December 16, 2020

On that day the announcement . . .will be…”Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 

Zephaniah 3:16-17 (NLT)

Notes for adults and older children: 

Zephaniah was prophesying in a time of confusion, conflict, concern over injustice, and suffering – all leading to fear. Does it sound like 2020? He gave a message of comfort that in the future God would resolve all the nation’s problems and live among them. When Christ comes into our lives, he gives us partial fulfillment of this prophecy by calming our fears with his love and bringing us joy in the midst of our current troubles. 

Notes for young children:

When you feel upset or very sad, is there someone who makes you feel better? We all need help when we are feeling bad. God tells us that he will help us when we ask him to. We know he will listen to us when we tell him our problems. And he promises to calm us and care for us when we come to him. The Bible says that he loves us so much that he sings happy songs to us. We can’t hear him sing to us right now, but it is wonderful to know that when Jesus comes back we will never be sad or hurt again. 

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you that you know when we are sad and when we are happy. You hold us in your arms when we are sad and you let us know how much you love us.  

Advent activity:

Make a list of the ways that God lets us know that he loves us (for instance, the beauty of a sunset, made for us to enjoy; the parents that he gave us to take care of us). 

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