Boys and girls, this is an exciting time of year! It’s the time when people all around us are getting ready for Christmas. What do people do to get ready for Christmas? (Invite a few volunteers to comment.) Yes, we decorate our homes. We buy gifts. We listen to Christmas music. We attend wonderful concerts. We bake cookies. We watch specials on TV. People do all kinds of things to get ready for Christmas!
Here at church and at home with our families, too, we get ready for Christmas in even more ways—more important ways! We want to be ready to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas morning. Another way to say that is “on Christmas morn.” The word morn is short for morning.
We get ready for Christmas morn by preparing, not just on the outside with gifts, decorations, music, and cookies, but on the inside by being sorry for our sins and being thankful and happy that Jesus is our Savior.
This year here at (name your Sunday school or church), some of the characters from the Christmas story will help us prepare for Christmas morn. I say “characters” because not all the characters we will talk about are people. Today, for instance, I want us to think about this character. Who knows something about this character? (Hold up a donkey figurine from a Christmas crèche or point to the donkey on a picture.)
When artists portray Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem, they often include a donkey in the picture. When we set up a manger scene (or Christmas crèche) at home or in church, we often include a donkey. So, the character I want us to think about today is a donkey.
Donkeys aren’t very comfortable to ride, so if Mary and Joseph had a donkey, Mary probably walked instead of riding. Donkeys aren’t great for riding, but they can carry a lot of luggage and gear. Maybe Mary and Joseph had a donkey to carry their food, their water, their blankets, and the other things they knew they would need when baby Jesus was born.
Mary and Joseph brought these things along because they knew Jesus would be born while they were in Bethlehem. They knew this because many, many years before—about 700 years before—the prophet Micah had said so. Just think! Micah wrote about that, and for 700 years, God’s people read what Micah wrote. Mary and Joseph believed what God had said through Micah, his prophet. Listen! (Read Micah 5:2, from a children’s Bible, if possible.)
Bethlehem was the town where God had promised our Savior would be born—on Christmas morn!
Donkeys are humble creatures. Who knows what humble means? (Let a volunteer or two respond.) A person who is humble forgets about himself or herself and concentrates on what other people need. We say someone is humble when he or she thinks a lot about how to help others.
It’s hard to be humble like that at Christmastime, though. Isn’t it? We would rather think about ourselves, wouldn’t we? We would rather think about the cookies we like best, about the presents we want most, about the movies we want to watch. It can be so easy to be selfish instead of humble.
That’s one reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem on Christmas morn. Jesus was born to be our Savior from sin. Because Jesus came to live and die for us, everyone who believes in Jesus is forgiven. Our sins are washed away, even our sins of selfishness.
Now, we don’t have to be selfish. The Holy Spirit works in us so we can humbly serve others. We can be kind, gentle, and helpful in our families and at school. And that is one of the most important ways we get ready for Christmas.
Let’s pray together. Dear Jesus, you are kind and gentle and good. Thank you for being born on Christmas morn! Thank you for washing away all our sins, especially our selfishness. Make us humble and kind—like you, dear Jesus! Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s kid’s devotion is just one of many Christmas Ministry Messages you can find at ctainc.com. Do you have Christmas gifts for everyone in your kidmin program? It’s not too late to order! Check out the Story of the Christmas Tree Build-Your-Own ornament or the Ten Fingers Ten Toes board book. Both make great gifts for the littlest believers!
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