Prepare: You don’t need much for the children’s sermon. You can, if you want, have some small gift for the children. I would suggest a small star or small sheep if you want to do that. The only other thing that might help is a familiarity with the Christmas song “Do You Hear what I Hear?”
As the children gather ask them if they know the Christmas story. If they do, ask them what their favorite part of the story is. If you have a tight schedule you might want to skip this, but it is a chance to hear where they are with the story and it might change how you do the next part!
Well, I have a story about the Christmas story. I think that most of us know the Christmas story, but did you ever think about how that story got to us? I was thinking about that because I was listening to a song called “Do You Hear What I Hear?” The song starts with the wind whispering to a lamb, the lamb tells the shepherd, the shepherd tells the king and the king tells everyone! The message is that Christ is born!
As I was listening to the song I started thinking about the story of Jesus, and I realized that the song is probably not that far off. OK, OK, in the actual story there isn’t a talking sheep, but think about the story that we hear at Christmas. Mary and Joseph know what’s going on because an angel told them – that’s kind of like the wind whispering to you. The angels also told the shepherds who came to see. Later on there were thee wise men, or maybe kings who heard about Jesus somehow and came following the light of a star!
So there is just this handful of people who know what is really happening in that little stable in Bethlehem, and they all manage to keep it quiet for a long time. We don’t really hear much about Jesus as a child, but then Jesus’ story gets really interesting! More people hear about Jesus as a teacher and healer, they tell their friends and neighbors, who tell their friends and neighbors. The word of God spreads far and wide, churches spring up in the far corners of the world, books are written, songs are written, there are paintings and sculptures made, plays are performed, people are feed, baptized, blessed with God’s Word all over the word and throughout the centuries of time.
And it all started with an angel telling people to “Come and see.”
So, this Christmas, I encourage you to invite some one to come and see. It doesn’t have to be today, or tomorrow, or even this month. But be like those angels and shepherds, the friends and neighbors – invite someone to “come and see!”
Emmanuel, God with us, thank you for coming to us. For coming to us as a baby at Christmas, as a healer when we are sick, as a teacher when we are struggling, as a savior when we are lost. Give us the courage to tell the story, and to invite people to come and see! Amen.
A game of blessing telephone! Start with two children. Give them each a blessing and ask them to go bless two other people. Each person then blesses two more, etc. Give it a little time to spread through the whole congregation!
You can use the blessing above, encourage people to make the sign of the cross on foreheads or on hands as they bless.