A Manger for Jesus

Christmas Eve Children’s Sermon

(This is what I had planned ahead… It went something like this. But you know how children’s messages can go, and this one was no different. The talkative two year old that has her own message and agenda can derail it fast. For the children’s message, my notes are on the table and I’m just interacting with the kids. Most of this got out there.)

You know what tonight is? It is Christmas Eve! What do we celebrate? Jesus was born to be our savior. We prepare to receive him, to love him, to worship him. When Jesus was born, was he born in a hospital? No. He was born in a stable. And where did his mother lay him? In a manger… maybe something like this one. 

In a little while, after the sermon and some more singing, we will take communion. Do you know what that is? It is when we take the bread and the cup. It is a reminder, in a very real way, through bread and wine or grape juice, we become the body of Christ. It is a mystery. No one can understand how it works. It is a special mystery. 

Back when I was a kid, we didn’t start taking communion until we were confirmed. I was in high school before  I took communion for the first time. People believed you had to understand communion before taking communion. But then people began to realize that no matter how much you study, you can never understand communion. It is something you just have to experience. You learn about it kind of like learning what it means to be part of a family. It comes to you, gradually, over time. So that is why the church has come to change its thinking about communion. Now, as soon as a child is able to eat, you can participate in communion. 

One of the things that is special about taking communion at Christmas, when you hold out your hands like this, you are making a manger for Jesus. When you put your hands out like this, you are saying that you want to receive Jesus. When the communion servers put the bread in your hand, that is like Mother Mary laying Jesus in the manger. Then, of course, you have to pick up the bread to dip it into the cup, but for a moment, you have re-enacted Christmas. When you receive the bread, you receive the Christ into your life just as the manger received the baby Jesus. And really, that’s all you need to understand to take communion.

Will you pray with me now. Fold your hands and close your eyes. (I have them repeat the prayer, phrase for phrase.)

Dear God. Thank you / for sending us Jesus / to be our savior, / to love us, / to teach us how to love. / Thank you / for all the gifts of Christmas. / In Jesus’ name we pray. / Amen. / AMEN.

blessings to you,

Pastor Karla

Published by: Pastor Karla

I am a pastor and a retired Navy Chaplain who believes following Jesus in compassion, service and gratitude is the very best kind of doctrine. God is present in the world in the Spirit and in the church as the body of Christ. I am a One on the enneagram who lives to find the balance between having my 'to do list' all crossed off at the end of the day and being spontaneous in the moment. Biblical literacy is important to me, and I want to make the meaning of the Bible and its stories less of a mystery to the average person so the love of God comes through to them clearly. You can contact me at karla.seyb.stockton@me.com. blessings to you, Pastor Karla

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