READ LUKE 2:6-7
The story of Jesus’ birth is pretty crazy. First, Mary and Joseph hear from an angel that they’re going to have a baby. Then, they have to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. Once they finally arrive, they can’t find a place to stay because the city is so crowded. Finally, they find a barn to spend the night in. And right there, among those smelly animals, Jesus was born. Can you imagine? When you look at all those crazy details, you might not think Jesus’ birth was all that joyous.
But despite all the craziness, there will never be a more JOYful birth. God sent His only son, Jesus, to save the world. Jesus was called Emmanuel, which means, "God with us." God made a way for you to know Him by sending His only Son.
Ask your mom or dad to help you find the lyrics to the hymn "Joy to the World." Write them down. Sing the song together and talk about what the words mean.
THANK God for sending Jesus to bring us real joy.
READ HABAKKUK 3:18
Joy is finding a way to be happy, even when things don’t go our way. Do you get your way all the time? Probably not. But joy is possible even when things don’t go your way and this verse tells us how. You can have joy because of what the Lord has done. He sent Jesus, His only Son, to save you from being separated from Him. He loves you. He made you for a purpose. And because of that, you can have joy, always, even when nothing is going your way.
Complete the statements below.
Even when it’s ________________, I will still be glad.
Even when I __________________, I will still be glad.
Even when he _________________, I will still be glad.
Even when she ________________, I will still be glad.
Even when life is _______________, I will still be glad.
ASK God to help you remember that you can still have joy because He sent His Son
READ 1 PETER 1:8-9
Do you know why Christmas is SO important? Before Jesus was born, our sin—the wrong things we do— separated us from God. We couldn’t have a relationship with Him because He is perfect and we’re not. So God sent Jesus to fix that problem. Jesus is a gift to us because He made it possible for our sin to be forgiven. He made a way for us to have a relationship with God forever.
Even if you cannot see Jesus right now face-to-face, you can still believe that His birth made a way for you to have a relationship with God. That’s what real joy is all about.
If you have a nativity set in your home, grab Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Read today’s verses, and then use the figurines to act out the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke 1. If you don’t have a nativity set, grab a piece of paper and draw baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the stable.
LISTEN to these verses and know that you can have joy because God sent His son.
READ PSALM 126:3
What are some great things God has done for you? Can you name a few?
Gather the people in your house together (maybe around the kitchen table) and pass out a piece of paper and a pen to each person. At the top of the page, ask everyone to write "What God Has Done for Me." Set a timer for two minutes. Challenge everyone to write down as many things as they can before time is up. If you have a younger sibling that cannot read or write yet, he can draw pictures instead.
When time is up, pass each person’s paper to the left so that you are no longer holding your own list. Read aloud the things that have been written (or show the pictures).
Display your lists together for the next week in a place where everyone in your family will see them. When you start to feel frustrated, angry, or sad look at these lists. Remember all that God has done for you and the people in your family so that you can feel the JOY that God gives.
KNOW that God has done great things for you and be filled with JOY!