Day One

First Sunday of Advent

The Prophecy Candle

The prophecy candle is a call to listen.  Advent is a season of hope and expectancy, made deep and rich with the history of God’s Word and His sovereignty.  The Prophecy Candle, also known as the Hope Candle, urges us to recall the prophecies of old and to celebrate their fulfillment.  And just as He was prophesied to enter the world as a baby and then to die, He was also prophesied to come again.  God knew what He was doing then…and He knows what He’s doing now. We have much to look forward to.

Advent Reading

Our family has tried different books through the years, but Jotham's Journey is the undisputed favorite, as well as its two sequels. My family decided this year to stop trying other books and to just take turns rereading the Jotham Series each year.  The story follows young Jotham, who is separated from his family and experiences harrowing adventures, ultimately arriving in Bethlehem.  There are a few brief scenes that were intense for my younger children, so I reworded a line or two and went on when they were that age.  The story is broken down into sections to last throughout advent.  At the end of each section are verses for Advent and thoughts to ponder.  I cannot recommend it highly enough. This series of books now gives us four years of stories to follow. My family has enjoyed three of these multiple times over and we're looking forward to trying the new book this year: 


 If you are unable to find these books, here are some sources for Advent verses for each night:
Also, some Jesse Tree books provide excellent devotions that can be read during your family’s Advent reading time. There are many of these available online or at your local library. 

This year, John Piper is offering his Advent book, Good News of Great Joy, for FREE! It's also available on Vyrso for free.


Here are some devotions you can view :
Christian Reformed Church
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Or you can make an entire study from these sources:

A beautiful lesson in Advent from Homeschool in the Woods 

A Christmas unit study with Oklahoma Homeschool

A Family Guide, Inductive Advent studies 

Advent Verses

Jesus said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’” 
Luke 24:44 

The Old Testament contains many prophecies foretelling the coming of Christ.  Many interpreters number them in the hundreds.  As we spend this season looking at those prophecies fulfilled, let us look with anticipation to the fulfilling of more to come.

Jesse Tree

My family likes to save Jesse Tree celebrations for weekday mornings, so this section will be empty during weekends.  But for preparation, see the books linked above. Also, for extra Jesse Tree activities, our favorite resource has been Homeschool In The Wood's History of Holidays. It includes much more than Christmas, but the artwork in the Jesse Tree ornaments is truly beautiful and very fun for the kids to create their own ornaments while reading the accompanying verses. The price is worth it just for the December holidays, but it includes an entire year's worth of excellent activities. 

Here are some pages I've created for my own family to use for additional Jesse Tree activities:  


O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a favorite advent hymn, for good reason. Read its brief history, and enjoy this beautiful hymn with your family.


O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.


Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,

Who orderest all things mightily;

To us the path of knowledge show,

And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;

From depths of hell Thy people save,

And give them victory over the grave.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,

And open wide our heavenly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,

Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height

In ancient times once gave the law

In cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,

An ensign of Thy people be;

Before Thee rulers silent fall;

All peoples on Thy mercy call.

O come, Desire of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind;

Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,

And be Thyself our King of Peace.

During weekdays, there will be additional activities and suggestions, but these are omitted during weekends since most families will spend this time in worship.