Experiencing Overflowing Joy in God’s Story, In Our Story: Family Experiences

The following are some activities excerpted from Faith UMC’s 2013 Advent book. Try including some of these experiences into your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.


Make a time capsule for 2013.  Include things about your family.  Use the following suggestions, but make it your own.  It is to be something special that will bring excitement when you open it in the future.

Decorate a container – a shoe box, a tin, a plastic box, an oatmeal box are a few examples.  Fill the container with things about you and everyone in your family.  Some suggestions are the activities you made or wrote about  in this year’s Advent book, a favorite ornament (or one you made), favorite scriptures, favorite Christmas carols and songs,  your family story, a snowflake you made.  Seal the container with tape or string or ribbon or wrapping paper.  Put it in a closet or other safe place until the year 2020 (or any year you choose).

Then, remember to open it at the appointed time and reflect on and celebrate the overflowing joy you and your family have experienced.  Give thanks to God!


No two snowflakes are the same.  Each one is beautiful, even without bright colors or splendor.  Together with other snowflakes, they can create a beautiful scene.

Using paper – white or pastel colors – make your own snowflakes of different sizes, different shapes, different designs.   Hang them up in windows or around the house.  See how they can bring beauty wherever they are.

Snowflakes can be fun – taste them, build with them, walk in the snow, feel the cold of the snow.  Be creative – God shows His creativity when He gives us snowflakes every winter.

Thank God for the beauty of all creation; for the details in something as tiny and ornate as a snowflake and as majestic as a mountain! Celebrate the joy in all creation!

Story Time

DOC112213-11222013145737-0001Story telling is a beautiful art. It’s a creative way to pass down family tales & traditions from one generation to the next.  This Christmas spend some time sharing those special stories with your family & friends. Relive the memories of Christmas past by reflecting on your most memorable Christmas moment or a favorite Christmas tradition.

Begin by sharing the greatest story ever told. Read Luke 2:1-20 or Matthew 2:1-15 as a family. Take turns reading the verses. Be creative in the way you tell the story.  For fun, get out the bathrobes, sheets, & towels, put on costumes & act out the story.  Put yourselves in the story. What would it have been like if you had been one of the shepherds, the inn keeper, or the wise men? Spend some time talking about why the birth of Jesus is the greatest story ever told.  Share how Jesus makes a difference in your lives.

Make this story time special, remembering the words of Psalm 78:4, “…we will tell the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Tell your children & grandchildren, nieces or nephews your favorite Bible verse and why this passage of scripture has special meaning for you. Take turns reading your favorite Bible stories or talking about your favorite Bible characters. What special quality makes those biblical characters stand out for you? Which Bible character would you want to be like? Ask each other to share which character you see reflected in each other’s lives.

Share how you see Jesus in each other. Talk about how God has blessed your family & friends during the past year. End with prayer asking God to help each of you grow in your understanding of how His story is the greatest story ever told!

Click this link for additional resources and ways to experience Advent at Faith UMC:  http://faithum.weebly.com/advent.html




About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
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