December 1, 2019 :: Preparation

December 01, 2019, By: Crossroads Church

Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas that are traditionally set aside for preparation and anticipation of Christ’s birth. This Advent season, Crossroads is embarking on a Framily ADVENTure. Each week, we will post a devotional, a special activity, connection questions, playlist, and daily readings to help you seek God and focus your attention on the Christ Child during this busy time of year. Grab your friends, your family, or whoever makes up your Framily, and use this page as a resource for your own Framily ADVENTure.

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1 Kings 19:11-13

DEVOTIONAL: Waiting in the Quiet When it comes to Christmas, what does your typical preparation entail? There’s the shopping and wrapping, decorating, setting up the tree, hanging outside lights, planning and attending parties or events, cleaning the house, preparing special foods….feel exhausted yet? Throw kids in the mix, and you get to do all the above while also making sure your kids stay safe and the tree remains upright. We spend a lot of time and energy preparing for the holidays, but what about our hearts? The season of Advent calls us to a deeper kind of preparation. In 1 Kings 19, we find the story of the prophet Elijah. He had just experienced a major victory against the prophets of a false god, but Elijah was exhausted in body and soul. The Lord called him out to the mouth of a cave where Elijah experienced a mighty windstorm, an earthquake, and a fire. But it wasn’t until Elijah heard a gentle whisper that he realized the Lord was with him. If we truly observe the season of Advent, and not just “preparation for Christmas,” we open ourselves up to the change that occurs when we quiet our hearts in anticipation of what God might bring for us. CONNECTION QUESTIONS:
  1. What are your favorite traditions around Christmas preparations?
  2. What are some ways you can build in quiet during this Advent season?
ADVENTure ACTIVITY: Prepping for the Gift of Giving Part of preparing for Christmas is getting ready to give. Every Advent season, Crossroads sponsors the Giving Tree, providing Christmas gifts for children in need right here in the greater northern Colorado area. This week, expand your Christmas preparations to include giving to those in need. Partner with another family or group of friends, and pick a card off the Giving Tree (found in the church atrium). Plan an afternoon or evening to go shopping together and share a meal afterward. SONGS:
  1. Winter Snow by Audrey Assad
  2. Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Kings (MHM)
DAILY READINGS: Luke 1:67-79 Isaiah 40:1-5 Psalm 131 Luke 1:39-45 Mark 1:1-4