Christmas Message - Pastor
...for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 )
With these words an angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds the good news of the arrival of the long awaited Messiah. Christmas is a time to reflect upon the great love of our heavenly Father. For he saw fit to send us his only son to be sacrificed for our sins. There is no greater gift that anyone could give than the gift of one’s only child. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is therefore a celebration of the infinite love of our heavenly Father.
The materialism that accompanies Christmas can make it challenging to keep our families focused on remembering the ‘reason for the season’. It takes forethought and planning to preserve the meaning of Christmas for our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Here then you will find six ideas of how to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your own family:
1. Decorate the Christmas tree together, but prior to putting on the star (or angel) and lighting the tree have a ‘tree dedication’ service. The children can be given candles to hold and a simple prayer can be said such as, “ This tree is a blessing to our home. It reminds us of all the beautiful things you have created. Let it, Lord, remind us of the tree of life you placed in the Garden of Eden, and of the tree that God made into the new tree of life, the cross of Christ.” Then read Titus 3:4-7 .
2. Have a Christmas Crèche. Make sure to have a manger set up at Christmas. Consider drawing and coloring the manger and its’ contents with your children. Put the wise men across the room a week before Christmas and have them gradually approach the manger, arriving on Christmas day. Put Mary and Joseph in the manger on Christmas Eve. Put the Jesus figure in the manger on Christmas day (as opposed to having him there days or weeks before).
3. Before opening Christmas gifts in the morning...
...Read the birth narrative (Luke chapter 2). Pairing a reading of the arrival of God’s gift with the receiving of other Christmas gifts helps children remember that gift giving is done to imitate what our heavenly father gave us on Christmas day.
...Pause to recognize the special gifts God has brought to your family this year, and to recognize the special character and personality gifts that each person brings to the family.
...Thank God for giving Jesus, the greatest gift, to us on the first Christmas day.
4. Read the birth narrative just prior to Christmas dinner. At the moment of the announcement of Je sus’ birth light a special ‘Christ candle’ in the center of the Christmas table.
5. Attend Christmas Services at church and learn the Christmas greeting. Kreesdos Dzanav yev Hayd netsav. (Christ is born and revealed).
6. Give a gift to the church. Explain to your children that Christmas is Jesus birthday. When someone goes to a birthday party they bring a gift. Discuss with your children what gift the family is going to give Jesus this year.
May your Christmas be filled with the joy that is ours in the birth of our Savior. Christ is born and revealed!