Christmas Advent Cards

Each of these 24 cards tells a part of the story of the first Christmas that took place over 2,000 years ago. The text is paraphrased from the first two chapters of Luke and Matthew in the Bible.

How to use

To use the cards for an Advent calendar, starting on the first day of December, display a new card each day, and follow the characters as they prepare for the birth of Baby Jesus.

The cards can also be used to decorate a Christmas tree (punch a hole near the top and add a ribbon to hang the card with), or they can be used to decorate the table for a Christmas meal.

By preparing the picture cards separately from the text cards, the cards can be used to play a game of matching each picture with the corresponding text.

There is a black-and-white version that can be used for a Christmas coloring activity.

Click here to download the free .pdf

Courtesy of My Wonder Studio.

Light vs. Dark

There was once a dark cave deep in the earth that had never seen light and couldn’t imagine what it might be like. One day, the sun sent the cave an invitation to come up and visit. When the cave did so, it was amazed and delighted and wanted to return the kindness, so it invited the sun to come down to visit it sometime, because the sun had never seen darkness. But when the sun arrived and entered the cave with curiosity at what “darkness” would be like, it was puzzled, and said, “I don’t see any difference!”

The world can seem a pretty dark place at times, but what the story of the cave shows is that darkness simply cannot exist in the presence of light. The most oppressive darkness is helpless in the presence of the light. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”1

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”2 He also says, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”3

In these mirrored passages, Jesus, who is the light of the world, in turn calls His followers the light of the world. That’s pretty awesome, but it’s also a challenge. No matter how dark the world may seem at times, it is both our responsibility and privilege to shine His light into the darkest corners of the world, so that people everywhere can have the opportunity to see and come to know Him for themselves.

1 John 1:5

2 John 8:12

3 Matthew 5:14,16

Image of sun designed by redgraystock via Freepik. Second image designed by upklyak via Freepik. Text adapted from Activated magazine; used by permission.

A Spiritual Exercise: Appreciate this Wonderful World

Imagine a traveler, sitting quietly in a boat as it floats down a river that meanders through a green valley. Trees and shrubs, some in full bloom, line the riverbank. Majestic, snow-covered peaks rise in the distance. But this traveler doesn’t notice the beauty of his surroundings; he is too busy studying the guidebook, learning about the history of the area and where the river will take him.

“Look up! You’re missing the view!” We call to him, but to no avail. He just keeps on reading, his head bowed, his mind elsewhere.

There are times when we need to study the guidebook, as well as times when we need to think back or forward, but there should also be times when we stop and take in the moment.

For the next week, take five or ten minutes each day to look closely at the world around you. Focus your attention on the fluffy white clouds as they drift effortlessly across the vivid blue sky. Study the intricate design on the petals of a flower, or the graceful architecture of a tree, or the pattern of a flock of birds in flight. Look for something different each day, and thank God for His creativity.

Image 1 designed by brgfx via Freepik. Image 2 designed by Upklyak via Freepik. Text courtesy of Activated magazine. Used by permission.