For Unto You

Photo Caption: Past Family Photos – Thankful for our family heritage of faith. God is with us and for us.

Christmas is an exciting and often busy time of the year. I love Christmas.I love the decorating, the shopping, the parties, the time spent with friends and family, but in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to lose sight of who this season is all about, Jesus. Jesus came to earth to be with us. He came to earth to restore our relationship with God and be our friend forever. I wonder, how is your relationship with Jesus this season? How is my relationship? Is your friendship strong and growing or in the midst of the busyness, have you let that friendship slide? Have you ever questioned, did Jesus come for me? Is the good news of Christmas really for me?

I can assure you, my friend, that it is. You see, Jesus didn’t come just for people who have it all together. He didn’t come just for those who are of Jewish heritage or for those from the line of king David, which would be Jesus’ earthly lineage. He did come for His Jewish family, but He also came for others. God so loved the world, that means every nationality, every skin color, every person who accepts His gift. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus.” That means you. Jesus came to earth to redeem ordinary people like you and me. He came for wise men and shepherds. Jesus came to make a way for all of us to have a relationship with God. He came to be with us and to die for us. That is priceless love, love beyond measure.

So wherever you are at this Christmas, busy or lonely, hungry or full, feeling stressed and depressed or joyful and blessed; Jesus came for you. It doesn’t matter if you are two or a hundred and two, it doesn’t matter if you have a lot to give or nothing, Jesus came for you. You don’t have to be super talented or smart, you simply have to be willing to say, “Yes!” to Jesus. And if you once had a relationship with Jesus and find you have drifted away, you don’t have to go far to find your way back. That is the very reason for which God sent Jesus to earth. He came to be with us and to save us. He is only a prayer away.

So take a moment to talk to Him whatever you are doing or wherever you are going right now. Ask Him if He can somehow use an ordinary life like yours. Accept the great gift of His love and simply say, “Jesus, I’m ready to say, “Yes!” to you. I’m ready to welcome you.” He delights in giving purpose and direction to ordinary lives like yours and mine.

Let’s take a little time this Christmas to stop and remember what the angel said to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.“ Yes, Jesus was born for you. He came to shepherds in the field. He came for our children and grandchildren. He came for moms, dads, grandparents, doctors, policemen, computer analysts, truck drivers, CEO’s, teachers … He came for you, simply because He loves you. So kneel with me at the manger. let us worship Jesus this Christmas along with shepherds, wise men and others who have knelt to worship through the centuries. Thank God for His great gift. Then spread the good news, like the shepherds did because there are still ordinary people out there who need to know that Jesus came for them too.

PARENT PRAYER:
Dear Jesus,
I am so thankful that you came to earth to live among us and be our savior. Thank you that you are still with me today. Remind me to take time to spend with you, because you took time to come and live with me. Thank you for coming because you loved me. You welcomed and blessed me with your Presence even before I acknowledged you. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you that you came for ordinary people like me. You gave up everything to come to earth and be my savior. You even gave your life for me and all you ask in return is for my love and my acceptance of your sacrifice. Thank you Jesus! I pray that my kids and grandkids understand in a new way the depth of that love. I want them to know that your love is limitless, that you are always ready to forgive and give strength when we mess up and that you have a purpose and plan just for them even in the ordinariness of life. You don’t love us more when we are doing something amazing, you simply love all the time. You love me when I am washing laundry and driving my car. you also love me when I am kneeling in your presence. Thank you God for your amazing love. Thank you that your Son, Jesus, was born for me. I am not excluded, but welcomed in your kingdom. Happy Birthday Jesus! I want to share the good news with others, just like the shepherds did. Amen

SIMPLE WAYS TO CONNECT WITH JESUS AT CHRISTMAS

  • PRAY! Friends are meant to share your life with and talk to. Jesus wants to be that kind of friend. Take time to talk to Him amidst the busyness – while you are shopping, hanging ornaments, baking cookies. getting ready for that work party or working through the myriad of other things that you have on your schedule and mind right now. Your kids will build their friendship with Jesus when they see your friendship blossom.
  • READ! Read the Christmas story. Read it out of a children’s storybook or Bible and enjoy the wonderment of it through your child’s eyes. Read it as a family.
    If your child is older, have him read it to you.
  • BE HONEST! Be honest with Jesus about the stresses you are feeling. Remember Jesus is with you wherever you go and because He came to live among us, He understand all that we go through in life.
  • REMEMBER! Remember past Christmases, what God has done for you. Remember the details of Christmas – the lights, music, candy canes, colors, stars, angels. Let these things remind you of Jesus the light of the world, shepherds guiding and guarding their sheep with their staffs or canes, the wise men following the star …

CONNECTING WITH JESUS IN THE CLASSROOM
(You may not be able to do these things in a public school setting, but in preschools and Christian schools you can. Even in a public school setting, you can still pray for your kids on your own time at home.)

  • CELEBRATE! Include lots of time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday during class. Make it a party and take time to pray throughout your day.
  • WORSHIP! Play simple Christmas carols and worship music and sing along with the kids.
  • PRAY! Pray for the kids in your class. Pray that God would direct the day.
  • REMIND! Remind kids that Jesus came to be their forever friend. When a problem arises in class or when one of your kids comes to you with a problem whether it be scratched fingers or something more serious, take moment to stop and pray.
    • Let the kids know that they can talk to their best friend, Jesus, about anything. Nothing is too big or too little to take to Him in prayer.

Kid’s Section

STORY: The Shepherds Hear The Good News  – Luke 2
You can act out this story with your child by either using a child friendly nativity or by wrapping up your child’s baby doll and placing it in a box or doll bed.

Mary & Joseph traveled all the way to Bethlehem and they were very tired. (Yawn) They looked for a place to rest, (Knock, knock, knock!) but all the places to stay were full. Mary knew it was time for baby Jesus to be born. God helped Mary and Joseph find a place in a stable where they could rest.

Later that night, something wonderful happened! Baby Jesus was born! Mary wrapped Him in warm soft cloths (blankets) and laid Him in a manger on a bed of hay. (Wrap baby doll in a blanket and place in the manger box.)

In a field near by, some shepherds were taking care of their sheep. (Say, “Baa, baa, baa.) All of a sudden they saw a bright angel! (Say, “Look, an angel!”) The shepherds were very frightened! (Look frightened.) They had never seen an angel before. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you. Today in Bethlehem a Savior is born. His name is Jesus. You will find Him lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a lot of angels appeared, praising God. (Raise arms and say, “Praise God! Jesus is born!”) When the angels left, the shepherds said, “Let’s go see this baby the angel told us about!” They hurried to Bethlehem, (Say, “Come on, let’s go!” Get up and walk around.) and found baby Jesus in the manger just like the angel said they would. The shepherds were so happy and excited to see baby Jesus. They were happy that Jesus was born. Everywhere they went, they shared the good news. They shared God’s love with everyone. (Cup hands by mouth and say, “Jesus is born!”)

God loved us (Hands on heart.) so much that He gave us His best gift, Jesus. (Hands out as though giving a gift.) Jesus came for everyone, even shepherds and kids! Let’s thank God for Jesus. ‘Dear God, Thank you for giving us your best gift. Thank you for Jesus. Amen’

God loves you and me so much, how can we share His love with others? (By helping others at home and at school. By being excited about Jesus. Being kind. Sharing toys, crayons, etc.) Those are all great ways of sharing God’s love.

MEMORIZE: John 3:16 NIrV – (Hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Reach up, then place hands on heart.)
The world – (Make w’s with fingers, roll hands around each other.)
That He gave – (Extend out like giving a gift.)
His one – (Hold up one finger.)
And only Son – (Pretend to hold a baby.)

KNOW: Jesus came for everyone.
TALK ABOUT: Gifts – What is God’s best gift?
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
AND DO… I can worship Jesus and I can share the good news like the shepherds did.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK

  • Let your preschooler help you wrap at least one gift and talk about God’s best gift to us, Jesus.
  • Deliver a gift to someone this week – a neighbor, your child’s preschool teacher or teacher at church, someone who needs some good news, anyone. Let that person know that you love them and God loves them too.
    • If you have jingle bells, let your child shake the bells as you say the verse together or shake the bells to introduce the story:
      Jingle bells, jingle bells,
      Come li-sten and look,
      To a special story,
      From God’s very, special book. 

       

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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