As I’ve been writing about the stress and the busy of this season I thought I would take this opportunity to share the true meaning of Christmas. I have gone as far as to research a few websites and have found some pretty interesting animated versions of the story which are fun and create great spaces for conversation with your children.
Below is an excerpt from one of the sites. Feel free to click through if you would like to read further:
Long ago, about 2000 years, when King Herod ruled Judea (now part of Israel), God sent the angel Gabriel to a young women who lived in the northern town of Nazareth. The girl’s name was Mary and she was engaged to marry Joseph.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary: ‘Peace be with you! God has blessed you and is pleased with you.’ Mary was very surprised by this and wondered what the angel meant. The angel said to her ‘Don’t be afraid, God has been very kind to you. You will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to a baby boy and you will call him Jesus. He will be God’s own Son and his kingdom will never end.’ Mary was very afraid but she trusted God. ‘Let it happen as God chooses.’ She replied to the angel. Gabriel also told Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth who everyone thought was too old to have children, would have a baby boy whom God had chosen to prepare the way for Jesus.
Mary said goodbye to her family and friends and went to visit her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah. Elizabeth was very happy to see Mary. She knew that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son. An angel had already told Zechariah that Elizabeth’s baby would prepare people to welcome Jesus. He was to be called John. Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home to Nazareth. To read more click here.
The Christmas Story is such a beautiful one to share and it’s amazing to hear how excited our children get as we share with them. We’ve heard it said before, ‘The Magic of Christmas’ and it is so true. Christmas is a magical time filled with wonder, anticipation, yummy food, family and friends. It is a time that offers us all space to reflect on the year passing and the one we are ready to move into. Christmas, unlike any other season or time of year, fills hearts with joy and peace on earth is what we all hope for.
I also want to take a moment to mention the horrific act we saw unfold in Sydney this week. The loss of life, a young mother who was snapped away, without warning and in a senseless act. Our hearts and minds are with the families of those who lost loved ones.
As we consider this and recognise how our safe, Australian way of life was literally terrorised I encourage you to share the story of Christmas with your children. Let hope rise up within them. Let them know that like the story of Jesus and the impact he had on the earth, they too can use their lives to make a difference. Again, I remind you that this story, like so many others we share with our children helps them understand more about themselves than anything else. Let them find themselves in the story and how their life has, can and will be impacted by the Christmas Story.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. I love that every year we get to tell this story and share it with generations. My grandchildren love to hear Rob and I talk about The Christmas Story and we endeavour to share this story of love, hope and promise not just at this time of year, but throughout the entire year.
Hug your children tonight, let them know they are safe. Let them know you love them and they are protected and allow them to get lost in the magic of Christmas through a story that has stood the test of time and remains the same yesterday, today and forever. In this time, where fear has crept in, let them know about the Prince of Peace. I personally couldn’t do life without this peace that Jesus gives me. I have drawn strength from it over and over and especially when life throws things at me that potentially bring fear like Terrorism. To wrap myself and my family in this peace is the best gift ever and I would love to give you all this gift this Christmas.
I am praying you all have a Christmas filled with genuine peace and love.
If you’d like to watch the fun animated version of the story, click here.