Second Sunday in Advent, Year B
Prop: A Christmas decoration, such as a wreath, a string of lights or a garland
Good morning, girls and boys! Today is the Second Sunday in Advent! Advent is the weeks before Christmas--time we spend waiting for Jesus' Birthday. We've already waited one week--one week down, and because Christmas is on a Sunday this year, four weeks to go. Advent is a time of waiting. It is also a time of preparation, or getting ready for Christmas. During Advent, we prepare our church, our homes and our hearts for the coming of Jesus.
The Deacons (or property committee, or whoever is responsible), have been busy getting the church ready for Christmas, haven't they? And we thank them for all of their hard work! We talked about the Advent wreath last week. The Advent wreath is something special that we use only during Advent. The colors of the paraments--the cloths hanging from the pulpit--and the pastor's stole are royal purple (or blue)--the color of Advent. (Continue to describe changes made tot he sanctuary and church building for the season.) During Advent, we prepare our church for Christmas.
We also get our homes ready for Christmas, don't we? When I get home from church today, I'm going to hang this pretty wreath on my front door. It will show everyone who comes to visit, "Christmas is coming!" Sometime during Advent, many people will set up and decorate a Christmas tree. If you drive around town after dark, you can already see lots of pretty Christmas lights shining brightly. During Advent, we prepare our homes for Christmas.
The most important preparations we need to make during Advent is getting our hearts ready to welcome Jesus. How do we prepare our hearts? We sing special songs during Advent. Listen to the words of the hymns sung in church and Sunday School, and you'll see that they speak of hope and promise and Jesus coming into the world. We read Bible stories that tell us about God's promises to send the world a Savior--someone who will show the way to God and teach us about God's love and forgiveness. We can prepare our hearts by sharing with people in need. We can get ready by showing kindness to others. We can also prepare our hearts through prayer. Let's start preparing our hearts of Christmas by praying together now.
Dear God, We thank-you for this special time of waiting and preparation. Help us to prepare our church, our homes, and most especially our hearts to welcome Jesus this Christmas and every day. Amen.