But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (NIV) Galatians 5:22-23a
The four weeks leading up to Christmas are a special time for God's people to join together in anticipation of Christ's birth. This time is called Advent.
For full instructions on the Advent candles, click here.
This week, light the third Advent candle. The pink candle represents joy. You will also light the candles from the previous weeks (Hope and Peace).
Have someone say, “This is the third week of Advent. We light the candles of hope and of peace from the last two weeks. Today, we light the candle of joy.” Have someone light the candles of hope, peace, and lastly, joy.
Talk about the devotion Advent: God’s Joy. You might use the prayer at the end of the devotion together.
To learn more about what joy means in the Bible read Galatians 5:22-25.
Ask these questions: “Have you ever made a special gift for someone? How did you feel when the person was about to open it? How did you both feel when it was opened? How does this experience remind you of the gifts God has already given you, and the one you haven’t ‘opened’ yet? How can you share this joy with others?” Allow each family member to answer the questions, and then have a conversation about what joy means to them. After the sharing time, say, “Let’s find ways to show our joy in Jesus to everyone we meet this week.”
Make a memory photo album and share it with a friend or family member.
Take a walk with someone and find beautiful examples of God’s creation.
Call your grandparents and ask them about their childhood.
Make a homemade gift for someone.
Leave something small and beautiful where a stranger will find it.
Tell a joke.
Feed the birds.
Check in on an elderly neighbor.
Invite someone to play at recess.
Pick up litter.
Let someone go ahead of you in line.
Tell the principal how great your teacher is.
Listen to (or even sing!) a family favorite Christmas carol about joy, like “Joy to the World.” You can listen to an Advent playlist on Spotify. We also love "Waiting Songs" by Rain for Roots.
We pray that this practice of participating in Advent gives your family a deep sense of anticipation for Christmas. May God bless you during this special season.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Finding Joy at Christmas! and Choosing Joy Over Happiness