By Cherie Werner
Before you start: Wrap a large box like a present. Make 2 large signs. On sign 1 write the word: PRESENT and display a picture of a gift. On sign 2 Write the word: PRESENCE and display a picture of Baby Jesus.
(Start your message with the large present in your hand or close by.)
What do you like most about Christmas? (Listen to responses.) Many children I know are very, very excited about the presents they receive. Most of us get lots of presents. We get presents from our parents and grandparents. We sometimes get presents from our aunts and uncles and cousins. We get presents at school from our friends and teachers. We even get special treats at the library and at the bank!
There are presents everywhere this time of year! The problem is that those presents don’t last. They get broken or lost or wear out. Sometimes we get too old for certain presents or we get too big to use them. Sometimes the presents get used up or run out. Lots of things happen to our wonderful presents and none of the presents we get last forever.
The good news is that God has given us something that lasts forever and never changes!
(Show large sign #1.) On this earth we receive many presents for Christmas, but God has given us the best present of all. (Show large sign #2.) When God sent Jesus, he gave us his presence.
Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus is called Immanuel which means “God with us.” That is what this word presence means. God is with us. Jesus came to live with us and be with us.
Because of sin, we live in a world that is broken. We live in a world where there are lots of problems. We get sad and sick and lonely. We make bad choices and have hard times. But God sent Jesus to be with us. God sent Jesus to help us. God sent Jesus to show us how much he loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to take our sins away!
(Show the signs again.) Presents at Christmas are fun, but they don’t last very long. The best part of Christmas is Jesus’ presence with us. Jesus is with us all the time. He loves us. He listens to us. He helps us. He will never leave us. Jesus will last forever. His presence is always with us!
Please pray with me: Dear God, thank you for Christmas. Thank you for all of the presents that I get this time of year. Help me to remember that having Jesus with me is better than all of the gifts in the world. Thank you for sending Jesus to be with me, to help me, to love me, and to die on the cross for me. Amen.
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