Faith + Open: At this time of year we are all focused on how we show friends and family how much we love them. We do this by buying or making and giving gifts. Yet, some of our greatest gifts have not been things. God’s greatest gift to us was born in a barn surrounded by wandering shepherds and loud, smelly animals. What was the best gift that you have ever received that was not a thing. Share with one another and then open in prayer and sing either Away in the Manger(LBW 67, ELW 278) or Joy to the World (LBW 39, ELW 267) together.
Faith + Story: Read Luke 2: 1-20 or pages 212-217 in the Spark Story Bible. If you have a Nativity set, use the pieces to act out the story.
Faith + Share: For Adults: God comes to us in unexpected ways. Think about the shepherds faithfully doing their work with the sheep when an angel, declaring that God was doing a new thing in the world, interrupted them. These shepherds then immediately had to go and check it out! Have you ever been interrupted by God? Share a time when God seemed to put you on a different course. How did you react? Were you as excited as the shepherds or a bit more cautious? Did you tell anyone about this?
For families: Angels told the shepherds about Jesus being born and where to go and see Jesus. We can be messengers about Jesus too! Who tells you about Jesus? Who can you tell about Jesus? What would you tell a friend about Jesus?
Faith + Serve: We can use our words to tell people about the love of God in Jesus and we can use our actions as well! In the month of December as a family decide if there is someone in your neighborhood that you can help. Maybe shovel the walk when it snows. Maybe take over a hot meal if you know that they are sick. Make and give Christmas cards with the message of the birth of Jesus to neighbors.
Faith + Ritual: At the daily meal where everyone is gathered ask how each one showed or told someone about Jesus. Doesn’t have to be directly but even a kind act or word is showing Jesus to the world. Then at the end of the meal sing the chorus to Go Tell It on the Mountain (LBW 70, ELW 290) to celebrate how our whole lives tell about the love of God in Jesus Christ!