Like me, you may be neck-deep in the Christmas activities with your family and your church. If most of us are honest, the kids we serve are probably more excited about this time of year than we are. We are pressed with busy schedules, added relationship stress, and the compulsion to “make the most of our family time” so that we don’t “miss the real meaning of Christmas.” I pray you are able to find some calm and even JOY amidst the busyness of this season.
For many Kid Min teachers I know (myself included), it is easy to approach the Christmas story with a lack of enthusiasm. We know the story. We’ve read the story. We’ve taught the story. Even in The Gospel Project for Kids, we’ve already been here once this year. And yet, ready or not, December is here along with the opportunity and expectation to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
The Christmas story is the opening paragraph of the climax of God’s big story which had been unfolding throughout the Old Testament, leading up to this very moment when the Promised One would step into the world as a man and change the course of history. And after 400 years of silence from God, the silence was broken. The angel proclaimed to Mary, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) Take a moment to let that sink in.
As far as Mary knew, no one had heard from God in 400 years, and God chose that moment, at that time, and her… a lowly virgin girl. Of course she was surprised when Gabriel showed up. By His grace, God had chosen her to be the mother of Jesus, the one who would change everything. Her response? “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done…” (Luke 1:38). Later an angel revealed Jesus’ purpose to Joseph: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The gospel is the good news of what God has done for us through Christ. The announcement of Jesus’ birth is not the beginning of the gospel; God had been planning for this moment since before the beginning of time. (See Ephesians 1:3-10.) Help the kids you teach understand that God’s plan has always been to save sinners and bring them back to Himself. Jesus, whose name means “Yahweh saves,” is the culmination of that plan.
So my challenge for you this week: ask God to help you see the Christmas story through the eyes of a child, with the amazement, weight, and wonder for which it beckons. In each session of The Gospel Project for Kids we talk about how all the Bible points to Jesus, and the events around the birth of Jesus are a natural time to reinforce what we talk about all year long.
Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.