As someone who lived and served as a church worker for 40 years, I know the challenge, and dare I say the little bit of terror, that comes along every year when it comes time to plan for the holiday season. How do you tell a story that is recounted every year in a fresh new way? And if you don’t have something on the planning calendar by September, you’re in trouble. Visual Faith® comes in handy, because we offer up an entire program to cover your Advent/Christmas celebration, both in your home and in your congregation.
Redemption Foretold is the theme we chose this year, as it brings together twenty-two of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah with their New Testament fulfillments. Remembering that God is the Maker and Keeper of His promises shines out magnificently during the Christmas season. When Jesus was born, that event fulfilled a promise made to Adam and Eve! And that was just the first time His coming and the events of His life were shared prophetically with humanity.
This year, the Creative Team at Visual Faith® got just slightly carried away (well, maybe extremely carried away!) We’ve produced a record number of activities and practices that will carry you through the season at whatever level of involvement you want to have.
1. As is true for every Advent (and Lent, by the way) we begin with our devotional pathway. This year’s path was created by our co-founder, Pat Maier. Pat’s has been responsible for several of these pathways throughout the years, and they are perennial favorites. This resource comes in both English and Spanish!
2. Scripture Scribing Devotional Guide: Here you will find a brief commentary about two passages – a prophecy from the Old Testament followed by the fulfillment of the prophecy from the New Testament. Since Advent is so very short this year, there are only twenty-two days of Scribing passages, along with one for Christmas Day. This product can be a free download for you to print yourself, or you can go to our bookstore and purchase it already printed for you and ready for your Scribing. You can also gift this resource and ship directly to family and friends!
3. God Promised—Jesus Arrives! is our coloring book/graphic novel designed for children. This short booklet tells the entire story of Jesus’ birth, with graphics drawn by Katie Helmreich specifically for this project. You can get this book in either color version or in black/white so that your children/grandchildren can color the pictures while remembering the story. I encourage you to let your children read or tell the story to you, as they learn how to share the Gospel in this incredibly simple way. This book can also be printed at home or purchased at our bookstore.
4. What would any of our projects be without a lovely packet of Ephemera, designed by our Creative Director, Denise Miller. This packet is filled with items that go along with the themed material found in all of our Advent Foretold material.
5. Advent by Candlelight: It is the tradition in many churches to hold an event that kicks off the Advent season that invites people to join together, bringing focus on Jesus to this time of the year. Instead of giving cultural norms all of the attention, this event invites people to remember that all of the celebrations and gatherings are about the arrival of the Savior. This free resource includes a full script, and three different activities to choose from as you tailor your event to the specific needs of your congregation or small group. There are even pre-made slides to make your presentation seamlessly easy. This is a perfect event for your women’s ministry, or to provide a family life experience.
6. We also have two extra projects for you to choose from this season:
a. Advent Family Resource: Here is an opportunity for you to make a simple ring project that will
provide your family with faith-based conversations/devotional time throughout Advent. Look
for “Advent Family Resource” in the shoppe. You may want to use this little ring project every
b. Another project that can follow you every year is the Luke 2 Tradition project. This simple project was also created by Pat Maier, based on a tradition she has practiced with her own family for several years. It is very simple to construct and can easily be tucked away in your Christmas decorations and brought out every year. It also makes a great project for your students in Sunday School or church preschool to make and take home so that they can share the Christmas story with their families.
As you can see, Advent is all about Jesus and His miraculous arrival. It’s time to celebrate Him and to share His message with those in our lives. When you get to the shoppe, click the link, under Celebrations/Holidays on the left of the page that says Advent/Christmas. There you will find all of these resources at your fingertips.