Celebrating Christmas With Kids!
Christmas! The whole earth stops its busy pace to celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Why was Jesus born? Was He born to fulfill prophecy? Was He born to bring salvation to men? Was He born to raise up followers who would carry this message from generation to generation? Jesus Christ was born to do all of these things and much more. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of man came not to be be ministered unto, but to minister.” Jesus, the Son of God was born to minister. He came to this earth to meet the needs of the poor, the sick, and the sinful.
As you reflect on the purpose of Jesus’ birth this Christmas season, remember the purpose of your own spiritual birth. You were not born into God’s kingdom to be ministered to. Eternal life was given to you so that you could meet the needs of those around you. Ministry is God’s purpose for your life.
The Greek word for “minister” (diakonos) that is found in Mark 10:45 and in many other New Testament passages means to be attentive, to attend to the needs as a waiter attends to needs as his table. The children in your ministry are those seated at your table. How attentive are you to their spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs? Successful ministry and fulfillment of purpose is directly related to your attentiveness to the needs of those “who sit at your table.” During this Christmas season, meet the needs of kids — that’s ministry!
Ideas You Can Use!
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS BY GIVING!
Provide an opportunity for your children to experience the joy of giving by involving them in one of the following projects:
Operation Christmas Child
Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has facilitated the filling and delivery of Christmas packages to underprivileged children in different countries. Your ministry can get involved by packing and shipping boxes, or now you can simply create a box online through the Samaritan’s Purse website. To find out more information visit: www.samaritanspurse.org
Gifts for the Homeless
Call a local shelter or the Salvation Army to learn the needs of the homeless in your area. Some suggested needs are: gloves, knitted caps, socks, disposable razors, travel-sized bottles of shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, and toothbrushes. Send this needs list home with the children. Ask the children to bring in the suggested items in a paper bag. Let each child place his paper bag in a decorated gift box. Near Christmas, visit the shelter with the children. Have a time of caroling, and then let the children share their gifts.
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH WORSHIP!
Swaddling Cloth for Jesus
As the children arrive, give each child a 4×4 in square of white cotton cloth. During praise time, provide each child with a permanent marker. Ask him to write a praise to the Lord Jesus. Collect the squares. While the children are involved in other aspects of the worship service, have volunteers connect the squares with iron-on Stitch Witchery tape. At the close of the worship service, ceremoniously bring in the swaddling cloth and wrap baby Jesus in it as the children sing the chorus of “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”
The Advent Wreath
(This can be used as an invitation to worship each Sunday during the Advent Season). Make a wreath of evergreens. Put four purple or red candles representing the four Sundays in Advent on the wreath. Purple is the liturgical color for Advent, symbolizing a time of waiting, anticipation, and preparation. A large white candle in the middle of the wreath is called the Christ candle, reminding us of the purity of Jesus.
Assign a different group of children to light the Advent Wreath candle each Sunday. They are to plan a dramatic presentation of the Scripture Passage.
1st Sunday: Scripture passage: Luke l:26-38, the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary.
2nd Sunday: Scripturepassagc: Luke 2: 8-18, the shepherd’s story. Two candles are lighted.
3rd Sunday: Scripture passage: Luke 1:46-55; 2: 1-7, the story of Jesus’ birth. Three candles are lighted.
4th Sunday: Scripture passage: Matthew 2: 1-8, the wise men’s visit to baby Jesus. Four candles are lighted.
Light the Christ candle on the last Sunday of Advent and remind the children of the Light of the world that came to save us from the darkness of sin.
Stockings Stuffed With Prayers!
Make a large stocking from poster board. Decorate with Christmas symbols. Write the following on thc front of the stocking:
Hang this stocking by the
chimney with care,
Fill it with all your problems,
fears, sadness, and needs.
Then REJOICE, for God sent His
Son Jesus at Christmas time.
“Cast all your cares upon him, for he
cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.
Let each child write his prayer needs on a small paper stocking and then place them around the larger stocking on a bulletin board or wall. Remind the children that because Jesus came to earth, we have someone who cares about everything that happens to us and can help us with every situation. Then pray with the children for the needs written on their stockings.
A Candy Cane Message
Legend tells us that the candy cane was invented by a Christian in England hundreds of years ago. At that time, the government would not let people celebrate Christmas. So a candy maker made a candy shaped like a shepherd’s crook to be a secret symbol of Jesus.
The candy maker chose pure white candy to remind us that Jesus was born to a virgin and lived a life without sin. He placed three small stripes on the candy cane to remind us of God the Fathcr, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The he put a large red stripe on the candy cane to remind us that Jesus Christ gave His life for the sins of the whole world.
(Give each child two candy canes). The candy cane is a wonderful gift. It is good to eat, and it tells a wonderful story. Share a candy cane with a friend, then use the candy cane to tell him the story of Christmas.
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH SHARING!
Your Secret “Christkindl”
“Christkindl” is a German Christmas custom. The word means “Christ Child.” In this custom, we prepare for Christ’s coming by seeing Him and serving Him in others.
Select members of your congregation who need special attention such as those who are elderly, ill, poor, or disabled. Write each person’s name on a slip of paper and place it in a box. Have each child draw a name from the box. The person whose name the child draws is his “Christkindl” during the weeks before Christmas.
Give the children the following instructions concerning his “Christkindl”:
- Each “Christkindl” should be kept a secret until Christmas.
- Try to do something for your “Christkindl” at least once each week before Christmas. Suggested things to do: make a small present, give him fruit or candy, share a Scripture verse, etc.
- At Christmas write a letter to your “Christkindl” telling the person who you are. Give him a special gift at this time.
Originally printed as the Volume 1, Issue 12 of the CM Newsletter, December 1997, Contributing Editor: Kathy Creasy