This four-week Advent family devotional by best-selling author Marty Machowski combines devotions on the theme of light and darkness with the story of eleven-year-old Mia and her grandmother as they prepare for Christmas. Grandma loves to share her faith, especially at Christmas time, and although she is blind, she can see the light of Jesus shining bright and helps Mia—and children of all ages—to do the same.
The Light Before Christmas contains thirteen devotionals—three for each of the four weeks of Advent and one more for Christmas. Each devotional includes a Scripture for the day, an object lesson, a focus Scripture, a question to discuss as a family, a song to sing together, and a prayer.
If you’re looking for a real family (or classroom) Advent adventure, then Marty Machowski’s devotional is for you. The Light Before Christmas includes elements of a typical devotional but is delightfully more engaging. In addition to the expected Scripture verses, commentary, and reflection questions, Machowski weaves a story of Mia and her blind grandmother that unfolds over the four weeks of Advent. The sessions include an opening activity, hymns to sing, and crafts to complete (including instructions).
The topic of the devotional is “Light” and is based on Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 9:2. As such, it’s a unique and refreshing focus for a Christmas devotional. Each week includes 3 sessions that include about 3 pages of information and activities. Each includes a Warm Up, Read the Word (a few sentences), Think About It (insight and reflection – a few paragraphs), Talk About It, Sing Together, and Pray.
The songs are common hymns, such as O Come O Come Immanuel and The First Noel. The Think About It sections include interesting facts, such as how big the galaxy is and how many stars there are.
There is a classroom version available. I didn’t read it, but it’s clear that this devotional would also work great in a classroom setting.
New Growth Press doesn’t list an age range in their Amazon listing. I suggest 6+ years old to grasp the concepts, but younger children would certainly benefit along with their older siblings.
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