When you were born, your mom and dad probably told a lot of people. Who heard the good news first, do you think? (Invite the children to answer and then choose a few to act out the following.) Pretend to be your mom or dad telling someone about it. What did your parents say? How did they describe you? How did they show their excitement?
I’m sure your parents were very excited. I’m sure they loved telling others about you. They probably told people your full name, how much you weighed, the color of your eyes, how much hair you had (or didn’t have), and especially how much they loved you.
It’s fun and exciting to tell others about a new baby!
God our heavenly Father was very excited to tell people about the birth of his Son, Jesus! Not many people knew that Mary was going to give birth to Jesus, but a lot of people were looking forward to it. That doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? Let me explain.
For a very, very long time people waited for a special person to become their ruler - someone who could and would protect them from all the bad people and evil things around them. God had promised to send a special Savior-King-Defender one day. This Savior would help God’s people with all their troubles, especially their problem with sin, with disobeying God and hurting each other.
So God’s people waited and waited for the promised King. They waited and waited. They kept hoping - year after year after year after year . . . for hundreds of years! Then, one day, an angel came to a young girl named Mary. The angel told Mary she was going to have a baby and that his name would be Jesus. He would be the Savior-King God had promised to send.
But only Mary and those she told about the angel’s message knew that God’s promise was about to come true. A lot of people were looking forward to Jesus’ birth, but not many knew he was about to be born in the little town of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was very crowded the night Jesus was born. It was time for people to pay taxes. Everybody went back to their hometown to register so the tax officials could count them. And Bethlehem was the hometown for lots of people. There were people everywhere! They hurried and scurried to find places to eat and to sleep. No one had time for a woman about to have a baby! All the inns soon filled up. Finally, Mary and her husband, Joseph, found a place to stay - in a shelter where animals usually ate and slept.
That’s why God’s own Son, Jesus, spent his first night on earth sleeping in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. Even so, Jesus was a special boy. He was God’s Son and also Mary’s son. God wanted to tell everyone about Jesus’ birth! He wanted the whole world to know about Jesus! He wanted the people who believed his promise to know he had kept that promise. The Savior-King was born!
God sent his angels to fill the night sky outside of Bethlehem and announce Jesus’ birth! The shepherds out in the fields heard the announcement first. The angels said:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11 KJV).
The angels told the shepherds they’d find the baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger. Animals ate hay and other food from mangers. What a strange place to find a baby! But that’s the cradle Mary used for her baby. It’s where Baby Jesus slept on that very first Christmas night.
After the shepherds saw Jesus, they went out and told a lot of other people. They wanted to announce his birth, just as the angels had. Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born! The news about Jesus’ birth spread from family to family.
We call Jesus “the Savior” because he came to rescue us from being punished for our sins, for the wrong, hurtful, unloving things we do. Jesus took our punishment instead. Now, God forgives us. He wants us to live with him forever. He wants us to know his love right now, and he wants us to live with him in heaven someday after our lives on this earth end.
That’s why the angels were so excited to tell the shepherds, “Christ the Savior is born!” And that’s why I’m excited to share that news with you today. Jesus promises to be with you always, to help you, and to love you. That’s great news! That’s news we want to tell others about! Like the angels and the shepherds, let’s tell everyone that Jesus Christ, the Savior, is born!
Today’s devotion comes from one of CTA’s new Christmas themes, Christ the Savior Is the Born! This theme includes everything you need to celebrate Christmas with the adults and children in your ministry. Check out the Count-Up-to-Christmas Activity, lapel pin, personalized Christmas ornament, and much more!
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