“I felt blessed to be able to witness their excitement over the responsibility they had been given to shepherd their family through this important part of Christmas.”
The week before Thanksgiving, a group of students arrived at school with their arms filled with some astonishing items including a fuzzy yarn wreath and a large board with small silver buckets hanging from it. Some were even carrying Christmas trees! Were these projects for a craft sale? No. These were the fifth graders and the marvelous projects they had created to help celebrate Advent. While each item was as unique as the student carrying it, behind each one was the shared vision of giving the students and their families an opportunity to spend time each day of the coming month remembering “the reason behind the season.”
An important part of the assignment included the students explaining not just what they had made, but how they would use it with their family. The student with the buckets on a board explained that each bucket contained a scroll with a Christmas-related scripture on it. His plan was that each day his family would take the time to read one of the scriptures together. Another student had created an Advent calendar from a cereal box painted a bright red with small doors cut into it. Like the bucket calendar, each door contained vital verses telling the Christmas story. It was a simpler project, but no less meaningful. As the students shared their vision of how they planned to incorporate their project into their family’s Christmas celebration, I felt blessed to be able to witness their excitement over the responsibility they had been given to shepherd their family through this important part of Christmas.
In our secular schools and communities, this season seems to be about everything and anything except Christmas. Many schools forbid the telling of Christ’s birth along with the mention of His name. It is such a joyful thing to witness Christ’s birth being celebrated openly and joyfully by these students and to witness their maturity as they tell others about this celebration.
NorthCreek Academy is a special place. And, our fifth graders’ Advent projects are a reflection of this. While Advent is not an official part of Christmas, for many people – like our students and their families – it is an important way to keep Christ in focus during a very busy season. It is an opportunity for believers everywhere to pause and reflect on the majesty of His birth and the awesomeness of His free, undeserved gift. We pray that during this season, Christ will be the heart of your family’s celebrations.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11
Written by Julie A. Churchill, one of our 5th grade teachers & our Director of Development