This year I have seen a variety of lovely ideas online for helping children and families to get involved with the Advent season. Drawing on some of the ideas I've seen, I've come up with a little bag of things to give out (along with prayer ideas for each item) which will take people through some of the main Advent themes. Putting the bags together doesn't take all that long when you have everything you need and it's quite therapeutic to paint a whole load of Baby Jesus stones!
If you want to find out a bit more about the baby Jesus stones, click here.
For each bag you will need: A prayer sheet (click here to print), A felt or paper star, a felt or paper heart, a pipe cleaner, a baby Jesus stone, a tea light candle, an organza drawstring bag (I used purple bags to reflect the liturgical season.
First paint your baby Jesus stones. I used white and brown paint and a black paint marker (but a sharpie would probably work too). I also covered the finished painting with glossy mod podge. Varnish would work too, but this part isn't strictly necessary!
Next, fill your bags with one of each item and give them out! Keep in touch with your families if you can and see how the bags are working out :-)
The contents of the prayer sheet are below:
Advent Prayer Bags
Prepare for Christmas with some special Advent prayers.
The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine. Isaiah 9:2
What do you hope for?
Light the candle and ask God to bring His light and hope to people who are finding life hard.
Who do you love?
Hold the heart and say thank you to God for all the people you love and who love you.
What brings you joy?
Bend the pipe cleaner into a symbol for something that makes you happy. Ask God to help those who are sad to feel His joy.
The wise men followed the star to search for Jesus. Hold the star and pray for all those who are searching for peace in a troubled world.
Make a special bed for your baby Jesus stone to lie in and light your candle again. Thank God for sending Jesus to be a light in the darkness and trouble of the world. Pray that you will be a light in the darkness too.