Archive - December, 2013

The Story of Christmas—From the Beginning

12-10 Blog Post 350

The following is very good reminder from Dr. Albert Mohler as we make preparations to share the Christmas story in our classrooms and homes:

So, where does the Christmas story begin? In the Gospel of John we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” [John 1:1-3]

The prologue to John’s Gospel points to creation and to Christ, the divine Logos, as the agent of creation. Yet, with language drawn directly from Genesis, John begins his gospel “in the beginning.”

In other words, the Christmas story begins before the creation of the world. As we celebrate Christmas and contemplate the Christmas story, we must be very careful not to begin the story in Bethlehem, or even in Nazareth, where Mary was confronted by Gabriel with the message that she would be the mother of the Messiah.

We must not even begin with Moses and the prophets, and with the expectation of the coming Son of Man, the promised Suffering Servant, and the heralded Davidic Messiah. We must begin before the world was created and before humanity was formed, much less fallen.

Why is this so important? Put simply, if we get the Christmas story wrong, we get the Gospel wrong. Told carelessly, the Christmas story sounds like God’s “Plan B.” In other words, we can make the Christmas story sound like God turning to a new plan, rather than fulfilling all that he had promised. We must be very careful to tell the Christmas story in such a way that we make the gospel clear.

Excerpt from Dr. Mohler’s article, “Where Does the Story of Christmas Begin?.”

All New Visuals for Jesus, What a Savior! + Giveaway

 

Last month, Children Desiring God released the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior! This 40-week curriculum teaches kindergarten students about redemption. One of the main elements of our curriculum revision is a complete redesign of the Visuals Packet. Teachers use the visuals in this resource during the lesson to capture students’ attention, visualize Bible stories, and emphasize key points of the lesson.

The vibrant, full-color visuals include a variety of original Bible story images, photographs and illustrations. The Visuals Packet is available either as a pre-printed resource or as a printable PDF file on the Resources DVD in the Teacher’s Kit. To learn more about the revised version of Jesus, What a Savior!, view a sample of the lessons.

 

Jesus, What a Savior! Giveaway

JWS Giveaway2_Blog

To celebrate the release of Jesus, What a Savior!, we are giving away a free Teacher’s Kit and 5 Students Workbooks! Be sure to enter our contest by the end of December!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: This is a continuation of the giveaway started on December 2. Don’t worry, if you entered this giveaway on our previous blog post, your entries are already included.

 

When a Little Girl Prays to a Big God

How many times do we as parents miss out on recognizing God at work in the most ordinary everyday circumstances? How many times do we fail to call upon Jesus in prayer thinking that the problem isn’t “big enough” to warrant His attention? Here is a true story of how a little girl’s simple faith in a big God taught her daddy a big lesson.

Does God care about a doll coat?  Yes, He does.  God cares about doll coats and He cares about the faith of little girls.  

Driving down the highway coming home from summer vacation, a little girl was playing with her doll and doll clothes in the back seat. She hung up her doll coat on the wing window of the station wagon and noticed a few minutes later that it was gone.

“My doll coat!  It’s gone!”  she exclaimed.  After looking around the back seat and realizing that the coat had probably gone out the window, she asked her daddy to turn around and go back for the coat.

Her daddy patiently tried to explain that he was driving 65 miles an hour down a divided highway, it would be some distance before he could cross the highway, and dusk was approaching.  But the little girl was insistent.

“But it’s my favorite doll coat,” she sobbed.  But there was no way that the doll coat could be found.  They had traveled many miles since the coat was noticed to be missing and there was no way of knowing where the coat had gone out the window.  Finally her parents convinced her that it was useless to go back for the doll coat.

After a few moments of silence, the little girl said quietly, “Would it help to pray?”

Skeptical that her prayer would be answered as she desired, yet not desiring to squash his daughter’s zeal for prayer and dependency on God, Dad answered, “It always helps to pray.”

The little girl prayed simply and sincerely that God would bring back her doll coat.

A few minutes later, Dad slammed on the brakes.  “Kristi, God just answered your prayer!” he exclaimed.  He jumped out of the car and ran to the back.  There caught on the very end of the trailer they were pulling was…the doll coat! 

Dad gleefully and gratefully restored the doll coat to his daughter and the family drove on, awed by a great and glorious God who notices little things like doll coats and loves to encourage the faith of His children.

(Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Family Devotional Guide  by Sally Michael, copyright©2006, pages 141-142.)

A New Resource for Advent

Here is a wonderful and creative new resource to help you and your family reflect on the true meaning of both Christmas and EasterMessiah Vine: A celebration of Advent and Lent (by Kathi Lambrides Westlund and family).

messiahvineTHE MESSIAH VINE was designed to help you celebrate both the birth and the resurrection of Christ. Advent and Lent are often treated as completely separate seasons. But they aren’t separate events—they are one beautiful, connected story! Kathi Lambrides Westlund actually wrote The Messiah Vine for her own family out of her frustration that most Advent resources leave Jesus in the manger at Christmas, and the realization that there are few resources available that mark Easter in a way that is cohesive with the whole scope of the Bible.

Jesus was not only the Baby of Bethlehem—He is also the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of eternity!

The Messiah Vine will help you weave both seasons together. As you progress through the Advent and Lenten seasons, you will focus on some of the main events in God’s work of redemption. You might think of the Messiah Vine as a timeline that depicts God’s plan from before creation into eternity. During the Advent season, The Messiah Vine devotional will guide you from creation to Jesus’ boyhood. During the Lenten season, the focus is on the “I am” statements of Christ and Holy Week events.

The Messiah Vine includes 39 unique ornaments, all of which are hand-made by Kathi and her family. They are carefully crafted out of a variety of media: clay, wood, fabric, paper, twigs, and twine.

We highly recommend this resource! For more information and to purchase it, go here.

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