Prepare: Bring a beautifully wrapped box. There doesn’t need to be anything in it, it is just a visual aid. However, if you wanted to you could have a small baptismal remembrance in the box for each child. Maybe a small shell, or a dove. It would be a fun addition, but it is not necessary.
What do you mean Christmas is over? We still have one more day, today! This is the last day of the Christmas season – it is the twelfth day of Christmas, just like that song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Do you know that song? I can’t always remember all the gifts that were given in the song, but I do remember that a gift was given for each day of Christmas. (This is where you would have the gift box out.) I have a box here all wrapped up like a Christmas gift. Maybe you got gifts on Christmas, I know that I got a few.
Maybe you are wondering why we are talking about Christmas gifts here? Well, it’s because all of the readings from the Bible today talk about an amazing gift that God gives to each of us. God adopts each one of us as God’s children. Each of us are loved, forgiven, given God’s mercy, accepted by God for who we are. God sets aside any and all bad things that we have done and loves us more than any of us could imagine.
Wow! What a gift! Now, what are you going to do with that gift? Think about it – What did you do with your other Christmas gifts? I, for example, got some new pants (ok, insert a gift that you got here) and I am going to wear them! I might even point them out to people, “Hey, check out these great new pants!” Well . . . maybe I won’t point them out to everybody, that might be a little weird . . .
Some of you might have gotten Legos, and I bet you will build them and show them to your parents and friends and aunts and uncles. Some of you might have a new doll or toy truck – I bet you will play with that and take it with you friends houses. Or maybe you got a new game or a bike! You will probably play with all of them.
So, what will you do with God’s gift? Will you keep it a secret? Will you hide it and not let anyone know that God loves you? Or will you share God’s amazing love and forgiveness with others?
(If you did bring a reminder for each child hand it out now)
Here is a little reminder that you are loved by God. Take this with you and share God’s love with everyone you meet!
Loving God, we praise you for your generous gift of love and forgiveness. We thank you for the grace that gives us another chance when we don’t get things right, and we thank you for the love that surrounds us when we are sad or afraid. Help us to share your love and grace throughout our lives. Amen
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