Today I was going to post about Justin's marvelous idea to get started on redoing Miss Pink's room the week before her birthday--and how my house is now covered in dust, for the second December in a row, and there are next to no decorations out and we are hosting a sleepover on Friday night--but I started working on a lesson I'm going to teach in our kid's church tonight and I thought it might be a little better for me to do what I'm asking the kids to do: to stop and remember the real reason for Christmas rather than stressing about the details.
So I thought I'd share it here. (Obviously I'm leaving out all the times the kids will interrupt with random thoughts and observations and my attempts to get back on script!)
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Last weekend I was tucking my little son into bed and he wanted me to read him a Bible story. I asked him if he wanted me to read to him about Baby Jesus's birth, and he said yes, so that's what I read. Afterward, I asked him, "Now who was born on Christmas?"
He looked up at me with big shining eyes and said with total confidence, "Santa Claus!"
So we had to talk about who was really born on Christmas. But you know, sometimes I think all of us may forget what Christmas is supposed to be about. I think we might remember with our minds, but forget with our hearts.
Sometimes kids get so excited about the presents they're asking for, and the parties and lights and trying to stay awake to listen for reindeer--that they might forget what Christmas is really about.
Sometimes we parents get so busy buying presents and decorating and baking and traveling and reminding kids that they'd better watch out and not pout or cry--that we might forget what Christmas is really about.
Sometimes we forget to think about what happened on that first Christmas.
On that first Christmas, there were no decorations--just a smelly stable and a manger full of hay.
On that first Christmas, there were no crowds of busy shoppers buying presents, but there were crowds of people who had come to be counted and taxed. There were so many that there was no room anywhere in town for Mary and Joseph to stay, except in the stable.
On that first Christmas, there was not a star on top of a tree, but there was a star in the sky.
On that first Christmas, no one sang Christmas carols, but a choir of heavenly angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to all people!"
On that first Christmas, there were some gifts, but they were not toys or games--they were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
However, there was an even better gift on that first Christmas. What was it?
That's right--it was Jesus! Jesus came to be the best gift ever. Why do you think Jesus is the very best gift?
Jesus came to take away our sins and live in our hearts so we can have true peace, joy, and love. This Christmas, let's not be like the people in Bethlehem who were too busy to realize a King had been born in their town. Let's take time to celebrate Jesus' birthday because that's what Christmas is really about.