Do you remember the Sears Christmas Wish Book? Maybe you were one of those kids who dog-earred the pages, and used thick markers to circle those most wished-for gifts. We hoped that maybe one or two of the items would find their way under the tree on Christmas morning.
These days, kids are more likely to make their wish lists on Amazon, complete with helpful links for Mom and Dad to get that perfect present with a click of the mouse!
Christmas gift-giving is a beautiful reminder of the gift Jesus is to us. We can use this season of anticipation to help our children discover the true meaning of biblical hope. While anticipating what surprises might be under the tree is a lot of fun; discovering the ultimate gift of Jesus is even better!
Use these simple follow-up questions to guide children into a deeper understanding of the hope we have in Jesus.
- Think about the number one thing on your Christmas wish list. Why is it fun to think about getting it as a present? How will you feel if you receive it? How will you feel if you don’t?
As you talk about the “wish list”, introduce key words to define biblical hope: anticipation and expectation. Hoping for a gift is fun, but we can’t be fully confident we will receive it. Biblical hope, however, is an anticipation of promises we are certain to receive because they come from God in His unbreakable Word.
In a recent online article, Lia Martin writes, “This hope isn’t casual or laced with wondering. It’s anticipation for what God will do.” This is a hope that will last forever.
- How long do you think this gift will make you happy? What things might cause you to lose that happiness, even if you receive the gift?
Sometimes the joy of receiving a special gift lasts for a long time. Eventually, however, the excitement fades. The hard things in life have a way of encroaching on our joy.
The hope and joy that we have in Jesus is limitless! With your children, explore some biblical passages that talk about the hope we have in Christ, and how it holds true even when hard things happen.
- Difficult things can not stop Jesus. He is so strong that the whole universe only exists because He wants it to. The Bible tells us “he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3, ESV)
- Jesus used His power to defeat sin, which is the cause of all of our problems. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 ESV)
- One day Jesus will take away every problem experienced by His children. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 1:1-4 ESV)
A lot of happiness can be derived from the wishful anticipation of Christmas. This year, it can also point your family toward the confident hope we have in Christ!