Sunday holds the top spot on my list of favorite days. After a week’s worth of busy, Sunday smooths my ruffled feathers and fills me with hope for the next week. I hope it does that for you as well.
This past Sunday exceeded my greatest expectations. It wasn’t merely the worship that did the trick, though it did summon a few drops of emotion from my eyes. It wasn’t necessarily the inspiring message I heard, nor was it the oh-so-sweet sweet fellowship I’ve come to thrive on. No, it was the hearts of the children I’m blessed to serve that completely overwhelmed me.
My part of Sunday’s children’s service was to offer a short closing message and prayer, followed by some small group time with my amazing 4th and 5th grade boys. These particular assignments make Sunday extra special for me.
After watching a video lesson about being grateful with what we have during the Christmas season, I decided to reenact a scene from a movie that most of our kids are very familiar with. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, a frustrated Charlie cried out, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus responded, “Sure, Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about,” as he stepped centerstage into the spotlight to beautifully quote Luke 2:8-14. How wonderful it is to take the time to remember just how miraculous the birth of Jesus was!
As we moved into our prayer time together, we talked about the prophet Isaiah’s description of Jesus, the Messiah who would come to earth as a baby to grow and live among us. I reminded them that Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, but still knew that He would be a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
The children seemed to understand that at some point we all need some wise advice, someone who will protect and take care of us, someone who will always be with us and never leave us, and someone who can give us peace in our crazy lives. Many prayed to have Jesus become their own Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
Small group time began by handing out prayer cards to my circle of boys along with these instructions, “Tell God which one of these four descriptions of Jesus you need most in your life right now, and why you need it.”
I wasn’t prepared for the depth of emotion that poured onto these cards.
One boy asked for a Wonderful Counselor because he needed a friend.
Another wanted a Mighty God because he was being bullied at school. What I read at the bottom of the card from this boy who wore the biggest smile in the room broke my heart. He wrote: Why do people bully me?
Another seemed desperate for an Everlasting Father because he never got to see his dad.
And another one wrote that he needed a Prince of Peace because it wasn’t very peaceful in his house right now.
It’s true, we feel our need for a Savior when we are children, and we never outgrow that need. Are there children in your life struggling quietly with stressful emotions? Take time to ask questions, and then listen.
I’m pretty sure some of you grownups reading this right now could also use a friend, a protector, some security, or a whole lot of peace; maybe all four. Don’t be afraid to let it show, and then intentionally lean on Jesus.
However, there may be a few of us who could be a little more like Jesus by supporting someone else through difficult days. Look around. Who needs you? By learning how to become more Christlike, we find exactly what we need.
And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:8-14, KJV, emphasis definitely mine)