“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2)
At Christmas, believers gather to sing songs about a story we know did not begin with a virgin birth in a dark and lowly manger—or end with death on a cross. Every moment of our lives as believers in Jesus, this is who we worship, this is who we celebrate: the Triune God who always was and always will be.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1; 1:14)
While many are honing in on what presents they will get, how they will divvy their holiday time, and whether they made the naughty or nice list, how do we teach our kids what we are celebrating? How do we hone in on the incredible news that God humbled himself to take on the likeness of man and save us because we couldn’t save ourselves? From making gingerbread houses to seeing Christmas lights, and even wrapping Christmas presents, there are endless opportunities to keep the focus on whose birth we are celebrating and what that means for us, our children, and the world!
Think practically and consider everything when you share stories or sing songs. When you decorate those gingerbread houses, talk about where Jesus was born and how there was no room for Him in the inn. Go deeper and talk about how people today still don’t make room for Him, yet how all He wants is our hearts. When you look at the lights on the houses and in your home, remind your children that Jesus is the light of the world; when we see the lights, it’s a reminder that He is the true light, and in Him there is no darkness. And, when wrapping (or unwrapping) those boxes under the tree, talk about the precious gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrhh given to Jesus—and how He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. He didn’t have a boutique style going-home outfit or the latest baby gear. He had Himself, and he was the gift! And for those who choose to incorporate Santa Claus into their homes, if you find yourself or your children focusing on whether they have been “good” enough, seize the day and change the focus to the Gospel. Talk about how wonderful it is that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and that when we are His, there is no condemnation. We can do nothing to earn the only Gift that matters.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
“Jesus came to earth as a baby; He lived a perfect life. He died on the cross for our sins, and on the third day, He rose again. And that’s the Gospel.” Hearing a group of toddlers sing and dance to this at a Christmas program did my soul good. While they may not grasp the fullness of the Trinity quite yet, their souls are ripe and ready. All parents need to do is believe and share the true wonder of Christmas—and allow God to do the rest.
Gabbie Nolen-Fratantoni loves Jesus and is passionate about serving him through the arts by leading worship and writing for various ministries. She is married to Greg, her hard-working, iron-sharpening-iron spouse. They are opposite in personality but equal in dedication to their marriage and family. Gabbie and Greg are the proud and sleep-deprived parents of two active, sweet, and fun boys and are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first daughter in March 2016. An Aggie and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Gabbie is a small-town country girl trapped in the city and loves getting to know people and encouraging them as they seek to know Jesus and make him known.
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