advent joyYoung Reader: We come together again for this third Sunday in Advent. Let’s review our first two candles.

Second Reader: (Point to first candle) Our first candle was to remind us to get our hearts ready with hope for the coming of Jesus.  (Point to second candle) The second candle stood for the importance of God’ s love for us, and our response in faith believing that Christ is coming to our hearts and our world. This week we talk about joy!  As Christmas Day gets closer, we get more excited!  What makes you excited about Christmas?  (Allow time for responses)

Youth Reader:  The Bible tells us that there were shepherds in the fields watching their sheep. (Read Luke 2:8-14; add the Shepherds to your Nativity scene)  The Shepherds knew that something very special had happened and they were filled with praise and joy!

Parent:  We can’t order a dozen “joy” for Christmas and charge it on a credit card. What is joy and how do we get it? (Allow time for responses)  Our third candle, the pink one, is the Shepherd’s candle.   It reminds us that the angels said,   “We have news of great joy!” When we open our hearts and let the love of Jesus enter, we know joy!  (Read Psalms 144:15)

Sing: “Joy to the World”

Parent:  Let us pray.  Dear Heavenly Father, as we become more excited for Christmas, help us to remember the true joy of giving and the true pleasure of receiving.  Show us ways to spread the joy of the birth of Christ with others during this season and the rest of the year.  May the joy that is in our hearts be reflected in our faces and our actions. Amen.

Young Reader:  When we welcome Christ, we will know true happiness and joy, the kind that will last forever, the kind we have to share!

Thought for the week: (Isaiah 55:12) As you go about your business each day try to spread joy to all those who come in contact with you. 

Family Activity:  Do something to make each other laugh (watch a funny movie, take funny photos together, have a cup of hot chocolate, or tickle each other).