Christmas

Miracle in the Manger

CTA - Christ to All /Dec. 02, 2020
Miracle in the Manger

Introduction

 

I’m going to tell you a story right now, and I want you to help me do that. Here’s how you will help: whenever I ask the question, “How can that be?” you will answer by saying together, “It’s a miracle.” Let’s practice a few times:

 

  • God made our big, beautiful world and everything in it—just by speaking. He said, “Let there be light,” and there it was! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)
  • God simply spoke, and planets appeared. Stars began to shine. How can this be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!)
  • God spoke, and the sun warmed the earth. God spoke, and rivers began to flow. God spoke, and aardvarks and anteaters, zooplankton and zebras sprang to life! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)
  • God made the first people, too. Their names were Adam and Eve. They lived in a beautiful garden. They loved God and they loved each other perfectly all the time! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

A miracle is something only God can do. The story I’m about to tell you is chock full of miracles. Listen carefully to hear them all.

 

Getting to the Heart

 

God blessed Adam and Eve so much! He even gave them a way to worship him. He planted a tree in the middle of their garden home. He told them, “Don’t eat the fruit of this tree. You may eat from all the other trees, but not this one.” Adam and Eve could show their love for God by obeying him.

 

But they disobeyed! They ate the fruit of that tree. Do you think God stopped loving them? He could have stopped, but he did not! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Yes, it was a miracle. Instead of throwing his world away, instead of throwing Adam and Eve away, too, God kept on loving his world and his people. He promised to send a Savior, someone very special to save us from all of the bad things we do! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”) For hundreds and thousands of years, people kept disobeying God. People kept on hurting each other. But still, God went right on loving them. He kept on promising to send the Savior! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Finally, at just the right time, God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that she would be the mother of the Savior. How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

God sent Gabriel to Joseph, too. Joseph knew Mary was going to have a baby. Joseph knew he wasn’t the father. “Does Mary love someone else?” Joseph wondered. But Gabriel told him, “The Holy Spirit is the Baby’s father.” Joseph thought, “How can that be?” (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Nine months later, baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The Bible says that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7 KJV). Jesus was a Baby like no other baby. He was God’s own Son! How can that be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

That night, just outside Bethlehem, some sleepy shepherds were watching over their sheep. Suddenly, the nighttime sky grew bright as day. An angel appeared! Those shepherds woke right up! “I have good news!” the angel said. “A Savior is born for you. You’ll find him in Bethlehem, wrapped in soft cloths and lying in a manger!” Then the sky filled with angels, every one of them praising God for his gift of love, love that never ends. The shepherds must have wondered, “How can this be?” (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

The shepherds went to Bethlehem and found everything, just as the angel had said. They worshiped baby Jesus and told everyone about him.

 

Baby Jesus grew up. He lived a life of kindness and love. He never disobeyed God—not even once! He made sick people well and sad people happy. He even raised some people from the dead! How can this be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Then, one day, Jesus himself died. Wicked people nailed him to a cross. Jesus died in our place. He was punished for our sins. Think of that! (Whisper in wonder:) How can it be? (Encourage the children to respond in a whisper, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Jesus didn’t stay dead. On the first Easter, Jesus rose from the dead, and now he lives forever. He will never die again. He forgives all of our sins, he helps us with all our troubles, and he gives us the gift of life, too! Someday, we will live with him and with everyone in his family forever in heaven. How can this be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”)

 

Taking It Home

 

I’m so glad for each one of God’s miracles, aren’t you? I’m especially glad Jesus came on the first Christmas! It’s a miracle—something only God could do!

 

One last time, how can this be? (Encourage the children to respond, “It’s a miracle!”) Yes, it’s a miracle—something only God can do! Merry Christmas!

 

 

Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message for the Miracle in the Manger line.

 

You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.

Editor’s note: I'm so glad for each one of God's miracles, aren't you? I'm especially glad Jesus came on the first Christmas! It's a miracle--something only God could do! Merry Christmas!

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