Back in the harness after a busy Christmas season and week of rest. One of the highlights of the last two weeks, for me, was a new 4:30pm Christmas Eve service for kids which we called “A Christmas cracker”. Everyone in the service was given a Christmas cracker half way through the talk and the party hats were used to illustrate something about Jesus, loosely based on “two ways to live“. We also used fairy lights, a candy cane and a Christmas tree to help kids remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Fairy lights twinkle like the star which led the wise men to Jesus.
Reading: Matthew 2:1-2
Fairy lights remind us that is it wise to look for Jesus
It is wise to find him
And it is wise to worship him.
Candy canes look like a shepherd’s crook, which reminds us of the shepherds. The colour of the candy cane reminds us of something else.
Red – the blood of Jesus.
White – purity, which is what Jesus gives people who trust in him and his death for our sins, as his blood purifies us.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
God teaches us in the bible that everyone sins. We are all dirty and smelly because of the bad things we do and the good things we don’t do. But God has promised to make us pure again.
Everyone pulls their crackers and puts on their party hats.
The hat is shaped a bit like a crown.
Who wears crowns? Kings and queens.
Do you know what the hat reminds us of? Sin.
Sin is when we say to ourselves, “I am the king of my life and no one is going to tell me what to do. I’ll do what I please.” That’s sin.
So, when everyone ignores the king and does what seems right in their own eyes, bad things happen.
But good things happen when we remember that Jesus is King.
Jesus is the good king who gives us good commandments.
People who make Jesus king are blessed.
Reading. Matthew 2:1-2 again.
I’m going to take off my hat and write: “Jesus is my King” on the front.
Christmas tree, with presents.
The presents under the tree remind us of the grace of God.
Grace is when someone gives us something we don’t deserve.
The wages of sin is death
But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we continue to live in sin,
if we make ourselves king of our life,
we are treated as our sins deserve by God by the opposite of eternal life, death.
That’s God’s judgement.
But, if we crown Jesus as King, and know that he has made us pure before God by shedding his blood on the cross for our sin, and if we accept Jesus as gift, by simply saying “thank you God that Jesus died for my sin, I make him my king, and I’ll follow him and worship him and love him” then God gives us the free gift of eternal life.
Last reading: the shepherds Luke 2:15-20
When we are like the shepherds who know the love of God in Jesus Christ.
When the fairy lights remind about the star and to look and find Jesus.
When we find him and worship him like the wise men.
When the candy cane reminds us that his blood shed on the cross makes us pure in God’s eyes.
When the crown reminds us that we make ourselves kings but that Jesus is the good king who gives the gift of eternal life to all who love him and follow him.
Then we can all stand tall before God and other people like the Christmas trees.
Will you stand tall this Christmas because you know the love and kindness of Jesus, our Saviour and King?
And we sang the song which inspired the whole service. Thank you to Colin Buchanan. Click on the image below to buy the King of Christmas CD.
Let the Christmas tree remind you of
the one who loves the lord
Who walks the path of godliness
And loves to hear God’s word.
Pray that as you grow up
that’s just how you will be
Standing tall for Jesus
like a Christmas tree
Let your love show ho! Ho!
Let your love grow ho! Ho!
That everyone will know
Christ the King of Christmas
Well let the fairy lights remind you
Of that bright and shining star
Spotted by the wise men
who travelled from afar
They gave Jesus all their treasures
and they worshipped him that night
Let your worship of King Jesus
shine like fairy lights
Well let the candy cane remind you
Of God’s amazing grace
Red – the blood of Jesus
As he suffered in our place
White – the full forgiveness
Won as Jesus rose again
You can tell you friends the gospel
with a candy cane.
Well let all the gifts at Christmas time
Fill your heart with praise
To God for all his goodness
Shown in O so many ways
That everyday in everyway
We’d be completely his
Give you life to Jesus
as a Christmas gift.