Thursday 31 December - Advent Video Challenge

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31 December, 2020

Watch Joy


  • What stood out to you most in this video? What things resonated with you?
  • What do you think God might be saying to you? What will you do about it?


  • On this, the last day of 2020, take some time to reflect and pray about what has brought you hope, peace, joy and love this year.

More From 'Dig in at Home'

Jesse Tree 7. Isaac - Saturday, 4 December 2021

READ: Genesis 21-22

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now, I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So, Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:9-14)


God’s plan to show his love to everyone needed Abraham to be the real deal. Abraham had to be serious about trusting God. To make sure, God decided to test Abraham.

God thought of the one thing that would be hardest for Abraham to give up: Isaac, his son. Abraham loved Isaac with his whole heart, and now God was asking Abraham to give Isaac as a present to God. It meant that Abraham would have to kill Isaac. It made Abraham really sad, but he believed that God would keep the promise to give Abraham lots of grandchildren. He trusted God.

When God saw that Abraham trusted him completely, God provided another way. He showed Abraham a sheep nearby, which Abraham could give to God as a present instead.

Many years later, God himself gave up his son. This time, the son wasn’t Isaac; it was Jesus. And this time, Jesus was the sheep, too. He’s the Lamb of God, and God gave him as a present for the whole world.


- How did Isaac feel when he was going up the mountain with his dad?

- How much do you think God loves you?

- How much do you love God?


Jesus, thank you for being a present to me. Help me trust you even when things are very hard. Amen.


Add the next picture to your tree.

Find something of yours to give away that could bless someone else.

Materials adapted from:,


Advent 2. Getting Ready - Sunday, 5 December 2021

READ Malachi 3:1-4 & Luke 3:1-6

This week, the readings and addition to the Nativity display acknowledge the process of getting ready. We think about things in our lives that need to be ‘made smoother’ – but also, things in the world, the valleys and rocky paths, the injustices, and difficult things that we can work to straighten out to make the paths for the Kingdom. Today, there is a path added to our display and we will add sheep and shepherds who journeyed towards the newborn baby.


It's week 2 of Advent! Last week we talked about anticipating… what we are looking forward to and built a tree with our prayers of hope and anticipation. This week, we’ll talk about how Advent is about getting ready, and smoothing the way for ourselves and others to experience peace. The Bible is full of bits of looking forwards – and lots of bits about getting ready for what was coming.

In Luke chapter 3, we read the story about John the Baptist, who was Jesus’ prophet cousin. He was preparing the way for Jesus. What he said to the people, was like preparing a road towards Jesus. And today we will add a path to the tree, with some signs to lead the way. Read John 3:1-6 from the road signs.

- What do you think it means to “prepare the way for the Lord” and “make straight paths for him”?

In the Christmas story, we think a lot about the people who came to meet Jesus. But it is interesting to think about this verse, and how God is talking about making paths straight and mountains flattened as a highway for God to be known on – a highway for God so that everyone can see God’s salvation. This passage might be used as an encouragement to do some landscape gardening! To encourage us to look at the way that we come towards God, and the way that we encourage others to try to come towards God. Spend time reflecting on:

- What are some ways that the paths can be made straight and the rough roads, smoothed, so that God can be seen more clearly?

- What things in your life are barriers to you experiencing God’s Love and Peace?

- What are some things that you or others do that form barriers to people experiencing God’s love and Peace? In church? At home? At work or school? Have a think – it might be something in your life you need to straighten out, maybe an expectation that you’ve placed on someone else, maybe the ways that we expect people to behave or think in church or at home, It might be conflict with people you care about, think about tricky things that could be smoother…

During worship today, you are invited to add shepherds, and sheep to the path and the tree with your written and coloured prayers that God would make the paths straighter, and that his salvation will be seen.


God of highways in the wilderness, help us to find ways to make the paths straight and the rough places smooth. Help us to identify and prepare ways for you to be seen and known in the world. Amen

Watery Advent 1. PEACE

Usually during Advent, we do an advent candle wreath, however this year we are doing a water wreath! Especially in the hot Australian Summer water is something that we anticipate, that we hope for. A cup of cool cup of water on a hot summer’s day, rain for our farmers and lawns, water to swim in, water for baptism! Water is a powerful symbol.

So each week, just like we would with a candle wreath, we’re going to fill a new cup instead of lighting a new candle as we reflect on Hope, Love, Peace, and Joy. Each week we will be adding more to the Jesse tree and to remind us of life growing out of the stump.

1: As we pour the water for our Advent wreath, we remember our deep thirst for God's peace.

All: We long for your peace, O God. [Pour water into the second glass.]

2: The peace of a long soak in a hot tub after a hard day’s work.

All: We long for your peace, O God.

1: The peace of steam rising around a home saved by the sweat and sacrifice of a community of firefighters and their supporters.

All: We long for your peace, O God.

2: Peace as deep and mysterious and teeming with life as the vast oceans.

All: We long for your peace, O God.

1: I invite you to name aloud people and places which are in particular need of God’s peace at this time e.g.: ► Neighbours who disagree; ► victims of crime; ► facing medical procedures; ► living with grief; ► In war-torn places; ► families involved with Courts

1 & 2: Advent God, we worship you with peace.

Materials adapted from: &


Jesse Tree 6. Abraham & Sarah - Friday, 3 December 2021

READ: Genesis 15-17

God brought Abraham outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5)

You will not be called Abram anymore. Your name will be Abraham because I have made you a father of many nations. I will greatly increase the number of your children after you. Nations and kings will come from you. I will make my covenant with you last forever. It will be between me and you and your family after you for all time to come. I will be your God. And I will be the God of all your family after you. (Genesis 17:5-7)

God also said to Abraham, “Do not continue to call your wife by the name Sarai. Her name will be Sarah. I will give her my blessing. You can be sure that I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations. Kings of nations will come from her.” (Genesis 17:15-16)


If there’s a clear night this week, go outside with your family before you go to bed. Find a spot where you can see the sky and look up. Hopefully, the sky is dark enough that you’re able to see the tiny pinpricks of stars, way off in the distance. The longer you look, the more stars you’ll be able to see.

This is how God showed Abraham how big his family would be. God promised that Abraham would have one son and so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that he wouldn’t be able to count them, even if he tried. He’d changed their names and promised that Kings of nations would come from them.

Did you realize that you are part of Abraham’s family? When God showed Abraham all those stars, he was including you, too! Because of Jesus Christ, we are adopted into that same family—the family of Abraham and the family of God. The people in the stories you’re reading this Advent are your great-great-great grandmas and grandpas!


- Do you think Abraham tried to count all the stars he could see?

- What does it feel like to be part of God’s family?


God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thank you for making me part of your family. I’m thankful that I get to be in the same family as Jesus. Thank you for inviting me into the covenant promise. Help me reflect the family name well. Amen.


Add the next picture to your tree.

Go outside and count the stars and thank God for each of your ancestors, by name if you can.

Materials adapted from:,