Advent: Give the Gift of Your Presence

“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand
on the mountain in the presence
of the Lord, for the Lord is about 
to pass by.'”
1 Kings 19:11

We look for God in big and loud, bold and bright moments. In this passage from 1 Kings in the Old Testament, you will learn that Elijah is looking for the Lord in the wind, earthquake and fire, but only finds God in the silence that follows all of the ruckus.

There is a big difference between the experience of someone passing by and sharing time in the presence of someone who is coming directly to you. It’s the difference between watching LeBron James play a basketball game on television and playing a pick-up game with him in your driveway.

Even when we are in the same room together, we may not really be in the presence of each other. Electronics, homework, work and other responsibilities and distractions steal our attention. Some days, we are merely passing by one another.

Everything changes with Christmas. The God that only passes by in the Old Testament comes to us, to be present with us through the miracle of baby Jesus. The moment he is born, Jesus is one of us. That’s the kind of God we have—a God that wants to know us so well, that he comes to live among us.

Christmas is coming! Jesus is coming—to be with you!

Share time together playing a board or card game. Talk about these questions as you play:

  • Name three people with whom you enjoy sharing time.
  • What is your top distraction from enjoying time with your loved ones?
  • How do we know God is with us? What does it feel like to be in the presence of the Lord?

Light a candle and sing Silent Night together. Really listen to the lyrics of the song. God comes to us in the silence. Jesus is born a humble baby. “All is calm, all is bright!”

Set a timer and challenge the family to sit in silence for three full minutes. What did you observe in the silence? What did the Lord say to you in the quiet? In the busy season of Christmas, try to be still and quiet at least one moment each day to be with God.