There are a lot of things kids may know about Christmas and the Christmas story, but if you had to choose just 3 things, what would you choose? I’m excited to share this week’s blog post from Dave Ray from Doorpost Songs that emphasizes three things every child needs to know about Christmas:
Christmas isn’t a monolithic monument, standing alone on a pinnacle. It is a junction on the journey of God’s love for His people. A road runs into it. A road runs out of it. And each of us must walk this road in its fullness to understand God’s extraordinary love for ordinary people.
In light of Christmas as more than just a season, here are three things we want every child to know about Christmas:
- Christmas Means God Keeps His Promises – The story of Christmas doesn’t begin with the words, “In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree.” It begins, well, at the beginning: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It continues through a man laying his son on a sacrificial altar, only to find instead a ram caught in a thicket. “God himself will provide the sacrifice,” Abraham had promised. It meanders through a shepherd boy turned Shepherd King downing a giant to save his people. “The whole world will know there is a God in Israel,” David proclaimed. It endures through a prophet sent by God himself to a wayward, calloused people. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light,” Isaiah wrote. At every step of the way, God’s promise endured as his people waited. The season of Advent preceding Christmas helps us remember this eager anticipation. Then, finally, God’s promise found its fulfillment in Jesus. “No word from God will ever fail,” the angel pledged to Mary. “Just as he promised,” sang Mary after she heard the news. “Lord, as you have promised,” cried Simeon as he held the infant Jesus in his arms. God keeps his promises. Each and every one. And Christmas is the proof positive.
- Christmas Shows God’s Love for Ordinary People – Our culture is obsessed with assigning value to people based on the most superficial things. All of us – our children included – are caught in a death spiral of comparison: our looks, our talents, our follower counts, and our post likes. In a world that glorifies the extraordinary, many of us can feel awfully ordinary. But the Bible is clear about where our value comes from. We are dearly loved children of God. And he doesn’t value the same things everyone else values. “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” God told Samuel right before he anointed David. God doesn’t care about who is following us. He wants us to follow him. And when God was sending his Son into the world, he was true to his word. He chose an ordinary peasant girl to be Jesus’ mother, and a simple carpenter to be his earthly father. For the birthplace of the Savior, God chose the same ordinary town where Samuel anointed David centuries before. And the first to hear the news? A group of lowly shepherds on the outskirts of society. God loves to use ordinary people to accomplish his extraordinary plan. All he needs is a heart that is ready to say “yes” to him. That’s just the right kind of ordinary.
- Christmas Isn’t the End of the Story – Just as the Christmas story doesn’t begin, “In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree,” it doesn’t end twenty verses later: “And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God.” The promise wasn’t simply that a Messiah would come, but that he would save his people from their sins. The road that leads from Bethlehem winds its way to a hill topped with three crosses, and a garden with an open, empty tomb. We can’t comprehend Christmas without understanding its purpose. This Messiah came to be an atoning sacrifice, to become the way for us to know God and be part of his family. If we tell the story of the baby, but not the story of the Savior, we’ve missed the good news!
So What Now? Take a look at your Christmas curriculum and evaluate how it incorporates these three lessons from the Christmas story. How can you add or modify your curriculum to teach kids these three things? If you want a curriculum that does that for you, check out Unto Us from Doorpost Songs and our other Christmas curriculum here.
Author Bio: Dave Ray and Doorpost Songs started with creating music. But not your standard kids music. Music we would want to listen to: great melodies that are easy to sing, production quality that sounds like the songs on the radio, energetic kids voices singing and worshipping, and God’s Word at the center of it all. Dave and his wife Jess live in Houston and help lead worship at the church Dave is on staff at. They have a passion and heart for bringing God’s word to families and Kids.