Our church’s Children’s Ministry needed a manger for baby Jesus for an upcoming Bible story. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much money to spend on it. We looked online, hoping we could find a deal, but mangers are pricey these days, so I volunteered to throw one together. My version might not be awesome, but at least it would be free.
I’d never built a manger before, but I figured how hard could it be? It’s basically a wooden box with legs. Easy peasy, right? I had a pile of scrap wood sitting behind my shed and a nail gun in my garage. Give me an hour and I’d knock this thing out.
As a dad, I know that one of the best gifts I can give my kids is to show them how to love others. But that’s not always easy. That’s why I’m sharing a free resource with you today called Jesus Party.
Jesus Party is a devotional for kids and families based on the book Jesus Prom by Jon Weece. In Jesus Prom, Jon writes, “Life gets fun when you love people like God does.” But those of us with kids know that it’s even more fun when we include our whole family.
There’s nothing like serving with our kids to remind us of what really matters in life. Not only does it touch our hearts as parents to see our kids loving others, but it sets them up for a life of purpose and joy.
That’s why I wrote Jesus Party. Jesus Party takes the ideas of Jesus Prom and explains them in a way that children can understand and put into action.
Though Jesus Party works as a stand alone resource, it’s even more powerful when parents are reading Jesus Prom along with it.
Jesus Party would make a great family devotional or could be read by older elementary kids all by themselves. Either way you use it, Jesus Party will inspire families to have great conversations about loving God and loving people.
For several years our church put on a big Christmas show for kids and families. Between the drama, choreography, costumes and sets these musicals were always a big deal and always a blast. But one thing I learned quickly about productions, the bigger the show, the earlier you have to get the ball rolling.
This meant that back in June I’d start listening to Christmas music. By July I’d have to start the script. In September we would cast the show. In October we’d start rehearsals. In the midst of all of this we’d have to get people working on costumes, sets and props.
When opening night arrived, though, it was all worth it. All of the months of hard work finally paid off the minute the lights came up on the stage and the show began. Live theater at Christmas was absolute magic.
Of course when it comes to the Christmas story, the principles of preparation and payoff are nothing new. The story of Jesus’ birth began a whole lot earlier than Bethlehem. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT).
Like I said, the bigger the production, the earlier you have to get the ball rolling. What God was going to do through Jesus was beyond the scope of anything we could imagine. All the power and awesomeness of deity would one day be wrapped in an infant’s fragile flesh. Kind of a big deal.