25 days of hope

Thursday, Dec 1

Make a prayer garland. Cut out 24 green and red construction paper strips. On each strip, write the name of a family member, friend, or ministry. Staple the strips as links into one long garland. Hang the garland in your apartment or house as decoration. Every day in December, remove one of the paper strips. As a family, pray for the person or ministry whose name is on that strip of paper.

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” — James 5:16

Friday, Dec 2

For today’s activity, you will need some Candy Canes.

The legend of the candy cane: the story tells of a candy maker in Indiana who wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So, he made a Christmas candy cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White symbolizes the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy symbolizes the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the promises of God. The candy maker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the “Good Shepherd”. The candy maker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life. As you enjoy your candy cane today, spend time thanking Jesus for coming to be your Savior! 

“The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” — Isaiah 7:14

Saturday, Dec 3

Join us in walking in the Christmas Parade tonight! Meet us at 4p at Centennial Park in Peru. We are going to walk in the parade and spread some Christmas joy!

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” — Isaiah 52:7

Sunday, Dec 4

Set out a Family Generosity Jar: for the next 21 days, donate spare change, take a percentage of each monetary gift you receive, or do anything else you feel prompted to do. At the end of the Christmas season, bless someone with the proceeds of your generosity jar. 

“For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” — 2 Corinthians 9:7

Monday, Dec 5

Today, you are encouraged to gather a nonperishable food item or two and donate it to a micro pantry near you.

Jeremiah Joe's (807 LaSalle St in Ottawa)

The New Chalet (514 State St in Ottawa)

Grundy County Health Department (1320 Union St in Morris)

Before you go, pray over the food and especially those that will be receiving it, that they may experience the hope of Jesus through these food items.

“Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” — Isaiah 58:10

Tuesday, Dec 6

Let’s create! Today, you are invited to make “Joy to the World Fingerprint Lights!” Get a piece of paper, some finger paints (or other markable ink that you are comfortable using), and create a string of lights. After you or your friends/family have completed your masterpiece, put “Joy to the World” at the bottom. Then, snap a picture! Post it to Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #25daysofhopeCB

“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” — Luke 2:10

Wednesday, Dec 7

It’s Christmas karaoke time!! Gather your family, and friends or just prepare for an epic solo! Take a moment to sing some of your favorite Christmas songs or carols. If you need some background music, head to YouTube or Spotify. 

"Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!” — Psalm 98:4

Thursday, Dec 8

Today, grab some paper, pens, cards, etc. and have each member of your family write Christmas cards or encouraging notes for people in nursing homes. Then, drop them in the mail, or better yet, hand them to the residents in person!

‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ — Matthew 25:37-40

Friday, Dec 9

Tomorrow, our friends at “Christmas for Kids” will be shopping for their Christmas gifts and other necessities. Spend time in prayer today for every one of these kids. Pray that they will experience joy and hope and see Jesus through all those who are loving and caring for them as they shop together. 

“Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

Saturday, Dec 10

Join us today at Gingerbread Bash from 10a-noon at the Ottawa campus 4161 Columbus St). There will be Christmas crafts, snacks, games, storytelling, Santa, and more! Invite a friend to come with you. We can’t wait to see you there!

(This event is sponsored by Crossbridge Kids)

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

Sunday, Dec 11

Write a letter to Jesus, thanking him for the gifts you’ve received, not just at Christmastime, but throughout the year. Don't forget about the “ordinary gifts” too, like running water, indoor plumbing, indoor heat, a home, a car, etc.…

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.” — James 1:17

Monday, Dec 12

Clean out your toy boxes or closets and donate good-quality items to a second-hand store. As you drop them off, thank the Lord for all the memories you had with those toys, and pray that others will receive as much joy from

them as you did. 

“Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” — 2 Corinthians 8:7

Tuesday, Dec 13

Let’s get some Christmas wisdom by reading about the Wise Men! Begin by reading Matthew 2:1-12. Then, make paper crowns and talk about the Wise Men and the gifts they brought Jesus.

Snap a picture of you, your family, friends, etc. with your crowns on! Post to Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #25daysofhopeCB

Matthew 2:1-12

Wednesday, Dec 14

Did you know that much of the Christmas decor you see around you this time of year has deeply Christian meanings to it? Find out more by heading to this site below. After you read through the website, take time, and talk about which of the items around your home remind you most of the greatest gift of all: Jesus!

“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” — 1 John 5:13

Thursday, Dec 15

It’s “be like a shepherd” day! Invite a neighbor, friend, barista, second cousin-twice-removed, or anyone you can think of to one of our Hopefully Christmas services this weekend or our Christmas movie night happening tomorrow night! If you haven’t grabbed an invite card from church yet, feel free to stop by the office or grab a digital copy on our social media pages. 

“…the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.” — Luke 2:17

Friday, Dec 16

Come join your friends and family for Christmas movie night tonight @ CB! The festivities begin @ 6 pm at our Ottawa Campus (4161 Columbus St) or our Peru Campus (1725th 4th St.). We’re going to be watching the Christmas classic “Elf”! Before you come, take a moment to think of 3 friends or family members who are currently not a part of our church or do not yet know Jesus, and ask the Lord to allow you to share the hope of Jesus with them this season. Better yet, take a moment to invite them to join you tonight!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” — Romans 15:13

Saturday, Dec 17

This weekend we will have a chance to truly help kids in need through our “HopeFULLY Christmas” fund which goes to fund “Feed His Children” and “Christmas for Kids”. Today, look through your house for spare change and either 1) add it to your generosity jar or 2) put it aside for our offering this weekend. Then, pray for all those kids in need who will be impacted by the ministries you are a part of this Christmas. 

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” — 2 Corinthians 9:15

Sunday, Dec 18

Make a list and check it twice! As an adult or child, it is always a good idea to make a list of ways that God has shown His love to you. Draw one line down the vertical center of an 8 ½" x 11" sheet of paper. Draw two horizontal lines through the vertical line dividing the page into six boxes. In each box, draw a picture (yes, even you adults!) of one way that God shows His love to you. Pray, thanking God for His unconditional love.

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16

Monday, Dec 19

JoyFUL meal: Someone once told me that joy was the feeling of smiling in your tummy. So, for supper tonight, have a little extra fun! Take some of your food and put them in the shape of the letters J, O, and Y. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect! As you, your friends, or your family enjoys their supper, talk about things that make you/them happy. And remember, joy is knowing that Jesus loves you and that you can always depend on Him. Jesus has always been and will always be the true source of joy.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” — Luke 2:10

Tuesday, Dec 20

Do you have some candles around your house? Take a moment and find as many as you can. Then, gather them up and light them in a dark room (and in a safe place). As you light them, read through the verses below and remember, Jesus, is the light of the world! If you can’t find any candles, you can use flashlights or your phone flashlight. 

Make sure to snap a picture! Then, post it to Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #25daysofhopeCB

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” — John 1:4-5

Wednesday, Dec 21

Christmas is practically here! It’s not too late to invite a neighbor, friend, and/or family member to Christmas Eve services. So, let's get creative! Take a moment right now with whomever you are with today and create a homemade or digital invite to send out. Before you send it, spend time praying for the recipient, & that they have an open heart.

“When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” — Luke 2:15

Thursday, Dec 22

There are so many names to describe our Wonderful Savior! For this day’s activity, write the names of Jesus from the verses below and use them as decorations on your tree, mantle, table, etc.…

Make sure to snap a picture! Then, post it to Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #25daysofhopeCB

Matthew 1:23, Luke 2:11, John 1:29, John 1:41, John 8:12, John 10:11, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, John 6:35, Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 22:13, 1 Timothy 1:1, Isaiah 9:6

Friday, Dec 23

The first of our Christmas Eve services begin tonight. Our great hope is that many people will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior through what takes place. Take a few moments to pray for our services this evening. Then, light a candle as a representation of the “not-yet-believers” you are praying for & that they will have a life-changing encounter with the Savior this weekend. 

“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” — John 11:25

Saturday, Dec 24

Welcome to Christmas Eve! We can’t wait to see you all tonight. If you have already attended a Christmas Eve service, take a moment, and write a “thank you note to Jesus” as an individual or family for coming to earth to be our Savior.

Luke 2:1-20

Sunday, Dec 25

Merry Christmas! Christ, the Savior is Born!

Join us for Christmas Service this morning. Don’t forget, today’s service is ONLINE ONLY. You can find our services here at crossbridge.online. Our service will begin at 10 am.

Isaiah 9:1-6