As those Christmas cards start to arrive, save the ones that tell the Christmas story. Cut off the fronts and save them for a Sharing Time or Family Home Evening lesson. When I did this activity, I learned a profound lesson from a child who gave me an unexpected answer. Here’s how it works.
“Children, I have here some cards that tell the real Christmas story from the scriptures. Our job is to put them in order. The first person has it easy – just pick a card, tell what it has to do with the story of Jesus’ birth, and put it on the chalkboard with a magnet. The second person does the same – picks a card and tells us what it has to do with the Christmas story. Then that person has to decide whether it goes before or after the first picture. And so on, until we have all the cards in order on the board to tell the whole story of the birth of Jesus. Got it? Let’s go.”
At first it was easy. The children correctly figured that the picture of Joseph with Mary on the donkey traveling to Bethlehem went before the picture of baby Jesus in the manger. The shepherds and wise men were a little trickier – sending the children excitedly to the scriptures to find the difference between what the shepherds found in Luke 2: 16 – a babe – and what the wise men found in Matthew 2:8 – a young child. Ok, so far, so good – Mary on the donkey, then baby Jesus in the manger, then shepherds, then wise men.
Then a little girl picked the angel. I knew the answer – or so I thought. The angel announced to the shepherds that Jesus was born, telling them to go to Bethlehem. The angel goes before the shepherds. Easy.
But the girl twirled her curls and thought a minute. “Well, the angel could go several places. An angel told Mary she would have a baby. An angel told Joseph that it was OK to marry her even though she was already going to have a baby. An angel told the shepherds that Jesus was born and they should hurry to the manger to meet him. And an angel told Joseph to take baby Jesus and Mary to Egypt to escape when Herod killed all the babies. Herod thought one of those babies had to be the Christ Child and he’d surely get rid of him if he just killed all the babies. But the angel told Joseph so he could get Jesus to a safe place. So really, the angel could go a lot of places. I think we need more angels,” she concluded with a grin.
Of course she was right. I looked at her in amazement, thankful that she opened my eyes to more truth when I thought I knew “the answer.” I thank God for faithful parents who taught her to know and love the scriptures. It’s not the first time I’ve learned a profound truth from a child.