December 22, 2020
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!…Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” Isaiah 40:3, 5 (NLT)
Notes for adults and older children:
The prophecy in this passage was fulfilled when John the Baptist preached in the wilderness preparing the local population for the ministry of Jesus. John gave them the first steps to take so that they would be ready to hear Jesus. Before their hearts would be opened to hear the truth, they needed to recognize how needy and far from God they were. John called them to admit and turn from their sins and commit themselves to God, and God would forgive them .
Notes for Young Children:
Before Jesus started telling his good news on earth, God sent a man named John to get people ready to hear Jesus’ message. John told the people that they should admit that they did bad things and thought bad thoughts that were not pleasing to God. John said they needed to stop doing those things and instead turn to God and do what God says, and God would forgive them. This would help them understand what Jesus was going to tell them about how much God loved them and wanted them to be part of his loving family, even though they weren’t perfect people. John’s message was “get ready for Jesus.”
Can you think of a time when you knew you were about to do something that you shouldn’t, and you felt bad about it and decided not to do it? Or maybe you went ahead and did the bad thing, but then you felt bad about it and decided you would not do it again. That is just what John told people to do.
Father, please help us to get our hearts ready to celebrate Christmas by showing us what we have in our lives that is not pleasing to you. We want to stop anything in our lives that keeps us from loving you and other people. Please help us “get ready for Jesus” this Christmas.
Getting ready for an event you’ve been waiting for can be an exciting time. Get ready for Christmas by making handmade gift wrap. Take plain paper and color, paint, or draw on it; then use it to wrap a special gift for someone in your family.