A children's choir singing during service at Trinity Church

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: Be A Transformer

First Sunday of Advent

Transformers! Did you know that Jesus was a transformer? Did you know that following Jesus gives you the ability to be a transformer too?

Of course, we’re not talking about turning cars into robots — partly because you’re not a car. And in Isaiah’s time there weren’t any cars, so his example was to transform swords and spears into gardening and farming tools: turning something that harms into something that helps or heals, transforming something made for destruction into something made for creation.

We’re not machines. We’re human beings and we all have gifts, skills, and tools that can be used to hurt or help, too. God is always with us to help us choose the ways of love and creation that the prophets envisioned.

This Sunday begins the first week of Advent. Most churches have an Advent wreath with four candles for each week on the wreath and a Christ candle in the center that we light on Christmas Eve or Day. There is usually a reading of a scripture or prayer when the candle for the week is lit and, often, there is a theme for the candles, too. The most common themes are peace, hope, joy, faith, and love. Which theme(s) do you think Isaiah’s vision represents?

Print, fold, read, and color the story booklet.

A line drawing of two people working in a field with gardening tools

1. Sing and Dance

Sing and dance to Peace Like a River in English, Spanish, and the universal language of dance and movement. Do the motions you’ve learned or make up some new ones!    

2. Play and Pray

Play Word Transformers. One person writes or says a word or phrase that could be hurtful. The next person uses or transforms (changes) the word or phrase to make it helpful, healing, or kind. If you’re really good at word puzzles, take the harmful word and rearrange the letters to make a different, kinder word. Or see if you can transform a phrase with the tone of your voice or facial expression.    

Pray: God of hope, we can’t wait until your vision of peace fills the whole world! Fill us with hope, courage, creativity, and compassion so we can help make this dream come true in ourselves, our neighbors, and our world. Amen.

3. Create

Make an Advent wreath or start an Advent calendar for your family’s home. There are lots ways you can make these, and a lot of them don’t require special supplies. And here are simple prayers for the lighting of each candle at home.   

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