you to use it at a family meal or together in your living room or family room. You can also use it in your own personal devotions or share it with a friend(s) or extended family. You can include lighting your own advent wreath as well. 


One of our favorite things about Christmas time is how it can awaken a child-like wonder and imagination. In a word, Advent and Christmas are a time of hope. But why should we be hopeful? We look around and experience the reality that things aren’t the way that they are supposed to be. It’s not just that things ought to be different, which everyone can mostly agree on, but that they could be different. The question is how? It would be one thing if all the wrong we see was “out there,” but what about the problem in us? The problem isn’t just out there but in our own hearts.

The book of Isaiah opens with judgment in response to the failures of God’s people. God’s own people had rejected him through acts of injustice and oppression: their hands are full of blood! (Is. 1:15) What reason would there be for God to intervene? Do we have any real reason to hope? Some 400 years later, the gospel of John begins with a surprising and unexpected hope. The God who has been rejected has come into the world. Not to judge, but to save. Not to condemn, but to forgive. Despite our turning our backs on God and choosing our own selves at the cost of others, Jesus comes and dwells with us (Jn. 1:14).

Without setting aside justice, but rather by fulfilling it with the surrender of his own life, he washes us and reconciles us to God: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (Is. 1:18). The unexpected hope of Christmas is that, through Jesus, the worst we’ve done can be forgiven. And because of his gift, no one is too far from the possibility of reconciliation and restoration.


Isaiah 1:10-20; 2:1-5, John 1:1-14

(For families with young children: Get Ready!” from The Jesus Storybook Bible pages 170-175 or “Many Silent Years from The Big Picture Story Bible, pages 229-441)


  1. Have you ever given a gift that wasn’t appreciated or received? How did that make you feel?
  2. What’s the longest you’ve ever had to wait for something? How do the feelings you have when you are waiting remind you to put your hope in Jesus?
  3. Where do you see injustice in your own world? How does Jesus provide hope for the future as well as motivation to work towards justice and mercy now?


Use one or both of the printed prayers to guide a time of prayer together.

Father in heaven, we remember that we were at one time separated from Christ, alienated from your people and deserving of your judgment, having no hope and without you in the world (Ephesians 2:12). But now, O God, in Christ Jesus, we who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Christmas is a tribute to your grace, not our deservedness. He came not to call the righteous but sinners. We own our rebellion and many failures and gladly bow in worship before your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen. 

Prayer adapted from David Mathis, “The Christmas We Didn’t Expect: Daily Devotions for Advent” (Good Book Company, 2020)

 (A prayer especially mindful of children) 
Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope we have that you will one day make all things right. Thank you for being the light that shines in the darkness! Amen


You can sing the song “O Come O Come Emmanuel” using the printed lyrics or you can click here for a sing-along video!

O Come O Come Emmanuel
O come, O come, Emmanuel, 
and ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee o Israel

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee o Israel

O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease
Fill all the world with Heaven’s peace

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee o Israel 


Art and music have a unique way of sparking our imaginations and helping us feel hopeful. Gather others together to enjoy a movie or music.

 Additionally, consider how you might be light in the darkness and bring hope to others.

  • Love INC has requested donations for pillows and blankets (twin or full size). Place items in the marked bin outside the church office by December 10th.
  • We are collecting warm clothes in partnership with Lake County Jail. These will be given to inmates who are released during the cold winter months. You can drop off your donations in the bin outside the church office by December 31st.
  • Support a ministry of justice and mercy this holiday season. Ministries like Back2Back and Exodus World Service are great organizations to give an extra financial gift to as this year ends.