We all know the Christmas story. Right? Or do we?
I teach Bible to elementary children grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. I am finding that they are thirsting for Truth. Kids today are tired of watered down Christianity. They want scripture. They are aching for the Truth.
Take the time to be observant this Christmas season. Look around at the stores, the TV, the radio. What message are they sending out? What Christmas truth is being told? We even have to be careful with so-called “Christian” Christmas events and activities.
How come? you might ask.
When was the last time you sat with the Bible and REALLY read the Christmas story? I challenge you, as a family, to read Luke 1 and 2 and then Matthew 2 for what they say. Don’t add in anything. Just read the words. Then as a family, answer these questions:
- Was Jesus born the first night Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem?
- Did Mary ride a donkey?
- Was Jesus born is a stable? or a cave?
- Did the inn keeper help Mary and Joseph?
- Did the shepherds visit at day or night?
- Was Jesus born during the day or night?
- Was Jesus born just outside of Bethlehem?
- Did the multitude of angels sing?
- How many people did the shepherds tell about the baby?
- Were the wise men there the same night as the shepherds?
- Did the wise men really “follow” a star?
- How many wise men were there?
- Did the wise men ride on camels?
- Who was troubled by the wise men?
- Where were Joseph, Mary and Jesus living?
- How old was Jesus?
- How many gifts did the wise men give?
In light of the answers you discovered, now look at the nativity scene you might have set up in your home. How should it be set up so it is Biblical? What would you do differently? Would you add or take away characters?
Are you amazed by what you “thought” was correct? Where do all of those extra ideas come from? As you sit down to watch the Christmas shows this season, challenge your children to think critically about what they are watching. You just might find out where some of those wrong answers come from.
The world would love it if Christians didn’t know the True story of Christmas. Scripture tells us to be on our guard against false teachings. Children want Truth, not lies. Children want reality, not fantasy. Children desire the supernatural, not fakery.
In my house we’ve gone so far as to not “do” Santa, or Frosty the Snowman, or Elves on Shelves. My kids know the Truth of Christmas, the Why of Christmas, and the How of Christmas. We give because God gave His Son. We put up Christmas lights because Jesus is the Light of the World. We spend time with family because God desires relationship. And you know what? We have amazing Christmases!
As a family, we are not distracted by what some people call the “Magic of Christmas.” No, we focus on the “Impossibility of Christmas.” Personally, I think a virgin birth, millions of angels, and worshiping shepherds beat out Santa Claus and his reindeer any day.
This may not be for every family, but I encourage you to think about it and see how you, and your family, can focus on Christmas Truth this year.
Anne Marie has a passion for Bible study and teaching the Word to adults and children. She blogs at futureflyingsaucers.com.