. . . a little child shall lead them . . . Isaiah 11:6
We are moving increasingly into the Christmas season. Christmas is simply about children. Think about the children in your life and what Christmas means to them. How will they celebrate Christmas? What is important to them during this season that is observed worldwide? Think about yourself as a child growing up – – your young, pre-teen, pre-adult years. What did you expect to do? What did you do? Was it a time of family? Fellowship? Faith? Whisper a prayer for a recall of your childhood Christmas memories – – no matter whether especially pleasant or especially painful. Ask God to bring them back to your remembrance. Then ask him, appropriately, to recapture the happiness or/and to release the hurt.
God is surely able to make all things work together for your good and give you some memories to share. [Romans 8:28 and Psalm 45:1] Yes, Christmas is about children, for they are an heritage/blessing from the Lord. [Psalm 127:3]
Note, again, . . . a little child shall lead them . . .
Know that in our family, we believe that the infant son who was born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago to the young virgin Mary and her espoused husband, Joseph, was actually the son of God who came to earth to bring reclamation, reconciliation and restoration to the broken bond of love between God and his beloved creation. Therefore, in the spirit of Proverbs 22:6 and in terms that she could understand, we trained our daughter from babyhood in this belief. We told her the story of the birth of Jesus. we sang such songs as these:
Jesus, Jesus! O what a wonderful child! Jesus, Jesus! So tender meek and mild.
New life, and hope to all he brings.. Listen to the angels sing:
Glory! Glory! Glory to the new born King!
And this one:
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear;
things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here!
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
First let me hear how the children stood ’round His knee,
and I shall fancy His blessing resting on me.
Words full of kindness, deeds of grace
all in the lovelight of Jesus’ face.
Into the city I’d follow the children’s band,
waving a branch of the palm trees high in my hand.
One of His heralds, yes, I would sing
Loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”
Yes, we wanted her to know that Christmas is about the birth of a special child. Still, we were happily surprised about two weeks before Christmas when our probably seven year-old daughter created a nativity scene – – right there in our family room! Such a precious memory! Hear now about a time she put her childhood faith into action.
A Christmas Story – Daughter’s First Nativity Scene
“Daddy, Come and see the place I have made in the den to represent the birth of the Baby Jesus!” she said, tugging on her father’s arm. Curious, her daddy obligingly went and looked. “See Baby Jesus, on his blanket? He’s smiling at us!” Her daddy looked. What he saw was Phillip, her beige teddy bear, lying on her favorite yellow baby blanket. What he said was, “That’s nice, sweetheart.” “Stay here, Daddy. Sit down for a minute.”
Daughter ran to the kitchen. “Mama, come and see how I have helped you this Christmas.” Mama lowered the fire under her pots and followed her excited daughter into the den. “See, Mama, I have made the creche for you so you won’t have to make it this year.” “How very helpful of you, Baby,” her Mama said, smiling widely.
“Wait right here, Mama. I’ll be right back.” Daughter ran to her Grandmother’s room, where she found her reading her giant print Bible. “Grandma, bring your Bible into the den for a minute.” Then, she gently helped her grandmother walk slowly to the den where her Daddy and Mama were still waiting, chatting about their daughter’s creativity. “Grandma, look at Baby Jesus!” she exclaimed. Grandma looked then hugged her grandbaby and kissed her on both cheeks, pronouncing Phillip “the best Baby Jesus she had ever seen in her life!”
Pleased that her family endorsed this place of honor that she gave to her most cherished companion, Daughter was proud of her effort – -why she had even brushed Philip’s fur, polished his eyes and smoothed the wrinkles in his plaid bow tie to get him ready for his special duty station. Finally, the kiss she had given him seemed to leave his face fixed in an innocent smile.
She said, “Let’s sing Silent Night!” Next, came the highlight for her first nativity scene: «Daddy will will you read the story of the birth of Jesus from Grandma’s Bible?” Of course he complied, reading from the second chapter of Luke with special emphasis and humility.
Then she said, knowing how they all would be blessed, “Grandma, will you pray a Christmas prayer for us and for all the children everywhere?” Grandma cleared her throat in a second and began talking to her dear Lord. She thanked him for her family, especially her precious granddaughter, and she pronounced blessings on children everywhere. All eyes were misty by the time she said, “Amen!”
This experience deepened our “grown-folks” understanding that Christmas is about childhood faith. Because of our daughter, that same nativity scene- -Phillip and all – – became a part of our Christmas observance each year, even when the family moved to a city over six hundred miles away. After we established the tradition , anyone and everyone who came into our home at Christmastime must pay respects to the nativity scene. Our faith is in God. We nourish our faith by standing/meditating on the word of God. As David asserts [Psalm 119:105] the Word of God guides our footfalls on life’s journey and God is always available as our refuge, strength, and help in times of distress. [ Psalm 46:1-2]
Most of all , Christmas is about love: God’s love for us and our love for him. A little child knows God loves him: Yes Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so! [Luke 18:16]
Because we all are children of God [Romans 8:16 and 1 John 3:10], we should praise Him with the same devoted enthusiasm as little children:
I am so glad that my Father in heav’n
tells of His love in the book He has giv’n.
Wonderful things in the Bible I see – –
this is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.
Tho I forget Him and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray.
Back to His dear loving arms I would flee
when I remember that Jesus loves me.
O if there’s only one song I can sing
when in His beauty I see the great King,
this shall my song in eternity be:
O what a wonder that Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me!
I am so glad that Jesus loves me!
Jesus loves even me!
As you think of the depth of your love for Jesus the Christ, whose entrance into human history we celebrate duringt this season, I invite you to adapt the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, “How Do I Love Thee?” Think of Jesus and say to him: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Finally, I invite you to listen to our playlist during the next days and re-kindle your own love for Jesus the Christ.
May the Holy Spirit make your journey through this season melodious!