When I was a little kid, my family had one of those plastic nativity scenes.
We set it up in the front yard the day after Thanksgiving each year. The shepherds and wise men, a camel, Mary and Joseph. And Jesus, of course. They were all there, glowing, surrounded by a makeshift stable and some borrowed hay.
For some reason, I decided that these figures were a holy choir of sorts. And that I must be their director. But before they could sing their beloved carols, of course they needed to be introduced. Each member of the nativity scene was dramatically announced and welcomed. Eventually, I’d make my way to the center of the scene, the Christ child.
With great gusto, little 7-year-old Bradley would boldly proclaim, “And shall we not forget: Baby Jesus!”
At Christmas, it’s easy to forget baby Jesus. It’s especially easy for our kids to forget Him. This season easily becomes inward focused. The Good News that God has come for us, to save us, doesn’t seem quite as important as all the other celebrations and decorations and gifts that await them.
Here are three ways we can teach our children that Christmas is not all about them.
Decide as a family that the money spent this month won’t only benefit those in your own family.
Give to your church; also consider contributing specifically to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This is the International Mission Board’s annual collection for missionaries around the world. The IMB has 4,000 missionaries, and they are all tasked with telling the Good News of Jesus! They’re planting churches that proclaim the Gospel.
SGBC’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal this year is $50,000. That’s how much money it costs to keep one missionary on the field for a year.
Talk with your kids about the families that will be helped by the money you give. Pray for missionaries together. Share in giving. It redirects our focus to Jesus.
Read the Bible
Are you reading the Bible together with your family? Christmas is an excellent time to lead your home to cherish Scripture. And it puts our attention on Jesus.
SGBC has published a Christmas Bible Readings guide this year. Find it here. It includes brief Scripture passages to read together each weekday, with general study questions listed as well.
As you study together, you’re reminding your kids that Christmas is only truly about Jesus. As you enjoy the Word of God together, Jesus and His Gospel become big in little hearts.
Do something for someone else. That’s one of the surest ways to take attention away from ourselves at Christmastime. Find a way to inconvenience yourself for the good of someone else.
Join us for the next two Wednesdays at SGBC; we’ve called them Winter Mission Nights. This week, we’ll go caroling together at two nursing facilities. Next week, we’ll pack sacks of food for kids through the Snack Pak 4 Kids program. Your family is welcome!
Our kids need to be shown that, because Jesus came for us in love, we go and love others.
Merry Christmas! And shall we not forget baby Jesus.