© Grace Enough Podcast2024
45: Barbara Reaoch | Advent with Children
Barbara Reaoch is the author of A Jesus Christmas (2018).
She served as director of the Children’s Division of Bible Study Fellowship International and currently enjoys writing from her home in Minneapolis, MN.
Barbara worships with her family at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Barbara and I chat about advent and celebrating it with the children in your life by keeping it simple and focusing on a few key truths about Jesus.
2:57 Barbara introduces herself, shares about her time working for BSF, and talks about writing materials for children and families
4:04 Barbara shares how she came to know Jesus
“When Christ reached out to me and gave me faith to believe my life was radically changed. His love filled me to the point that His love overflowed to my children.”
“When I first started reading the Bible I thought I would open it up and I would hear God telling what I needed to do. It was only as I began to study the Word of God that I realized that the Bible is His voice lovingly directing me to know Him.”
“When God calls you to something, as you well know, it is often out of your inadequacy that He says, ‘Step forward with me in faith to do this and I will show you that I am trustworthy. It’s not about what you’re bringing to me. It’s about what I will give to you.’ As I depended on Him, I experienced His power doing in me and through me what He had called me to do.”
Barbara originally wrote devotional’s and books for her grandchildren while she was living in South Africa.
13:13 Barbara answers 2 questions: 1) What is advent? 2) Why is it important to?
“Christmas promises us so much more joy and deeper, lasting truth than tradition ever could.”
“Advent is important because it’s another time for parents to pass along the great truths of the gospel and to know God’s Word has the power to change kid’s lives.”
16:09 Barbara shares some practical, non-stressful ways to participate in advent as a family.
“Jesus is the Prince of Peace….He ushers peace into our hearts as we make Him central in our family’s life.”
“Keep it simple. Keep Christ central in a simple way. It will be far from simplistic. It will just be simple in terms of time and activity.”
“We step into the area of trying to make the tradition the main thing instead of keeping Christ central. There’s lots of ways to keep Christ central other than sticking to a particular time and method. Don’t make it about the method or the system or the tradition. Make it about Christ.”
Layer the information.
22:06 Barbara answers the question: Is it possible for young children to grasp the concept of “waiting” for the coming Messiah?
“Our children will not understand all of that, but we can try to connect those truths to their world in something they do know.” Example: Waiting for a sibling to be born. Waiting for their birthday.
26:18 Barbara shares a few of the most important elements of advent/Christmas parents can emphasize with their children.
- Who is Jesus?
- Why did Jesus come?
- What is my response?
Add layers and concepts as your kids grow.
29:29 Barbara shares what you can expect if your family uses her advent devotional: A Jesus Christmas
34:54 Barbara shares a few of her families Christmas traditions
“We found our traditions were shaken…by moving to a different culture…It really worked to shake us loose of some of the things we had held dear and associated, perhaps, too closely with the celebration of the season. All that to say Christmas carols are cross cultural and a beautiful reminder of the gospel truths.”
Reading and acting out Luke 2