Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Advent Calendar (on the Christmas Story from the Bible)

The Christmas season is my favorite season of the year. It's the joyous time of the year when we celebrate our Savior's humble birth. As a parent, my priority in life is to share the stories and life of Christ with my children. The Christmas season has become so cluttered with activities and false priorities that are not centered around the meaning of the season. This Advent calendar is just one way of instilling just a piece of the Christmas story and taking the focus away from Santa and back to whom the credit deserves - our Savior.

I had desired to do an Advent Calendar, but had no clue where to start. I searched the creative side of my brain (a.k.a. - Pinterest) and stumbled upon a great tutorial for this Advent Calendar from www.howsweeteritis.blogspot.com. I adjusted the format of the print-out (below), but the text is verbatim. I also got creative with how I would like to store the Advent Calendar and the items for each day. I decided on the ease of a craft box from the craft section of Walmart ($7, 30 non-adjustable sections). This item can be found year-round. Hobby Lobby carries a standard 25-compartment box (1 large piece with 25 small sliding compartments) that is in stock only in the Christmas season. There are other thrifty ideas on Pinterest on how to create your own Advent Calendar box (using matchboxes, etc.).

The scripture for the corresponding day and symbol/item is cut and place into that box (ex: 2. Two gold rings, Mary & Joseph's engagement, Matthew 1:18 - would be placed into day 2/box 2. In that box would be 2 gold rings.). 


The scripture for the corresponding day and symbol/item is cut and place into that box (ex: 2. Two gold rings, Mary & Joseph's engagement, Matthew 1:18 - would be placed into day 2/box 2. In that box would be 2 gold rings.). 


"Copy" and "paste" the following into a Word/Open Office document, for instance, re-size/re-format to your desire and print:

1. Angel wings, "halos", picture of an angel (ex: clipart)
(Angel Gabriel)
Luke 1:26-28, 31
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 

2. Two gold rings 
(Mary & Joseph's engagement)
Matthew 1:18
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

3. Shrunken sheet music/music notes 
(Mary's song)
Luke 1:46-55
46 And Mary said:
 “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;  he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”


4. White satin or organza/Guardian angel 
(Angel)
Matthew 1:20
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

5. Cross 
(Salvation through Jesus' sacrifice)
Matthew 1:21
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

6. Bridge or string 
(Jesus bridged the divide between Heaven and sinfulness (on earth))
Matthew 1:22-23
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

7. Star of David/house/chain 
(House and line/chain of David & Jesus' genealogy)
Luke 2:4
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

8. Donkey or horse 
(Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem)
Luke 2:5
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

9. Lion or Purple Cloth 
(Lion represents house of Judah; purple cloth indicates royalty)
Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

10. Baby 
(Baby Jesus)
Luke 2:6-7
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

11. Piece of soft cloth 
(Swaddling blanket)
Luke 2:7
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

12. Peace Sign 
(Jesus is the Prince of Peace)
Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


13. Wool/stuffing/shepherd's staff 
(Sheep/shepherds)
Luke 2:8-11
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

14. Pieces of straw, hay, or dead grass 
(Manger)
Luke 2:12
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

15. Many gold "halos" 
(Multitude of angels)
Luke 2:13-14
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


16. Jingle Bells 
(Spreading the word and carrying the message to others)
Luke 2:15-18
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

17. Dirt or rocks 
(Kneeling on the ground - our right response to Jesus as God)
Psalm 95:6-7
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.


18. Heart 
(The emotions Mary as Jesus' mother)
Luke 2:19-20, 33-35
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

19. The Name of Jesus 
(The name "Jesus" is the Greek form of "Joshua", which means "The Lord saves")
Luke 2:21
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

20. Two doves or feathers 
(Sacrifice of doves by Joseph and Mary; the Holy Spirit is like a dove at his baptism later in life - see v. 21)
Luke 2:22-24
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Luke 3:21-22
 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

21. Googly eyes/ Mr. Potato Head eyes 
(Revelation of Jesus as Christ the Savior to Simeon and to all people)
Luke 2:25-32
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."


22. Small book or scroll 
(Knowledge and wisdom of the Magi)
Matthew 2:1
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

23. Crowns, rhinestones, jewels, throne, or purple cloth 
(Jesus is King of Kings)
Matthew 2:1-2
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalemand asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

24. Star 
(Star that the Magi followed)
Matthew 2:9-10
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

25. Three gift boxes/picture(s) of gold, frankincense, myrrh 
(Gifts from the Magi to Jesus)
Matthew 2:11
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

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