THE FINE ART OF WAITING
First Sunday in Advent, Year B
Print a copy of the photo below and keep out of sight until time to display it during the story, or show on the screen at the appropriate time but not before.
Good morning, boys and girls! Today we're going to talk about waiting. We all need to wait sometimes, don't we? We stop at the corner and wait for the light to turn green before crossing the street. We wait our turn in line at the store or when playing a game. If we want to ask a question in school, we raise our hands and wait for the teacher to call on us before we speak.
Some things are harder to wait for than others. It can be very hard to wait for a vacation to Disneyland or a trip to Grandma's house. Sometimes it seems like forever until our birthday gets here and we get to eat cake and open presents.
This is a picture of someone who is waiting for something. (Show picture.) This dog's name is Merlin. Can you see what he's waiting to receive? What's that perched on his nose? That's right--a treat! Merlin has been trained to wait for his owner to say, "OK!" Only then does he flip the biscuit off of his nose, catch it in his mouth and eat it. Can you imagine how hard it is for him to wait, and how long the wait must seem to a little dog?
Today begins a new season in the church year. It is a time of waiting and getting ready for. . . Christmas! Church leaders understand how hard it is to wait for something as wonderful as Christmas. And so, during Advent, there are all kinds of special traditions and activities that help us wait and get ready for the Big Day. (You might want to mention traditions of your own church, such as the children's pageant or the congregational Christmas dinner as examples.)
One tradition is the Advent wreath. You can see that there are four candles arranged in a circle, and one candle in the middle. We will light a new candle each week between now and Christmas. The center candle is called the Christ Candle. It is lit on Christmas Eve. So, when you come to worship and see all of the candles lit, you will know that the next day is Christmas and the time of waiting will finally be over.
Let's pray together.
Dear God, We thank you for this special time of the year. Help us to be patient during Advent, and bless us as we wait for Jesus' birthday, Christmas. Amen.