Love & Hope Children’s Home is getting ready for Christmas! Our new friend from Germany, Meike, is sharing one of her advent traditions with the kids every evening before dinner. Meike started by making an advent wreath that holds 24 candles. She also put together 24 little gift boxes that hang in the dining room, each one full of mini-surprises.
Before beginning the advent wreath tradition with the Love & Hope kids, Meike told them the story of its origins in Germany. Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern founded an orphanage in Hamburg in 1833. He came up with this advent practice in 1838 to help teach the 120 children he cared for about Christmas and the coming of Jesus. As a candle is lit every day in December, it is meant to remind us that Christ is the “light of the world.”
Every day before dinner, Meike selects one child to open a numbered gift box. The kids are always excited to know whose turn it will be.
Inside each box is a candle, a Bible passage and a treat. Whoever opens the box is responsible for reading the Bible passage to the group. Then the candle is added to the advent wreath and the wreath is lit.
Before eating, the Love & Hope kids always sing together, and Meike has been teaching them a new song about Advent, which she translated from German. The words are taken from Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!”
Anunciamos el Adviento
Mira la primera candela!
Anunciamos un tiempo santo,
Preparense para el Señor!¡Ya alégrense, alégrense!
Jesús está cerca.We announce to you the lovely Advent,See the first candle is lit!We announce to you a holy time,Get the way ready for the Lord.Rejoice Christianity, rejoice very much,The Lord is already near!
To read more about Johann Hinrich Wichern, click here.