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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Twelve

Today’s star is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Although the timing of the appearance of the star isn’t entirely clear, we decided to put it up before the child is born. The kids are really getting excited about the arrival of the baby Jesus.

Day 12 – Luke 1: 46-56

46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.  51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Eleven

Today’s manger is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

It’s funny how “manger” sounds so much nicer than “feeding trough.”  I like how this scene shows the animals using what will serve as Jesus’ first bed. I’ve heard of a variety of things serving as a first bed, whether it was specially designed basinet or more innovative re-purposing of dresser drawers, old boxes or a well surrounded spot on the floor.  Many of us had humble births, and in that beginning Jesus identifies with us, with our mothers who bring us into uncertain worlds and with our children unaware of the dangers we hope to shield them from.

Day 11 – Luke 1: 39-45 (TNIV)

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Nine

Today’s bucket of fresh hay and bag of oats are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Day 9 – Genesis 3: 8-15

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Eight

Today’s stump, wood pile, axe and mouse are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

This passage has lots of fun utopian imagery and symbolism that kids don’t get, but the idea of a family tree that gets cut down seemed to connect.  We have reason to believe that Mary and Joseph would have stayed in Bethlehem for a long time, and whether it was at the stable or not, a heat source would likely have been helpful.

Day 8 – Isaiah 11: 1-10 (TNIV)
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord — 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 Infants will play near the hole of the cobra; young children will put their hands into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

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Playmobil Advent – Day Seven

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s cow and hay are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Day 7 – Deuteronomy 18: 15-19

15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your own people. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”

17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their people, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Six

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s structure is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Today we added the stable, a place of refuge and yet far from what they would have wanted and far from the cute, romantic setting it is in our greeting cards.  Our churches and families both serve as the messy, smelly, imperfect vessels through which our Christmas traditions and memories are delivered to us.  God meets us where we are, despite our tidiness, despite our surroundings, and despite our company.

Day 6 – Zechariah 6: 12-13 & Micah 5: 2-4 (TNIV)
12
Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me     one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” 3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Five

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s character is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Day 5 – Luke 2: 1-5

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

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Playmobil Advent – Day Four

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s character is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Matthew 1: 18 – 24 (TNIV)

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

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Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Three

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s character is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Luke 1: 26-35 (TNIV)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

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Playmobil Advent – Day Two

In seeking to establish a family Christmas tradition, this year my wife and I purchased a few Christmas and Nativity scene kits from Playmobil. Every day from now until Christmas Eve we will reveal more pieces and characters for our scene, tell a little bit more of the Christmas story, read a short passage of scripture, sing a Christmas Carol, and maybe enjoy a treat or two. I share this as a resource to other parents, and as a fun way of connecting.

Today’s character is from Playmobil kit #4887 and can be viewed/ordered here.

The Christmas story is full of angels.  Angels deliver messages from God to the people.  This angel’s name is Gabriel, and before he delivered a message to Mary or Joseph, he delivered a message to a priest named Zechariah.

Day 2 – Luke 1: 5-20 (TNIV)

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both well advanced in years.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.

14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”