2022 ADVENT GUIDE


Draw your attentions and affections toward Christ during the Advent season with the FBG "Christmas Gives" Advent Guide.

As we focus on the fulfilled promise of His first arrival, we are faithful to hope in the promise of His return. 

This Advent, prepare your hearts to celebrate our Savior by considering all that Christmas Gives







HOW TO USE THE GUIDE

A simple and uncomplicated guide for you, your small group, and your family.  





Families & Individuals
Twice Weekly


  SUNDAY  
Light the Candle
Watch the short video, light the Advent candle together, then read the Advent liturgy and pray.
Scripture & Discussion
Midweek revolves around the scripture and the weekly Advent theme (hope, peace, joy, love).





Small Groups
During your Small Group time together, you'll do both the Sunday and Midweek Sections of the Advent Guide.  






A Gift for You
We've gifted each member of our church family a subscription to Dwell Bible App. Dwell is a rich audio Bible experience that allows us as a church family to walk through God's Word together. You'll find a customized FBG Advent Playlist that makes engaging in the weekly scripture simple and fun for your small group or family. 





Advent Candles

If you received an Advent candle bundle, we recommend you place the candles in a small bowl or cup with sugar or sand in the bottom to hold the candles.  You'll light the candle to let it burn during your Advent Moment, then extinguish it so you can light it again the next week.  

If you did not get an Advent candle bundle, grab four candles of any color plus one white candle.




Be Encouraged
There is no "wrong" way to do this guide.
During this Advent season keep this phrase in mind: "some is better than none".
When you're tempted to chase a perfect Advent devotional experience -- silent, smiling children who sweetly recount deep wisdoms of the Lord while thanking you for leading them -- remember that the Lord honors and multiplies the efforts of our hearts. 




Some is better than none.






WEEK FOUR

CHRISTMAS GIVES LOVE








SUNDAY





1. Watch the Video





2. Light the Love Candle

To be read aloud: 
Today we light the first, second, third and fourth candles of Advent. (Light the green, red, gold and black candles.)

The first candle is HOPE, the second candle is PEACE, the third candle is JOY, the fourth candle is LOVE.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -
Romans 5:8


Today we light the fourth candle of Advent, the candle of Love.
In this season of Advent, we remember that love is the light of God. Let us now light our Love candle. As we light this Love candle together, let us be reminded that Jesus said “This is my commandment, That you love one another as I have loved you”.  May the flame of this candle remind us to show our love for others through acts of kindness and compassion. 
(Light Candle)




3. Pray

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for sending your Son into the world so that he could show us what it means to truly live in perfect love. Help guide our steps today towards loving others as You have loved them. Amen




4. Discuss


Questions designed for all ages and stages of faith.  


Agape love is not primarily a feeling that happens to people. This kind of love is a choice to act in ways that offer well-being to others. Using Paul’s definition of love from 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, consider how Jesus loves us. How is Jesus patient, kind, humble, and selfless toward us? How does this kind of love challenge more popular, modern notions?


Jesus says that the ultimate standard of authentic love is how well you treat the person you can’t stand—your enemy. Let that settle in as you read Luke 6:27-36. Notice how God shows kindness to ungrateful, dishonest, and violent people. What does this say about God’s character? Consider how verse 36 describes God. How do you think love and mercy relate to one another?


How can you love someone this way today?



You've completed Sunday's portion of the FBG "Christmas Gives" Advent Guide.



Share the Love
that
Christmas Gives. 







Prepare your heart for Christmas by listening to the FBG Advent Scripture Playlist on















MIDWEEK





1. Read the scripture 
Luke 1:57-80

Listen to this passage with a free Dwell Membership we've gifted our church family.  We recommend you play the passage once out loud now, and then listen yourself several times during the week.  (During your drive time, while on a walk, during chores.)








2. Consider the truth

Questions for you, your family, or your small group.  


God displays his love by fulfilling His promise to redeem those who believe in Jesus Christ. When Zacharias could speak again, how much excitement do you think he felt? How much love do you think he felt for his son? If you are a parent, share with your children the love you felt when they were born, some of the things you talked about when they were born, some of the dreams you felt for them when they were born.


How can we know that God loves us? God has made so many promises and all of them are experienced in trusting in Jesus Christ. What promises help you understand God’s love the most?


God didn’t just make the promises, but God also declared that his promises were fulfilled so that we might believe in Him. How has knowing that God loves you and wants you to know Him changed your life?


The story continues and you play a part in God’s plan. If you believe in Jesus, God will lovingly redeem you and forgive you of your sins. If you have experienced his love, then you can take part in the continuing story by declaring God’s love to others. Discuss a few ways that you (and your family if applicable) can share the love of God with others this Christmas. 





3. Rejoice in the truth.

Sometimes the Christmas songs we’ve repeated for so long contain hidden treasures in the lyrics upon closer examination.  Consider the lyrics to this popular Christmas song.


Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come, Thou long expected JesusBorn to set Thy people free;From our fears and sins release us,Let us find our rest in Thee.Israel's strength and consolation,Hope of all the earth Thou art;Dear desire of every nation,Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,Born a child and yet a King,Born to reign in us forever,Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.By Thine own eternal SpiritRule in all our hearts alone;By Thine all sufficient merit,Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
By Thine all sufficient merit,Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Enjoy the FBG Advent playlist on Spotify (below) this week to guide your heart and mind toward focusing on the return of Christ and the hope it gives. 








FBG ADVENT PLAYLIST




You've completed the Midweek portion of this Advent Guide.
Share the Love that Christmas Gives. 




WEEK THREE

CHRISTMAS GIVES JOY








SUNDAY





1. Watch the Video

2. Light the Joy Candle

To be read aloud: 
Today we light the first, second, and third candles of Advent. (Light the green, red, and gold candles.)

The first candle is HOPE, the second candle is PEACE, the third candle is JOY.

Isaiah 9:2: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 


Today we light the third candle of Advent, the candle of Joy.
In Advent, we are in a time of waiting. Like the Israelites who wandered through the Wilderness, waiting to come into the Promised Land. We wait for the day when everlasting joy will be on each of us. Until that day, we rejoice in the gift of the Spirit of God who breathes joy into our lives, and leads us in every good work. 
We light this candle in Joy. (Light Candle)




3. Pray

Prayer: “Open our eyes to the joy only You can give, O Lord, and give us a willing spirit to pursue truth and goodness in our lives for our good and Your glory. Amen.”




4. Discuss


Questions designed for all ages and stages of faith.  


We heard in the video that "Christian joy is a profound decision of hope and faith in Jesus' own life and love".  Do you see that statement play out in your own life?  If so, give an example.  


Joy is "an attitude God's people adopt not because of their circumstances but because of God's promises and faithfulness".   Using this definition, what brings you the most joy in your life? 

Can you tell a story of a time you experienced joy at a time that should have been surrounded by despair? 

Th Bible talks about "joy in the wilderness".  That means that even when we seem alone and outcast, we still have joy.  The Bible and many, many Christians through history testify the truth of this.  How do you think God brings us joy even in the worst of times?



You've completed Sunday's portion of the FBG "Christmas Gives" Advent Guide.



Experience the Joy
that
Christmas Gives. 







Prepare your heart for Christmas by listening to the FBG Advent Scripture Playlist on















MIDWEEK





1. Read the scripture 
Luke 1:46-56

Listen to this passage with a free Dwell Membership we've gifted our church family.  We recommend you play the passage once out loud now, and then listen yourself several times during the week.  (During your drive time, while on a walk, during chores.)








2. Consider the truth

Questions for you, your family, or your small group.  


Mary experienced joy in a challenging circumstance because she trusted the Lord. Have you had a time of sorrow or difficulty when you have still experienced joy because of trusting in Jesus Christ?  Share about one of those times.  

God’s Word promises those who trust in Jesus Christ eternal life which includes eternal and perfect joy. What do you think eternal and perfect joy will be like? Share about any moments in your relationship with Jesus where your joy felt like a taste of heavenly, eternal and perfect joy. 

Mary’s life circumstances, as it related to being the mother of Jesus, had to feel challenging her whole life. God placed Elizabeth in Mary’s life to encourage her near Christ’s birth. God placed others along Mary’s life to encourage her, even up to Jesus’ death (John 19:26-27). Who has been an encourager in your life, a reminder of how trusting the Lord results in true joy? Who is someone you should encourage this weed and how will you do that?

Mary declared her joy. Discuss a few ways that you or your family can share the joy of Christ with others this Christmas season. Make a plan for sharing your joy with others.




3. Rejoice in the truth.

Sometimes the Christmas songs we’ve repeated for so long contain hidden treasures in the lyrics upon closer examination.  Consider the lyrics to this popular Christmas song.

Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart prepare Him roomAnd Heaven and nature singAnd Heaven and nature singAnd Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
Joy to the Earth, the Savior reignsLet all their songs employWhile fields and floods, rocks, hills and plainsRepeat the sounding joyRepeat the sounding joyRepeat, repeat, the sounding joy
He rules the world with truth and graceAnd makes the nations proveThe glories of His righteousnessAnd wonders of His loveAnd wonders of His loveAnd wonders, wonders, of His love
Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart prepare Him roomAnd Heaven and nature sing(And Heaven and nature sing)And Heaven and nature sing(And Heaven and nature sing)And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature singAnd Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart prepare Him roomAnd Heaven and nature sing(And Heaven and nature sing)And Heaven and nature sing(And Heaven and nature sing)And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature singAnd Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

Enjoy the FBG Advent playlist on Spotify (below) this week to guide your heart and mind toward focusing on the return of Christ and the hope it gives. 








FBG ADVENT PLAYLIST




You've completed the Midweek portion of this Advent Guide.
Experience the Joy that Christmas Gives. 




In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

WEEK TWO

CHRISTMAS GIVES PEACE








SUNDAY





1. Watch the Video

2. Light the Peace Candle

To be read aloud: 
Today we light the first and second candles of Advent. (Light the green and red candles.)

The first candle is HOPE, the second candle is PEACE.

Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

As we light this candle we remember that our peace is possible because of Jesus' arrival into the world, death on the cross and ascension to heaven.  Peace is not merely a circumstance or feeling, but a person.  Christ Jesus. 




3. Pray

Prayer: “Almighty God, you offer rest for our hearts and peace for our souls through He that IS peace, Christ Jesus. Give us grace to live out the peace that you have already given us through your Holy Spirit that we might share peace in this community, and peace in the world.
Through Jesus Christ, the prince of peace we pray.....Amen.




4. Discuss


Questions designed for all ages and stages of faith.  


How do you define peace in your own life? 

In Romans 5:1 it says that "We have peace with God through Jesus Christ."  What does it mean to have peace with God?  What would be the opposite of peace with God? 

The Biblical concept of peace isn't merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of God. Where do we see God's presence in:  Jesus' first arrival?   A believer's life?  The church? 

If God's presence is peace, what does it tell us about these three things?  (Jesus' first arrival, a believer's life, and the church.)



You've completed Sunday's portion of the FBG "Christmas Gives" Advent Guide.


Share the Peace
that
Christmas Gives. 







Prepare your heart for Christmas by listening to the FBG Advent Scripture Playlist on















MIDWEEK





1. Read the scripture 
Luke 1:26-45

Listen to this passage with a free Dwell Membership we've gifted our church family.  We recommend you play the passage once out loud now, and then listen yourself several times during the week.  (During your drive time, while on a walk, during chores.)








2. Consider the truth

Questions for you, your family, or your small group.  


Peace is a person more than it is a condition. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. What worries have ceased in your life because of God’s peace through faith in Jesus Christ?


Mary and Joseph had every reason to feel absolutely no peace in their circumstances. But God made promises to Mary and Joseph, he told them things that provided them peace in the midst of their circumstances. Peace comes because of the promises and words of God. How have the promises and words of God brought peace into your life?


Tell your family the story of when you decided to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Talk about moments when that decision has been the only reason for peace in your life.


Talk about a time when you shared the message of peace with someone else.  Talk about a time when you failed to share the message.  How will you be intentional this Christmas to share the message of peace?





3. Rejoice in the truth.

Sometimes the Christmas songs we’ve repeated for so long contain hidden treasures in the lyrics upon closer examination.  Consider the lyrics to this popular Christmas song.

Hark! The herald angels sing"Glory to the new-born kingPeace on earth and mercy mildGod and sinners reconciled"Joyful all ye nations riseJoin the triumph of the skiesWith angelic host proclaim"Christ is born in Bethlehem"Hark! The herald angels sing"Glory to the new-born king"
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!Hail the Sun of Righteousness!Light and life to all He bringsRisen with healing in His wingsMild He lays His glory byBorn that man no more may dieBorn to raise the sons of earthBorn to give them second birthHark! The herald angels sing"Glory to the new-born king"
Hark! The herald angels sing"Glory to the new-born kingPeace on earth and mercy mildGod and sinners reconciled"Joyful all ye nations riseJoin the triumph of the skiesWith angelic host proclaim"Christ is born in Bethlehem"Hark! The herald angels sing"Glory to the new-born king""Glory to the new-born king"

Enjoy the FBG Advent playlist on Spotify (below) this week to guide your heart and mind toward focusing on the return of Christ and the hope it gives. 








FBG ADVENT PLAYLIST




You've completed the Midweek portion of this Advent Guide.
Rest in the Hope that Christmas Gives. 




WEEK ONE

CHRISTMAS GIVES HOPE








SUNDAY





1. Watch the Video






2. Light the Hope Candle

GREEN

RED

BLACK

GOLD

WHITE

If you received an Advent candle bundle during our Nov 27 Worship Service light your green candle. We recommend you place the candles in a small bowl or cup with sugar or sand in the bottom to hold the candles.  You can let the candle burn while having your Advent moment then relight each night, focusing on the hope of Christ's return each time you relight it. 

If you did not get an Advent candle bundle, find five candles to light, one each week. 





To be read aloud: 
Today we light the first candle of Advent, the candle of Hope.
[Light Green Candle]

As we focus on the return of Christ, we put our hope in the Promised One. God faithfully fulfilled His promise of a Messiah, born in a manger in Bethlehem; and we wait with hope for our Savior to return. 
As we light this candle, and in the week to come, we focus on the hope Christ's return gives. 




3. Pray

Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for the gift of hope that we find in focusing on the return of our Savior, Christ Jesus.  Allow us to be light in the dark places; hope in the corners of despair.  Remind us of your presence as we live another week of hoping and longing for your return.
Amen.




4. Discuss


Questions designed for all ages and stages of faith.  


When is the last time you remember waiting on something you were excited about? Recount that feeling. 

How do hoping and waiting work together?

When we focus on the fact that Jesus will return one day, how does that bring hope into our lives? Our church? Our city?

What are some practical ways we can focus every day on the return of Christ during Advent?

What things in life might distract us from hoping and waiting well for Christ's return? 





You've completed Sunday's portion of the FBG "Christmas Gives" Advent Guide.
Rest in the Hope that Christmas Gives. 







Prepare your heart for Christmas by listening to the FBG Advent Scripture Playlist on















MIDWEEK





1. Read the scripture 
Luke 1:5-25

Or listen to this passage with a free Dwell Membership we've gifted our church family.  We recommend you play the passage once out loud now, and then listen yourself several times during the week.  (During your drive time, while on a walk, during chores.)








2. Consider the truth

Questions for you, your family, or your small group.  


Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth “were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord.” What things do you think they did or things that were a part of their life in order to be described that way?

When Zechariah was chosen to burn the incense in the sanctuary it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Priests really only did this one time in their entire life. It was in the middle of this once in a lifetime opportunity that an angel appeared and spoke to him. How does this help us understand that God is in control at all times in our lives?



The son that Zechariah and Elizabeth came with a promise. He was going to make the people ready for the Lord. Do you know how John, the son of Zechariah, helped prepare the way for Jesus? (He called people to repentance.) In what way do we need to hear that message today?



Ultimately, in Luke 1:5-25, we see that God is at work at all times bringing His plan to completion. In what area of life do you need to remember that God is at work even when you don’t see it? What evidence of God do you already see in the situation that gives you hope? 









3. Rejoice in the truth


Utilize the lyrics below as you listen to and consider the hope that Jesus brings.
Enjoy the FBG Advent playlist on Spotify (below) this week to guide your heart and mind toward focusing on the return of Christ and the hope it gives. 

Behold
Behold the King has comeDivinity incarnateCreator of the worldBreathing our airBehold what light has comeAnd the dark cannot contain itThe Savior of the worldIs finally here
Oh, come, let us adore HimCome, let us adore HimFor He alone is worthyChrist the Lord
Behold, the Father's loveBeyond all comprehensionHe gave His only SonTo die in our placeGo and see that empty tombHe's not there, for He is risenEvery heart prepare Him roomJesus Christ, the King of Heaven
Oh come, let us adore HimCome, let us adore HimFor He alone is worthyChrist the Lord
We give You all the gloryWe give You all the gloryWe give You all the gloryChrist the LordWe give You all the glory (all the glory)We give You all the gloryWe give You all the gloryChrist the Lord
We praise Your name (we praise Your name forever)We praise Your name (we praise Your name forever)Jesus, we praise Your name foreverChrist the Lord
Oh, come, let us adore HimCome, let us adore HimFor He alone is worthyChrist the Lord (oh, come, let us adore)Oh, come, let us adore Him (come let us, come let us adore)Come, let us, come let us adore HimFor He alone is worthyChrist the LordChrist the LordHe is Christ the Lord





FBG ADVENT PLAYLIST




You've completed the Midweek portion of this Advent Guide.
Rest in the Hope that Christmas Gives.