Follow the Star Week 4: Advent 2016

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“For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
–The words of the wise men in Matthew 2:2

For those churches which follow a three year cycle of Sunday readings, called the Revised Common Lectionary, this year most of our readings about Jesus will be from the Gospel of Matthew.  I love the year of Matthew, because this year is the one that tells us the story of the wise men which appear on Epiphany.  Because of its emphasis on the wise men, I thought it might be fun to go star-crazy this year from Advent to Epiphany.  We continue the season with a four week craft which builds on itself as we watch the star rise to show the way to Jesus.

If you missed week 1, you can find it here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/follow-the-star-week-1-advent-2016/

If you missed week 2, you can find it here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/follow-the-star-week-2-advent-2016/

If you missed week 3, you can find it here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/follow-the-star-week-3-advent-2016/

Supplies needed per star:
Week 4:
Clear flat ½” marble
Black paint marker
Gold puffy paint
Paintbrush
1 Permanent Glue Dot

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Gathering:  Light your Advent wreath, get out your Advent Spiral, or turn on the Christmas tree so that your family knows something special is about to happen.

Gathering Prayer: (repeat-after-me style)
Dear God, we thank you for time to spend together as a family as we wait for Jesus to come.  Help this time to be a holy time.

Bible Story:
Ask your kids to tell you the story of Jesus being born.  If they can’t come up with it off hand, you might want to get out a nativity set and have them tell you about all of the pieces.  You can also use this to help them to learn the story.  A Children’s Bible or Children’s Christmas story book might also come in handy.  If you are stumped, you can watch this short video:

After you have sorted out the story, remind them:  There were lots of people waiting for Jesus to be born.  Angels.  Mary.  Joseph.  Shepherds.  Sheep!  Who was the group who came from the farthest away?  The wise men!  They had been watching the sky for a special star that would tell them that an important king had been born.  We know this because, in the Epiphany story, the wise men tell the people in Jerusalem, “For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

This year during Advent, we are going to wait for Jesus like the wise men, watch his star rise, and celebrate when he is born!

Craft:  Popsicle Stick Star
Instructions for Week 4:

  1. Position your marble so that it is flat side up.  Use the paint marker to draw a small cross on the flat surface.  Dry completely.

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  1. Add a small dot of gold glitter puffy paint to the flat surface.  Using the paint brush, gently move the paint around until it is evenly distributed over the whole flat surface.  Dry completely.

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  1. Flip the marble over.  It should look like this:

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  1. Using the permanent Glue Dot or other permanent glue, attach the marble to the apex of the star.

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When you have finished making your star(s), hang them ¾ of the way up your Christmas tree, or put it somewhere off the floor but not too high.  It will not arrive at the top of the tree until Christmas Eve!

If you’d like to go star-crazy with us, here is another star that you and your family can make this week:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/follow-the-star-2016-star-cookie-decorating/

Song:  I Wonder As I Wander
You might be wondering why we would add a cross, the symbol of Jesus’ death, to our star celebrating Jesus’ birth.  This song is the answer.  I hope you enjoy it.

Closing Prayer: (repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, you are our bright morning star.  As we watch our little stars rise, help us to follow where you lead, both now and always.  In your name we pray, Amen.

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