Hello, Families!

This week, take some time to talk about what Christmas is all about with your kids! Below are some ideas about how to talk with your children in preschool and elementary school about the true reason for the season.

Read Luke 2:1-20 together. You can also watch a kids’ rendition of the Bible Story here.

For preschoolers:

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-3-42-42-pmParents, ask: Who did the angels tell about Jesus? Yes! The angels told the shepherds about Jesus. And then the shepherds told everyone they knew about Jesus! God wants every person to hear the good news that Jesus is God’s son. God wants every person to know how special Jesus is. Why is Jesus special?”

KIDS: Jesus is God’s son! (We’ve been saying this all month in some of the Ridge Kids environments). 

Parent: Jesus is God’s son, and he came here for us! That’s why the angels were telling the world about the JOY that he was bringing! Let’s practice saying your Bible verse from church. It will help us remember the JOY that Jesus brings, because it says, ‘“I bring you good news of great joy.” Luke 2:10. Let’s say that together with the motions.”’

CHILDREN and Parents: “I bring you,” (both hands in fists over chest) “good news” (right hand extended to the sky with left hand over chest) “of great joy!” (Both hands extended upward) Luke 2:10 (hands in front of body like a book).

Parent: “You are so close to knowing that awesome verse! I am so proud of you!  Let’s make a list of people we can tell the good news that Jesus is God’s son. Tell me one person you can tell the good news to, just like the angel told the shepherds and the shepherds told the people in town.” Ask each of your kids and give answers yourself.

Parent: “Those are great ideas. I hope we tell all of these people the good news that Jesus is God’s son! Would you like to pray before I pray for us?”

Give your child the opportunity to pray, if they want to do so.

Parent: “Now I’ll pray. Dear God, we want everyone to hear the good news that You gave us Jesus to be our friend forever. We want them to know that You love us so much You gave us Your Son. Please help (name of child) tell (name on list) about Jesus. If everyone knew the good news about Jesus, it would be the merriest Christmas ever! We love You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


For K-4th Ridge Kids:

16dec_widescreen_joyParents, ask: “What is one thing that happened this week that brought you JOY?” Sometimes in life we experience lots of good things, and it’s easy to be happy. Sometimes life is harder, and we become unhappy. JOY is when we find a way to be happy even when things don’t go our way.

Ask your kids to find John 3:16 in their Bibles, and read this verse together. Practice saying the verse together, but replace the phrase “the world” with one person’s name in your family. Repeat until you’ve included every family member in the verse. Remind each other that God loves each person so much!

Do: Have your kids grab a piece of paper and write out the words of this verse. But write the following words in big block or bubble letters: loved, gave, Son, Anyone, believes, eternal life. Draw a different design inside each of the block letters. For instance you might draw horizontal or vertical stripes in the letters of the word ‘loved’ or zig zag lines or polka dots inside the word “gave.” When you’re done, hang this somewhere you will see it a lot to remind you of the greatest gift.

Then talk about these questions:

  • How can knowing that God sent Jesus for YOU help you have JOY this Christmas season?
  • Who are some people that we should tell about the JOY that knowing Jesus brings? Let’s make a list together.

Parent: “Just because we know an important verse backwards and forwards, it doesn’t mean we are living it out or sharing it with others. The shepherds in the Christmas story were just ordinary guys like us. God chose ordinary people to tell about the most extraordinary and amazing news that ever happened—the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Like the shepherds, God wants to use each of us today, tomorrow, and every day of our lives. He has entrusted us with the privilege and mission of telling others about Him. Be courageous this week and look for opportunities to tell the people God has placed in your life about the JOY Jesus brings.”

Prayer:

  • Read each sentence below, one at a time, allowing a minute or two for kids to pray silently in response to each question. Encourage them to give some quiet thought to their answers and ask God’s help to follow through on the things that come to mind by way of the actions they need to take in order to show God’s love to others.
    • God loved you first. How will you love others?
    • God saw our greatest need. Whose needs do you see?
    • God gave us the greatest gift. What will you give?
    • God gave us great news. Who will you tell?

Close with a short prayer. Give your child the opportunity to pray, if they want to do so. Then pray for your kids. Mention each kid’s name as you pray, and ask God to help them live out the things they have talked about.

When you are ready to go back to the Christmas Devotional, click [here]

(Materials taken from the curriculum used at Chestnut Ridge Church. ©2015 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com)

The Christmas Story Video from Orange on Vimeo.