December 23, 2020
Everyone was expecting the Messiah [Christ] to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am — so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Luke 3:15-16 (NLT)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (NLT)
Notes for adults and older children:
John challenged the people of his generation to not only repent of their sins, but to be compassionate to those around them. He told them to share their possessions with the poor and not to cheat others, saying that by caring for others and promoting justice they would prove that they had repented of their sins and turned to God. We may separate our personal religious feelings and beliefs from the rest of our daily lives, but John clearly states that our actions toward other people reveal what we believe internally.
Notes for young children:
John the Baptist told people to get ready for Jesus, the Savior that God had promised. One of the most important ways they could be ready was to care for other people the way Jesus did. John told them to treat people kindly, not to cheat them or bully them, and not to think they were more important than other people. These are important ways for us to live, too. We don’t treat people nicely in order to make God think we are great, but because it’s the way Jesus treated people and we want to be like him.
Think of a person who has not been treated nicely. For example, someone who was bullied at school. What could you do that would show how Jesus would treat them?
Father, please help us to see the people around us who need our help, whether it’s by giving them what they need or by making them feel better by the nice things we say to them.
Christmas is a time of giving. What can you give that will help someone who needs help? Gifts of time can be as important as monetary gifts. Today look for someone who is not on your Christmas list to bless with a special gift.