by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
She was in the third grade, and she insisted she hadn’t heard – or didn’t remember – the story of the Baby in the manger. Could it be that in this Christian family and with attendance for part of her life in Sunday School, she had never heard the original Christmas story? Or could it have been that I didn’t phrase my question well enough and she just didn’t understand what I asked?
I don’t know. It motivates me, however, to put forth this challenge. May we prayerfully infuse into our every day events alongside our secular celebrations this month an awareness that Jesus makes it more than a ‘Winter Holiday,’ or a school vacation, or a shopping frenzy. For us, Jesus’ birth is the main event at Christmas. God entered this world supernaturally in human form, even that of a newborn infant. It was part of his plan to redeem sinful mankind restoring the relationship our first ancestors once had with their Creator.
It will take a bit of time, but the simplest way I can think of to do this well is to decide on some Scripture passages we want our family to consider from now until the end of the month and divide them into 30 segments. Then each day, when we’re all together for a meal or at bed time, or whenever, we can read a Scripture portion and end our time together with some thoughtful interaction and prayer.
I could fill up a page with ways to bring this focus on Jesus’ birth about, replacing the tug of the many good things, all of which snuff out – bury – the real reason to be grateful this time of the year. Grateful that God loves the world so much he not only declares the just penalty for our sinful ways, but he also pays the penalty himself in the person of his Son.
This Son was born to die for our forgiveness. In some pictures, that star which played such an interesting part in the biblical Christmas story shines down on Bethlehem in the form of a cross. Good reminder that the glory the angels brought to poor shepherds on that cold hillside burst forth again thirty years later from an open, empty tomb.
May we enjoy the blessings that a newborn Infant brought with him so long ago. May Jesus be the reason for our season. May his story be made memorable in ways that speak to the hearts of those we influence in our home. May they remember that the Babe in a manger was not just part of a pretty scene in a book, or a figurine in a crèche. His birth was the beginning of a Life born to fill our lives with hope and joy.
The One Who is the true light, Who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:9