December 20, 2020

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.                    Micah 5:2 (NLT)

Notes for adults and older children: 

Bethlehem is another reminder to us that God has a different set of values when he judges importance. While expensive gifts, lavish decorations, and gourmet foods can be fun at Christmas, most of us treasure memories of the intangible expressions of love and gratitude when we recall our favorite Christmas. Often God seems to pick the person, place, thing or activity that is least flashy to display his goodness to us. What small thing can you do today to express what you value most?

Notes for young children:

God often chooses little or unimportant things, and people who are little and not famous to do important things. He chose the little town of Bethlehem for the place where Jesus would be born. Jesus was the Son of God; he could have been born in a castle with rich, famous people giving him expensive toys, instead of being born in little Bethlehem. What else was little or simple about the birth of Jesus? [little baby; not in a fancy house or hospital; not in a fancy cradle; simple shepherds, not famous people, were his first visitors, etc.]

However little or unimportant we feel, God can use us to do great, important things as we love him and other people.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, that the greatest man who ever lived came in such a simple way. It reminds us that you value little and simple things and people. Please help us to treat all people as you do, with love, seeing them as important. And please help us to discover the important things you want us to do, especially in this Christmas season. 

Advent activities:

1. For adults and older children:

Read or sing O Little Town of Bethlehem.

2. For young children:

Make up motions to go with the first verse (or more) of O Little Town of Bethlehem. While the rest of the family sings the song slowly, show the motions.

For example:   “O” – hold thumbs and index fingers together to make and “O”

                        “Little” – hold thumb and index finger apart as if measuring an inch

                        “town” – hold hands above heads like a roof over your head

                        “Still” – stand with arms at sides and don’t move at all

                        “”lie” – lean your head to the side on your folded hands like a pillow

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