In first century Israel, families believed that formal schooling shouldn’t start until 6 years old because they believed that it was too much strain on the young mind. At the same time, they didn’t want their children to go 6 years without knowing God, his story and his significance in their lives.
So Jewish families would use the feasts and festivals to teach their kids theology, history and Yahweh’s character. Chanukah, Purim, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Festival of Booths, Passover, each of these occasions provided an opportunity to teach the story and character of God.
In a huge way, that’s what Christmas does for our kids. They learn the story long before many other bible stories. They learn the songs long before many other worship sings. They associate the lights and the food and the presents with the wonderful celebration of the coming of our savior… at least, they may. We do need to continue to teach them the purpose of our massive celebration.
We do presents. We do a feast. We do lights and a tree and a huge blow up Mickey because we are trying to express the ridiculous cheer, excitement, gratitude and wonderment of the coming of God into this world to save us from our sin!
So with that… Let’s use Christmas to teach our families the story and character of God!
This whole thing should take about 10-15 minutes
Step 1: Acknowledge the scope of the celebration
- No school!
Why do all of these things happen around Christmas? Because Christmas represents the day that Jesus came into the world. Jesus changed everything and people started doing different things to communicate to the world how different it is because Jesus came here.
Step 2: Read Luke 2:1-20
Step 3: Ask a few questions
- What Christmas songs have you heard that talk about the things that we just read?
- What do we learn about God from the story we just read (and the songs we talked about)?
Step 4: Remind everyone of the Gospel in one sentence and take a few moments to reflect
God is a pursuing God who sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to live the life that we could never live, die the death that we deserved to die and conquer death and sin to give us salvation!