Advent Readings for Children
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT: The Angels
The angels have always known the good news: that God longed to be known by God's creation.
From the moment humanity first walked upon the earth, God accompanied those
steps and shed light upon that path. God in
greatness and majesty has always stooped in lowliness to be close to the beloved creatures
whose feet roam and whose hearts wander. The angels have always known of God's love
And when in the fullness of time, God's majesty took on human form and God lived
upon the earth as a human baby, the news was too good to bear in silence, and had to be
proclaimed in song, in angel song. The angel brought good news to Mary: behold, God
shall dwell with God's creation. The angels greeted the shepherds: Christ is born!
SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT: The shepherds
The shepherds have always understood lowliness. On the
hillside, there were no dwelling places and fewer possessions, only the sheep to watch,
and the stars ... and there was the silence. Wind and weather exalted themselves
above the shepherds, and drenching rain and scorching sun ruled over them.
There was no claim of closeness to God or stature in the eyes of humanity, only
rough clothing and hard ground and a rock for a pillow, and silence. Silence until,
in the fullness of time, the song of the angels filled the night with words unbelievable
and joy unexpectable and the need to rush from the hills to a stable where lowliness
was bathed in radiance, and humility became divine, and God came to be with God's
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT: The wise men
The promise of a king wove itself into the study of the stars and the pondering of the
prophecies, as some intricate pattern in brocaded tapestry. Throughout the
dreariness of life, royalty was heralded; in the darkness of the night, a star was
encountered. The travel preparations were costly, but the gifts were even more
valuable, and it seemed likely that they would be laid at the foot of a dazzling throne as
instruments were played and servants offered lodging and legions of subjects bowed in
But when the journey was fulfilled, the star's light on the straw was glowingly golden,
and the breathing of the cattle in the stalls was a finely orchestrated hymn, and the
tapestry was woven with the realization of prophecy patterned against the changing of
direction, and it was all so much richer than anything ever had been before: rich in
purpose and implication, rich in surprise and imagination, rich in love.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT: Mary
Nobody had less occasion to step upon history's stage than a woman, too poor, so young,
and still unmarried. No one had less hope against the shock of a man disappointed in
his choice of s bride. No one had less claim upon the orders of Caesar Augustus.
No one had less reason to be noticed by God. It was not wealth and position
that gave her the title of the mother of a king, and it was not purity of thought or
diligence of work or depth of understanding that acted as a magnet for the attention of
the creator. Rather it was the intention of the creator that found a way
unique and humble for this event to enter upon history's stage.
And when the creator chose to be among the people, the creator chose a particular
people, humble and poor, and a specific, very young woman, and a precise moment in the
fullness of time, and the star shone, and the shepherds and wise men gathered, and the