These last couple of years have seemed to bring anything and everything but good news. Covid, quarantines, division anger and unrest around the world. Sometimes it seems that even our friends are on opposite sides of the fence than we are. Personally, I’m refusing to choose sides. Do you ever wonder if there is any good news any more? I can assure that there is. Just for today, let’s share our good news. Our world needs to hear it!
2020 was a rough year for our family with some losses, but none of which were because of Covid. In the midst of it all, we very much felt God’s presence and rejoiced in His goodness through the hard times. This year we are rejoicing too. This year our family has had three beautiful new babies born. I am now the proud great auntie of a little nephew and a little niece and I am also a great-grandmother. My first greatgranddaughter was born in August of this year and we adore her.
Babies are good news! When a baby is born, it reminds me to hope because God is not finished with the world yet. A baby is truly one of God’s miracles.
And so it is that we begin the countdown to Christmas with thoughts of a very special baby, God’s one and only Son, Jesus. God sent His best to the world wrapped up as a tiny baby. Jesus came helpless and dependent on Mary and Joseph for His every need. Yet, He came as Immanuel, God with us, to be our Savior and friend forever. He came to give us hope, life and relationship with God, the God who is above all and who created all things yet desires to have relationship with us. Words can’t adequately express the amazing gift we were given when Jesus came to earth. But it doesn’t stop there! God is still in the giving business.
James 1:17 says it this way, “Every good and perfect gift is from God.” What gifts have you received lately and what good news has come your way? Did you know that those gifts and that good news is from God? When we receive good gifts or good news, it’s meant to be shared. So this Christmas season, let’s stop listening for a moment to all the bad, depressing news and let’s share our good news.
How can we share good news with others? What good news do you have to share? What has God done for you recently? Maybe you think, “I really don’t have a lot to share right now.” But wait a minute, it’s not about how much you and I have to share. As I was reminded this week, it’s really not about me at all; rather it’s about sharing whatever God has given me and asking Him to bless it even if it seems meagre and inadequate. God is the giver and God is the multiplier. When we give what we have, God blesses and lives are touched. When we give, serve and share good new, others see Jesus too.
What is my good new? Well, I’m thankful for the small or normal things such as warm tea in the morning, my family which is really a big thing for me. I have friends and a home to live in. Most of all I am thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful that He is my friend, Immanuel – God with me! When I do feel stressed or worried about something, I can go to Him because He came to earth to be my Savior and Rescuer. That, my friend, is good news! What’s your good news? Start by thinking of what God has done for you and what He can do, then go share that good news with someone else who needs a little good news in their life.
What good news do you have to share? We have the best news of all. Jesus! Jesus is with us, no matter what and that is very good news!
As the preparations for Christmas begin and I add more things to my busy schedule, let me not forget to be grateful. I am grateful for your amazing love. I’m grateful that you sent Jesus to earth to be my savior and friend forever. I’m thankful that you love me so very much, you were willing to give your Son. I’m thankful for air to breathe, friends and family and oh so much more. On those days where I am tempted to get frustrated, overwhelmed or just tired of the negative news that is so prevalent, remind me of what is truly important and help me to share your good news with others. Amen
SHARING GOOD NEWS
Thank God for the good news of Jesus. Be sure to share the good news of what God has done in your life too – your kids will love hearing your stories.
Sharing good news sometimes starts by sharing what we have. Share something that you have with someone else. Involve your child in the sharing.
Ideas: *Take cookies to a neighbor,
* Write a note to a friend or grandparent,.
* Give a gift to a charity, a local food bank, Toys for Tots or ______.
* Serve by volunteering your time somewhere – serving is sharing!
WELCOMING JESUS THIS CHRISTMAS
How can you welcome Jesus into your family’s holiday festivities? Consider these ideas to get you started.
- Make room in your schedule for family and faith. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the preparations – the gift buying, getting your house ready, etc., and lose sight of what is really important. Scale back. Schedule some fun family times – maybe a family game night or looking at lights. Also include time to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas.
- Bake a birthday cake for Jesus or buy one at the store.
- Help an elderly neighbor by offering to shop for them.
- This year is different. Many are not going to be able to get together with family due to health concerns, social distancing, etc. That doesn’t mean you can’t connect virtually. Have the grandkids read or act out the Christmas story for grandma and grandpa via Zoom, face time or other virtual sights. Reach out to a neighbor who may be alone for the holidays. My wise mom used to tell me, “There is always someone else who feels just as lonely as you do, so make the attempt to be friendly.”
- Turn up the Christmas music and sing along with gusto! It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune or not.
- Invest in a Christmas devotional for yourself and read a little bit each day. Savor the time you spend reading and thinking about Jesus. I recommend – “The Christmas Story” by G.A. Myers and “Resting Merry” by Duane S. Montague
- Don’t forget to make time for surprises – Receive and give with wonderment. A simple surprise might be to write an anonymous note of encouragement for someone you love to find.
- Give the gift of empathy. Slow down, focus on the people around you. Extend grace. You will gain by slowing down too.
SHARE A STORY: Matt. 1:20-24; Luke 1:26-38
Mary was excited and happy. She was soon to be married. Then one day she had a special visitor. An angel came to tell Mary some very good news. Mary was surprised! (Put hands in the air and say, “Oh!”) She was surprised to see an angel and she was very surprised (Put hands in the air and say, “Oh!”) when she heard the angel’s good news. The angel said, “Mary, you are going to have a very special baby. (Pretend to rock a baby.) Your baby will be God’s own Son. You are to name Him Jesus.” Wow! That is very good new
After the angel left, Mary sang a song to God. (Sing, “La, la, la!” or “I love you, God.”) She praised Him for the good news the angel brought. She sang, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. (Place hands on heart.) I am very happy because God is my Savior.”
The angel went to see Joseph too. Joseph was sleeping when the angel came with the good news. (Lay head on hands as though sleeping.) The angel told Joseph about Mary’s special baby. (Pretend to rock a baby.) The angel said to Joseph, “Name the baby Jesus because He will save people from their sins.” Joseph did what the angel told him to do. He was glad that the angel had brought him such good news.
Christmas time is when we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. (Say, “Happy Birthday Jesus!”) God loved us so much, (Give self a hug.) that He gave us Jesus. We can share the good news about Jesus with others so that they will know how much God loves them too. (Give self a hug.) We can share about Jesus by giving, helping and loving others. We share good news when we tell others that, “God sent Jesus because He loves you.” We can share Jesus‘ love by sharing what we have with our family too. Remember to share some good news this week and love others because Jesus loves you.
Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your Son, Jesus. I love you. Amen
MEMORIZE: Luke 2:11 NIRV (Hold hands open as though holding a book.)
… a Savior – (Cross arms and then swing outwards.)
Has been born – (Rock a baby.)
To you. – (Extend hands outward.)
He is Christ the Lord – (Point upwards.)
KNOW: Jesus is God’s Son.
TALK ABOUT: Good news, angels
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO: What can you do?I can share good news.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
- God gave His very best gift, Jesus. Think of some ways that you can share God’s love by giving or helping someone. involve your preschooler with helping too.
- Listen to Christmas music and thank God for Jesus.