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December 2021

Dec

The Fear of Home

Come Home for Christmas

Second Sunday of Advent, Year C

For many, the second Sunday of Advent is when we light the candle of peace. This is a time of coming together, of building a community of faith that is open to all.

Week 2: The Fear of Home

Malachi 3:2-4 New International Reader's Version [1]

(emphasis added)

2But who can live through the day when he comes? Who will be left standing when he appears? He will be like a fire that makes things pure. He will be like soap that makes things clean. 3He will act like one who makes silver pure. And he will purify the Levites, just as gold and silver are purified with fire. Then these men will bring proper offerings to the Lord. 4And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to him. It will be as it was in days and years gone by.

Visual Aids: All cookie cutter shapes,

Cookie shape: Snowflake (Click here to download PDF template.)

Message

Have you watched your favorite Christmas television show yet? Have you sung your favorite Christmas carol? Is the show Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer one of your favorites? I love the song that Sam the Snowman sings about “Silver and Gold.” How does it go? (Ask the children to sing along with you a few lines.)

Silver and gold
Silver and gold
Ev'ryone wishes
For silver and gold
Silver and gold
Silver and gold
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and gold decorations
On ev'ry Christmas tree. [2]

Today’s scripture passage comes from the Old Testament book of Malachi. It discusses silver and gold, among other things. Listen to the words of Malachi as I read: (as you read, stress the word pure).

2But who can live through the day when he comes? Who will be left standing when he appears? He will be like a fire that makes things pure. He will be like soap that makes things clean. 3He will act like one who makes silver pure. And he will purify the Levites, just as gold and silver are purified with fire.

When miners take silver out of the ground, the silver isn’t pure at first. It is mixed with other things. So, before it can be used, it must be placed in the fire to remove any imperfections. Only then will it be beautiful and shiny, and perhaps sung about by Sam the Snowman. In the same way, clothes in the laundry hamper are not clean. They must be washed with soap to remove dirt and stains. Only then will they smell fresh and clean and be ready to wear again. The prophet Malachi compares God to fire and soap. He says that God will clean and make pure again the people who lead Israel. Only then will all the people of God shine with holiness and the love that God gives them.

Change is hard. It is hard to change some of our bad habits, isn’t it? Sometimes we might even want to say, “Leave us alone, God, I don’t want to get clean and shiny.” When God invites us to change and to start cleaning our hearts and our actions, our lives become different. Our lives become purer, and we are ready to shine! That is a good kind of change.

What do you think of when I say the word “pure”? (Allow children to answer.) One hundred percent clean. This time of year, I may think of Sam the Snowman singing that song, Silver and gold, silver and gold. Something else I think of that is pure is a snowflake. When I see snowflakes, I think of clean and pure snow. Before the snowflakes land on the dirty driveway or on the dirt from last spring’s garden, they are clean and one hundred percent pure.

What cookie cutter shape do you think we need to take home this week? (Allow children to choose.) That’s right; it’s the snowflake! This week, as you are preparing and baking your snowflake cookies, while you are waiting, think about the statements below with your family:

  • I wonder if there is something in your life that you need God’s help to change.
  • I wonder if you can think of one bad habit that needs to be “purified” by God.
  • I wonder how you can show others the shine of holiness and goodness of God.

Prayer: Purifying God, changing us into holy people is sometimes hard work. We cannot fully change without the help of your Holy Spirit. Let us invite you into our lives to make us clean and one hundred percent pure. Make us shine! Amen.


[1] New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] Written by Johnny Marks. Lyrics © ST. NICHOLAS MUSIC INC.

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Christmas Eve, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Purple
  • Blue

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Christmas Eve, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Christmas, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes