Sunday, November 26: First Sunday of Advent
There is no “Advent” per se in the Armenian church calendar. Rather, the approximately 50-day period preceding our Christmas is called Heesnag (from the word for fifty, Heesoon). Hisnag contains a total of three designated weeks of fasting — aside from the usual Wednesday and Friday fasts — so unlike Great Lent it is not a continuous period of such discipline. Bottom line: Our Hisnag, just as in the Western Church’s Advent, is a beautiful time to prepare, body and soul, for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Focus on Scripture, being at church with your Christian family, prayer, worship, fasting, and good works.
From Sunday’s Readings
Luke 12:13-31 The “parable of the rich fool” (vv 14-20) describes a man who plans to build a bigger place to store his worldly goods so that he can “enjoy life.” Life, Jesus reminds us, is not about how much we have. Discussion: Look at verse 15b. How does the world teach us the exact opposite? (i.e. society, the media, popular entertainment, fashion, technology bombard us with images of what we should own to be successful, beautiful, happy) Where do true riches lie and why? For younger children: talk about what they might collect or enjoy having. Are these better than a happy day with their family? A play date with a good friend? A beautiful day outdoors? End with this brief prayer: “Lord, I know I ask for all things that I might enjoy life; remind me that You gave me life that I might enjoy all things.”
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 St. Paul declares his heartfelt thanksgiving for the Thessalonians whose exemplary faith, even in suffering, had inspired countless others. Discussion/activity (adaptable for all ages): Read verse 2 aloud. Ask students to make a list (for younger children, let them tell you the names as you write them on the board) of all the people for whom they’re thankful. Think outside the box; include such people as the writers of their favorite books, the farmers who provide their favorite fruit, etc. Now pray for them.
Isaiah 36:1-9 The king of Assyria demands Jerusalem’s surrender from King Hezekiah and questions his reliance on God. Discussion: Have you ever turned to God in a seemingly hopeless situation? In what ways does trusting God help you through a difficult time? (Provides courage and strength, hope in the future, determination to prevail.)
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