December 2, 2013
“Mom, I need to add something to my Christmas wish list.”
It’s that time of year again. The stores are adorned with all things red and green. Mailboxes and inboxes are filled with ads, sales, and catalogs. Prettily wrapped packages are at the forefront of nearly everyone’s minds — especially kids’.
Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to pour the truths of the gospel into the hearts of our children. It’s an ideal time to show them the greatest gift they could ever receive, the gift of Jesus Christ.
Below is a list of important truths to teach our children this Christmas:
1. The Story of RedemptionDuring Advent, with the anticipation of the 25th, we can teach and prepare our children for the celebration in Scripture of Jesus’s birth. In our family, we like to begin with the story of Creation and daily walk through the story of redemption until we get to Christ’s birth on Christmas day. We talk about the fall and God’s promise of a Savior in Genesis 3:15. We read about his promise to Abraham that he reaffirms throughout the Old Testament. We discuss Moses and the “one greater than Moses” who would come. We read the prophecies in Isaiah. We look at how all of the Bible points to our Redeemer.
2. Humility of ChristFor the world, the holiday season is about extravagance, opulence, and making every detail picture-perfect. The story of Jesus, however, is one of humility. Christmastime provides a great opportunity to teach our children about what it means to be greatest in the kingdom (Matthew 20:26–28). His parents, his place of birth, his hometown, and his very act of taking on human flesh were all demonstrations of humility. Most people expected the Messiah to arrive in a castle, not a stable. Most expected him to live a life of royalty, not poverty. Most expected him to conquer the Romans, not be crucified by them. Read through Philippians 2:1–11 and show your children the humility of Christ.
3. God Works Through WeaknessIn a similar vein, teaching our children how God works through weakness is another topic to teach at Christmas. God often chooses the unlikely and the weak to use in his story of redemption. Mary was a simple, poor girl from an insignificant town. Peter was an uneducated fisherman. God’s glory is displayed when he works through our weaknesses. This is seen most dramatically in Jesus’s death on the cross in our place and his resurrection on the third day, securing our victory over sin and death.
4. God Keeps His PromisesAnother important truth we can emphasize with our children during this season is that God keeps his promises. We can begin with the promise of a Savior after the fall and go throughout the Old Testament, looking at God’s promise to redeem his people, culminating in the fulfilled promise in Christ.
5. The Names of ChristLast year, my children learned a different name for Jesus each day during Advent. We studied names such as Messiah, Lamb of God, Immanuel, Alpha and Omega, and Prince of Peace. Teaching children the names of Jesus and what they mean helps them know more about Jesus, his character, and what he has done. We made a chain link out of paper with a different name printed out on each one. Another way to learn the names might be to create a Christmas ornament for each one and hang them on a Christmas tree each time you study a name.
Take advantage of this time of year to teach your children about the Christ-child. Spend time in the word, showing them the promised Messiah and how that promise was fulfilled in the baby born in Bethlehem. Help them see that Jesus is the greatest gift they could ever receive and the greatest gift they could share with others.