December 24, 2020

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.                      Luke 2:6-7 (NLT)

Notes for adults and older children: 

And finally, it’s time for Jesus to be born! Sometimes the nine months of waiting for a child to be born can seem to take so long! The people in the Old Testament times had to wait a very long time to see the fulfillment of God’s promises since the early days of humanity. But now at last those who recognized Jesus as the Messiah were able to see God’s promises come true. 

For some people it takes a long time to experience Jesus coming into their lives personally. They know about him, but they are hesitant to believe and trust in him. When they do take that step of faith to receive the gift of new life in him, they become proof of God’s promises to be not only “God with us” but also “God in us.” 

And now we are waiting for the second coming of Christ to earth. Seeing the faithfulness of God in the past brings reassurance that God does keep his promises and that Jesus will return.  Christmas is a time to celebrate every way that Jesus comes into our world and into our lives. 

Notes for young children:

Sometimes it’s very hard to wait for something we’re looking forward to. We have to wait for birthdays; we have to wait to be old enough and big enough to do the things we want; and we have to wait for Christmas to open our gifts and watch others open what we are giving them. Mary also had to wait what may have seemed a long time for baby Jesus to be born. When the time came for his birth, Mary and Joseph were visiting Bethlehem, far away from their home in Nazareth. They weren’t in a comfortable place when Jesus was born, but probably Mary was so happy to hold baby Jesus in her arms that she didn’t mind having to use a manger for a baby bed. 

Sometimes when we have to wait, it makes us even happier when we get what we waited for. Waiting also gives us time to get ready for what will happen. Even though it may be hard to wait, there can be good reasons to wait. Sometimes God asks us to wait. We can be sure that he has good reasons for the waiting time. 

Prayer

Dear Lord, help us trust you and to be patient when we have to wait for what we want. Help us to look forward to Jesus returning to earth. And in the meantime, please help us to love you and other people more and more. Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us about you and to forgive our sins. Thank you for Christmas, when we can celebrate Jesus’ birthday! 

Advent activities:

Sometimes we say that a certain thing was “worth the wait.” Share with your family at least one thing (person, occasion, object) that was worth the wait. Did the waiting make the results better in any way? What did you learn while you were waiting?

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