Every year, we teach the children that the angels’ message to the shepherds was not to be afraid. This year, I pondered the meaning of this message as I was getting ready to teach this story again. God put it on my heart to teach something that the children could to rely on every day so the message of the angles could stay with them throughout the year. I realized that we want the children to know two things.
First, I wanted them to know that we don’t have to be afraid because God is good. There is no greater lie about God than believing that He’s not good. Even though this earthly life is full of trials and pain, God is good. And He never changes.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:1 ESV)
Second, we do not have to be afraid…at all…because He loved us first. There is no greater comfort to me…at all times…than this truth.
We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:19 ESV)
Yesterday, we had a great opportunity to reach out to children and their families while celebrating Advent with them. The place where we were able to do so is rather peculiar. One of the local shopping centers offers babysitting service, and because God is good we were able to join the children right in the child care center! The parents knew that in the afternoon the center was going to offer free Bible story time for those who are interested. It was fun even for my own kids because first they could play in all the playrooms and try out the toys, and then both Vašek and Emma helped out with the Bible story time. This opportunity was offered by some close friends of ours, and we decided to work together to bring a time of singing, crafts and God’s Word a midst the little ones and even some of their parents. Altogether, the Lord blessed us with a team of eight who came to share the good news of Christ. Praise the Lord!
We had the shepherds from the story with us ”in person” and they told us all about “what they heard” and “what they saw.” The two and three year olds loved it as they listened to the seven- and eight-year-old boys tell the story. We also made angel tree toppers and tissue paper Christmas wreaths with Luke 2,10 in the center.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
(Luke 2:10 ESV)
May your Advent season be centered on this very good news of great joy! This news is for all the people.