“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. All those . . .” well, I’m not quite sure what the rest of the song says. Whatever it says, it’s at least a reminder to us that there is something significant about this time of year. While the stores would have us think it’s about purchasing presents, the movies would tell us it’s about someone’s heart growing three sizes, and our taste buds telling us we need some cider, it’s really about much more: celebrating the birth of the King.
We Might Have a Problem . . .
As a parent, it’s hard to navigate the Christmas season sometimes as we try to point our kids to Christ and what he has done. My wife and I had our own enlightenment moment the other day when one of our kids blurted out, “I like toys more than God.” The statement was honest. While a toddler couldn’t understand the weight of that statement, we understood it completely. We understood it so well because, even though we may not say it, we struggle with the same thing. In our own hearts we must daily remind ourselves of the beauty of the gospel and the Gift the Creator has sent us in his Son.
So, how do we, as parents, walk through the Christmas season in a way that reminds ourselves and our kids of the gospel? As parents, our goal should be to point kids to the gospel through what we say and how we live. First, we should examine our hearts and motives towards Christmas to make sure that we are focused on celebrating the birth of Jesus and remembering his death, resurrection, and coming return. If we ask ourselves honestly, do we desire his praise more than our presents? In what ways do we need to repent of focusing on ourselves and remember the Savior who gave all of himself for us?
Once we’ve examined our hearts, we can guide the kids that God has entrusted to us. Pointing kids to the gospel is more like brushing your teeth than a trip to Disney World. It’s everyday reminding your kids about the truth that Jesus is amazing and has done everything for them, not just having the conversation randomly once or twice through their childhood. Maybe you’re wondering how this is done and don’t really know what it looks like to consistently point your kids to Christ. Good news: Christmastime is a great opportunity for us to set up a new rhythm of remembering the gospel.
Mercy Hill Kids Advent
Not only is Christmas a good time to set up a new rhythm, we’ve created a resource to get you started! This year we are offering our Mercy Hill Kids Guide: Advent Edition! This is a great tool to use weekly, starting December 1, to help teach your kids at home what they are learning each weekend at Mercy Hill. The guide is made to be used at whatever times work best for you. Use it at meal times to create conversations, before bedtime as you pray together, or post on the fridge and come back to it each day. Click here to access the guide and find information on how to setup family devotion times.
Last thought: Don’t get overwhelmed and think you’ve got to be the perfect parent. The truth is we are all trusting that God will use our brokenness as parents to display his goodness and mercy to our kids. That’s really the point of Christmas—to remind us of the love that God has shown us and the truth that we can rest our lives fully on Him.
-Brant Gordon (Kids Ministry Director)