It's official. It is the middle of November and I have turned my mind to Christmas. And thanks be to God, I am excited by the possibilities and not feeling like I am going to drown. Maybe that has something to do with starting six weeks out rather than with only two weeks to go!
In fact I started thinking about Christmas two weeks ago because last week I gave a short talk to a women's Bible study group about kids and Christmas. They gave me these questions as a starting point:
What are some helpful ways to explain what Christmas is really about to children?
What are some useful traditions?
What are some ways to steer children towards the real meaning of Christmas when they are surrounded by secular commercialism?
While I was preparing for this talk I made a wonderful discovery about "The Jesus Storybook Bible" - the subtitle of which is, "Every Story Whispers His Name."
So what's the big discovery?
The format of this children's Bible is such that there are twenty one stories presented from the Old Testament (which "whisper Jesus name") and then the Christmas story is presented in three stories. That makes twenty four stories that will paint an Old Testament backdrop to the birth of Jesus and then tell the story of his birth. Twenty four superb readings to do with our children - one a day - during the month of December leading up to Christmas.
These would make great readings for an advent calendar - just pop a note in each day's pocket which says, "Today's story is..." Or use them as bedtime Bible reading for the month of December or for special stories after breakfast each day during December...
All in an effort to steer our children towards the real meaning of Christmas when they are surrounded by secular commercialism.
Isn't that fantastic!