24 Verses for your Advent Calendar

Advent_CalendarChristmas is a relentless torrent of consumerism but it’s still possible to keep the birth of Jesus central in your family. One strategy is to add short Bible readings to your Advent Calendar. Here’s what we do (plus the list of 24 verses/passages):

Some years ago my wife, Jen, found a make-and-decorate-your-own Advent Calendar (see photo). It’s got 24 little drawers and space for an image. She asked me to come up with 24 verses that would work well in the lead up to Christmas. She made up the calendar and decorated it (pretty well I think) and since then, every year, this is what she does: In each box she puts a piece of paper with the verse written on it, a sticker (from whatever Christmas sticker book I can find), and sometimes a few chocolates. If possible the sticker will match the reading.

Starting December 1st, each night after dinner, our sons take turns to open a drawer. They then get to place the sticker on the picture space, hand out the chocolates and read the verse. Sometimes we open two boxes to keep up if we’ve missed a night, or need to get ahead. It’s usually pretty easy to talk about the verse for a while. We then pray and we’re done. 10 minutes max. The boys love it even now at ages 13 and 10.

Here’s the verses, in order, with a brief summary:

1 Genesis 12:1-3 God will bless nations through Abraham
2 2 Samuel 7:11b-16 God’s promise to David
3 Isaiah 7:13-15 The virgin will give birth to a son
4 Isaiah 9:1-7 The promise of a child
5 Isaiah 11:1-5 The promised descendant of David
6 Micah 5:1-4 Bethlehem the place
7 Luke 1:5-25 John the Baptist announced
8 Luke 1:26-38 Birth of Jesus foretold
9 Luke 1:39-45 Mary visits Elizabeth
10 Luke 1:46-56 Mary’s song
11 Luke 1:57-66 The birth of John the Baptist
12 Luke 1:67-80 Zechariah’s song
13 Matthew 1:18-25 Jesus announced to Joseph
14 Luke 2:1-7 The birth of Jesus
15 Luke 2:8-14 Shepherds told
16 Luke 2:15-21 Shepherds visit
17 Matthew 2:1-6 Magi arrive in Jerusalem
18 Matthew 2:7-12 Magi go to Bethlehem
19 Matthew 2:13-18 The family escape to Egypt
20 Matthew 2:19-23 The family move to Nazareth
21 Galatians 4:1-7 God sent Jesus to be born
22 Hebrews 2:10-15 Jesus shared our humanity
23 Hebrews 2:16-18 Jesus became our priest
24 John 1:1-14 The word became flesh

That’s pretty much it. Give it a try (in whatever form will work for your family) and keep talking about Jesus this Christmas.