This children’s devotion is the first of three this month. We will publish a new one each Tuesday during the weeks before Christmas. They are designed to accompany CTA’s Countdown to Christmas items. Kids will love putting the stickers on the Christmas tree. Each set comes with four free classroom devotions and four free devotions to send home with the children for use with their families.
You will need an empty cereal box. Assemble your Christmas tree from the Countdown to Christmas kit and locate the stickers you will use to decorate it. Choose a special candle as a Christmas devotion candle. (Or use an Advent wreath.)
Getting to the Heart
Christmas is almost here. As we think about Christmas, we can think about Jesus’ coming in three different ways. 1) We celebrate his coming to earth as a baby at Christmas; 2) We remember that he will come some day to take us home to heaven to live with him and with everybody who knows and loves him; and 3) We thank him for coming into our hearts to give us faith and new life.
Today we will begin our Countdown to Christmas. As I light our Christmas candle, let’s say, “Jesus is the Light of the world.”
(Teach this song to the tune, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”:)
Christmas Day is drawing near,
Bringing hope and endless cheer.
Count the days till Jesus comes,
Bringing hope to everyone.
Christmas Day is drawing near,
Bringing hope and lasting cheer.
(Hold up a cereal box.) This morning I woke up really hungry for some cereal. As I walked into the kitchen I thought, “Boy, I hope I can have a big bowl of cereal this morning.” (Shake box upside down.) But the cereal was gone! It didn’t matter how much I hoped for cereal—I couldn’t have any.
When we talk about Jesus, we use the word “hope” in a different way. The hope Jesus gives us is different from the hope and promises people give each other. The hope Jesus gives us is not just a happy wish. The hope Jesus gives is always real, always true.
Jesus was born as a real baby on Christmas morning. He grew up to become a real man. He lived a real life for us—a perfect life! Then Jesus died for our sins. He really died—and he really came to back to life. That gives us real and certain hope. We can be full of hope because of Jesus. The Bible says, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,” (Romans 15:13). These words remind us that real, certain hope comes from God. That kind of hope brings joy and peace, too.
Taking It Home
For the next several weeks, we will use our tree to count the days till Jesus’ birthday. We will talk about people in the family of faith who lived in godly hope long ago. Each day, you can put one of this week’s six stickers somewhere on the “hope” panel of your tree, as you think about the hope Jesus gives. As you do that, you will be counting down the days until Christmas.
(Show the children the family devotion they will take home today. Point out the people/Scriptures that appear in the list there.)
You will each take a tree and stickers home to use with your families. Then you can add one sticker to your tree each day until Christmas. If you like, you can use the completed tree to decorate your table on Christmas Day. There’s even a prayer you can say together with members of your family. It goes like this:
Jesus, we celebrate your birth,
You brought so many gifts to earth!
Teach us to share your hope each day
In everything we do and say. Amen.
I hope you like using your Countdown to Christmas tree. I hope you have fun getting ready for Christmas. I know Jesus will take you to heaven, just as he has promised. Jesus came at Christmas to bring us hope.
Pray: Close with a prayer thanking Jesus for coming to earth to win for all believers the sure hope of eternal life.