Thursday, November 18, 2010

December 16: The Legend of the Christmas Tree

*Today's gift should be something for the Christmas tree. I reuse specific ornaments for each child every year.
  • Read Philippians 2:14-16
"Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."
  • Have your children look at the verse for today to answer this question: "How can we shine like stars?"

  • Give the children an opportunity to open their gift(s) for today.

  • Explain how an interest in "shining like stars" is the legendary basis for today's Christmas tree.
The legend goes something like this (share what you have time/attention for):
Martin Luther (a key figure in the Reformation of the church) was preparing for a sermon, pacing back and forth in his living room. He watched the stars shining through the pine trees outside his window and got a "bright" idea. He brought an evergreen from outside and stood it up in his living room, adding candles to simulate the stars shining through the branches. This legend gave way to the modern lighted evergreens that adorn our living rooms today.

  • Let the children place their ornaments on the Christmas tree.

  • Stand across the room from the tree and have everyone squint as they look at your lighted tree.

  • Marvel at the "stars" dancing on the branches of your evergreen and remind the children that as Christians, we are like beautiful shining stars in our world.

  • Pray with your family. Ask God to make you blameless and pure so that you can shine like stars in the universe. Thank God for each child and the specific way they shine.

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