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The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional

The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional

by Jeff Land, Abbey Land


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Christmas is a chaotic time of year. With so much focus on material gifts and the anticipation of a certain jolly visitor, parents may easily feel their children are missing the true meaning of Christmas as they count down the days until December 25.
The Way to the Manger engages families with the biblical truth of Christmas through twenty-five Advent devotions that redirect children and families to their need for a Savior and the amazing gift of Jesus Christ. Sure to become a keepsake that is revisited year after year, this book also provides talking points and activities for families to enjoy together, bringing the focus of Christmas back to Jesus and family time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781535901932
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 782,323
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 4 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jeff and Abbey Land have been celebrating Christmas together for nearly twenty years. They love Jesus, their four sons, and Christmas. Inspired to help their sons recognize the importance of keeping Jesus the center of Christmas, they set out to write this book that could be used year after year to help bring their family back to the true meaning for Christmas.

Read an Excerpt




Be sober minded and set your HOPE completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. — Peter 1:13


"Look, the days are coming" -- this is the Lord's declaration -- "when I will fulfill the goodPROMISEthat I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah." — Jeremiah 33:14

Hope of God's Promised One

Think about things for which you might wish. You might wish for a super power like being able to fly, to leap over a building, or having incredible strength. You might wish that people didn't die or that you could go to Mars. Every year when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake someone probably encourages you to make a wish.

Now think about the word hope. If you had to explain what hope means, it might sound a lot like a wish. It's really not. Hope is an expectation of something you know could happen. A wish is more like a desire for something that might not be as doable. When you study really hard for a big test, you hope you make a good grade. When you don't study at all for a big test, you wish for a good grade.

The people in the Bible were hoping for the Savior. They believed what God said, and they were anxiously awaiting His arrival. They knew He was coming because God had promised it.

Jesus also promised that He would return. Today, as we prepare to celebrate the first time He came to earth, we are hoping and waiting for Him to come again.

Dear God,

Thank You that we can place our hope in You. You keep Your promises. Thank You for sending Jesus as the Savior. In Jesus' name, amen.

Memory Maker

Use the space below to write responses. Include the year and each family member's name. Add more responses every year.

What is something you hope you will get to do this Christmas?




What is something you might wish for, even if you think it will never happen?





Therefore, the Lord himself will give you aSIGN.See, the virgin will conceive, have a SON, and name him Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:14

Use the following discussion starters to have a time of conversation before today's devotional.

Kids ask parents:

How or when did you find out if I was going to be a boy or girl?

What is your first memory as a child?

What's your favorite name for Jesus?

Parents ask kids:

Who do you know who is about to have a baby?

What are some ways we can help people who are having a baby?

What kind of things do you think a baby should go for Christmas?

Discuss together:

How do you think people treated Jesus when He was a baby?

The Birth Announcement

Ten little fingers, ten little toes, two little eyes and one little nose. The family is jumping for joy. but is it a girl, or a boy?

Opening a box of balloons, bursting open a balloon full of paint, or cutting into a cake to reveal the color pink or blue are all ways to share the exciting news of whether a baby will be a boy or a girl. The announcement is a time of celebration when family and friends gather to learn more about the coming baby.

The announcement of Jesus' birth went out more than six hundred years before His birth. No cards were sent to invite people to a party or to share the news of Jesus' birth; instead, prophets recorded the news for anyone to hear, read, and learn about the coming Messiah. God had provided specific information about the coming Savior. No one had to question if Jesus was going to be a boy or a girl or even what His name would be. but one piece of information was left out: when. When would the Savior of the world be born?

Isaiah 7:14 offers hope and the promise of Jesus' birth. Before Mary was even born, God had a plan for her to carry His Son, Jesus. People waited for their Savior for hundreds of years; they knew He was coming because God Himself said it would happen. What God says He will do will be done.

Dear God,

You offered hope when we didn't even know what it was or that we needed it. Thank You for keeping Your promises. Help me remember to have hope in You. In Jesus' name, amen.


When they saw theSTARthey were overwhelmed withJOY. — Matthew 2:10

A Star

There are over 200 billion stars in our galaxy Stars are very large; the smallest known star is barely larger than the planet Saturn. Most stars are less than half the size of the sun and are called red dwarfs. The sun itself is actually a star, and it's the closest star to earth. Many years ago, even before Jesus was born, there were people who studied the stars called astronomers. Many years ago. astronomers would draw maps of the placement of stars, which would help people find direction to other places at night. Astronomers are still around today, except now they have fancy telescopes and computer programs to track stars.

The wise men who visited Jesus studied not only astronomy but also the Scripture. They knew that God would send His Son and that when He came to earth there would be a bright star shining in the sky. The wise men believed what God had told the writers of the Old Testament, so they studied the night sky hoping to see the star. When the star appeared, they followed it with the hope of finding the Savior.

Dear God,

You are the one, true God. Thank You for sending Jesus, and thank You for letting the wise men see the star that told them Jesus was here! In Jesus' name, amen.

Taking It Further

Go back and read a few verses before today's Scripture, Matthew 2:1-2. As soon as the wise men saw the star, they knew the Messiah, Jesus, had been born, and they wanted to go see Him.

But how did the wise men know to follow the star to find Jesus? Take a look at Numbers 24:17 where a man named Balaam prophesied about Jesus' birth.

From where does it say the star will come?




From where does it say a scepter will come?




Think About It:Was Balaam correct in his prophecy?

Take a look at Matthew 1:1-17, but specifically verses 2 and 16.





This will be theSIGN for you: You will find a BABY wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a MANGER. — Luke 2:12

Hope for New Life

Most people love babies. They love the smell of a baby, the cute little sounds a baby makes, and how cuddly a newborn baby is. If you have a younger sibling, you might remember how excited you were to find out that a new baby would be coming into your family. You might have hoped for a brother or a sister. You might have hoped that your baby sibling looked like you. If you've ever been to the nursery at the hospital, you've probably seen people smiling at the newborn babies. People are usually full of hope and happiness around new babies.

Mary and Joseph were excited about their new baby too. When they got to Bethelehem, the only place that had room for them was a place where animals were kept. This was where Jesus was born, according to God's plan. And what happened when they finally held baby Jesus for the first time? Soon, a heavenly host of angels met a group of shepherds and told them where to find baby Jesus. They were so excited and hopeful that they immediately went to find the Savior. You can have hope today because you can know that Jesus the Savior was born!

Dear God,

Thank You for Jesus coming to live on earth as a baby. Thank You for Jesus' example and the perfect life He lived. In Jesus' name, amen.

Memory Maker

Use the space below to write responses. Include the year and each family member's name. Add more responses every year.

What kind of signs do you notice the most? (words, pictures, videos or other kinds of sings)




What kind of signs do you think God sends today?





In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galileo called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. — Luke 1:26-27

Use the following discussion starters to have a time of conversation with your kids before today's devotional.

Kids ask parents:

How do people know when you are excited?

Tell me about something you really want right now.

What is the best news you've ever gotten?

What do you think angels look like?

Parents ask kids:

How do you react to good news?

What is something that is exciting to you?

What do you plan to be when you grow up?

How would you feel if an angel visited you?

Heavenly Visit

How do you think you would feel if an angel visited you? In the Bible when an angel would visit, the person was usually surprised. Imagine the way Mary must have felt when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. She probably had lots of questions. Why me? What am I sup posed to do? How can all of this be? The angel assured her that this was a part of God's plan.

Sometimes it might be hard to understand God's plan. You can always remember that God knows exactly what needs to happen.

Joseph was questioning his part of God's plan during this time as well. He wondered what he should do and if he should still marry Mary. The angel Gabriel also came to visit Joseph during a dream, and he assured Joseph that this was all part of God's plan.

As you go through life, pray that God will always help you remember that His plan is better than anything you could ever plan for yourself. You can have hope that God has a plan for you.

Dear God,

Thank You for including details about Jesus' birth. Help me remember that lean have hope for Your plan for my life. In Jesus' name, amen.


Excerpted from "The Way to the Manger"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jeff Land and Abbey Land.
Excerpted by permission of B&H Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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