16 For 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)
Isn’t it marvelous to see Christmas through the eyes of a child? Children seem to take it all in like a sponge! They want to hear the Christmas story, see the lights, sing the Christmas carols and participate/watch the live Nativity. Yes, they are going to want to see Santa Claus, watch the traditional Christmas programs on TV and expect candy and presents as well.
Though these traditions may add to the experience, Christmas is the perfect time to witness the love of God through Bible study in Word and deed. Children, youth and adults need to grasp the depth of God’s love. We cannot fully grasp God’s love simply by witnessing the birth of the Christ Child. We must see the adult Jesus as well who chose to reach all whose heart was open to his message. We must see Jesus’ ultimate goal to follow God’s will even if it meant a cross. We need to grasp the manger along with the cross and the empty tomb.
Along with discovering God’s love through Bible study at Christmas, find ways to demonstrate Jesus’ love for others. It is when we give during the time that we get closer to abiding and see God’s love for others.
Encourage quality family time to talk about the birth of Jesus and implications of his life as well as time to serve others in the community. Some of my greatest Christmas memories have been serving with my family. Here are a few ideas:
Take your class/family to the hospital or nursing home. Be the presence of Christ and share God’s love through caroling to persons who are lonely and in need of someone’s care.
Bring a meal to a shut-in. Don’t just bring them a meal. Call and set up a time that your class and/or members of your class can bring a meal to share. A shut-in will appreciate a good home-cooked meal, but will enjoy your presence even more.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, give blood to the Red Cross or provide another service in the community. Show God’s love through deed and word.
The story of the birth of Christ should sweep across us and cause us to want to love others. Mother Theresa once put it this way:
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your
children, to your wife or husband, to s next door neighbor…Let no one ever come to you
without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness
in your face; kindness in your eyes; kindness in your smiles; kindness in your warm