Tuesday 9 January 2018

Welcome Baby Jesus - Sarah A. Reinhard - Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families

Welcome Baby Jesus:
Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families
Sarah A. Reinhard
Liguori Publications
ISBN 9780764819971


My family have read through this booklet three of the last 4 years now. My children have loved it each time we have worked through it together. It as well as the companion volume Welcome Risen Jesus are wonderful reads. The these for the weeks of advent for the reflection are: 

Get ready!

There is a devotional reading for each day from the first Sunday of Advent until January 1st and also the feast of the Epiphany. This year there is 6 days between those two. My kids love this devotional book. Even after our third time through they look forward to reading it together each day. Each day follows the same format. There are three main sections. Think – Pray – Act and a verse of the day. My children love the daily prayer section that we pray together. They also love the act section with gives a suggestion of something to do to apply the lesson from the devotion. A sample devotion is:

Feast of Epiphany  

Think: We don’t hear a lot about people “prostrating themselves” before other people. I always picture these kings, in all their fancy clothes, lying flat on the ground before Jesus, who was probably sitting on Mary’s lap or on the ground close to her. The floor might have been dirt, and the kings must have been quite a sight. 
Then to see the things they brought! They brought gifts fit for a king, though what they saw before them was far different than the usual image of a child king. Jesus was, to all appearances, the child of a carpenter, not wearing the fancy garments or surrounded by the court the kings must have expected. 
Even seeing their surroundings, the kings still laid themselves out on the floor at Jesus’ feet. They recognized him as a king, even though he didn’t look the part. 
We’re called to do the same. In our everyday lives, Jesus asks us to recognize him in the people around us, to act in a way that shows others that we serve Jesus. The greatest gift we give Jesus is the love we give to the people around us. That’s the message of Christmas.  

Pray: Jesus, I want to honor you as the Magi did, but I don’t have a lot to give. Take my heart and make it yours. Take my actions and bless them so that they glorify you. Take my prayers and help me grow. Amen.

Act: Draw a picture of the gift you would bring to Baby Jesus.

On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

This book is an excellent Advent devotion for the whole family. I have done it with children as young as 4 and as old as 11 over the years we have done it and all of them really enjoy it. As a family we highly recommend this book. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Sarah A. Reinhard:
Welcome Baby Jesus
Welcome Risen Jesus
A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy
Catholic Family Fun
Word by Word

Do I Really Have to Give Something Up for Lent?
An Examination of Conscience for Teens: Grades 6 and Up

Author Profile and interview  with Sarah A. Reinhard

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