Merry two days after Christmas! Maybe you are fighting the after-Christmas blues today like Bobby. Are you disappointed that Christmas is over? Let down that the day or the season failed to meet your expectations? Maybe you did not get the gift you wanted or it all just was not what you expected it to be (like many things in 2020.)
The angels announced the birth of Jesus as, “good news of great joy,” and declared that His birth brought, “peace on earth.” Often when we are disappointed it is because we expected to find joy or peace in something that cannot truly provide those things. Take some time to read the following passages and work through the questions with your family, friends, or in your time with the Lord. Our hope is that reminding ourselves the true meaning of Christmas will help us remember how the good news of peace and joy can impact every day and prepare us to walk more closely with Jesus in 2021.
Scripture to Read:
Luke 2:8-14; Isaiah 9:6-7; John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Psalm 16:11; James 1:2-4; Galatians 5:22-23; John 15:4-5
Questions to Discuss:
- As the Prince of Peace, Jesus said He gave us a peace different than what the world gives. What kind of peace does the world offer us? How is Jesus’ peace different? (See Romans 5:1 for a hint.)
- Where is it that we find the fullness of joy? How does that truth help us “count it all joy” when things are difficult?
- Who produces the fruit of peace and joy in our lives? What does Jesus tell us that we need to do to produce much fruit?
- In the video, Bobby was looking to his friends or a PS5 to bring him peace and joy. What have you been looking to recently for peace and joy apart from Christ?
- How have you done in 2020 walking in the peace and joy Jesus offers His followers? What changes can you make looking at 2021 to do that better?
Opportunity to Dig Deeper:
Check out The Bible Project word study videos for peace and joy.
Activities to Enjoy with Your Family or Group:
Follow the Star: Draw a star on several sticky notes. You will make a trail of stars for the family to follow, leading to a baby doll or a gift box to represent God’s gift of Jesus to us. Talk about how Jesus was God’s greatest gift to people on earth, and just like any gift we can choose to accept it and cherish Jesus or not. Fortunately, God is patient and He never withdraws His gift.
Abundance Bags: Talk about how God meets our needs and gives good gifts. Give everyone a grocery sack. Have everyone go around the house and gather items to donate to a local charity or women’s shelter. When everyone’s sack is full, come together and share what gifts you want others to be blessed by.
Crazy Artwork Competition: Supplies Needed – a paper plate or piece of white cardstock for everyone playing and a crayon or something to write with. An adult will give the instructions. Tell them they are going to follow your instructions, but they can’t look until you are done. Have everyone place the plate on top of their head and hold it there while you tell them to:
- Draw a line for a floor.
- Draw a Christmas Tree. Add decorations if you feel so inclined.
- Draw a star on top of your tree.
- Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
- Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
- Draw a present below the tree.
When done, let everyone look and share their drawings. Then add up their points as follows:
- 2 points if the tree touches the floor
- 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel
- 1 point if your star touches your tree
- 1 point if your star is above your tree
- 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
- 1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard!)
- 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking
- 2 points if your present is under your tree
The winner gets a small prize or an extra dessert!