Let’s face it. Gifts are usually the reason our children get so excited about Christmas. How much fun is it to unwrap a package or pull the tissue paper out of a gift bag? There’s anticipation, suspense, and excitement, especially if the present is something they’ve been waiting to receive!
Today I’m sharing a fun way to channel some of that gift-opening enthusiasm into illustrating the true meaning of Christmas. It originated with my aunt. She discussed it with my mom, who shared the thought with me. It’s a perfect teaching opportunity for your own family during this season – or it could even be used as a Sunday School or children’s church lesson.
Most of our kids are familiar with John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God sending Jesus, His Son, at Christmas time, was the greatest gift that’s ever been given. It was the earthly beginning of the fulfillment of God’s plan for our salvation.
That Bible verse is a great starting point for this lesson. A simple explanation of the plan of salvation can be followed by a discussion of the blessings we receive when we accept Jesus as our Savior.
To bring this thought to life, take a box and fill it with some of the items listed below – physical things that represent those blessings. Then wrap the box and put it under the Christmas tree. Or you could wrap each item individually and have a different child open each package. You can use all ten, or just pick and choose the ones you want, based on the ages of the children.
If you’re doing this at home, set aside time on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to open these presents with your family. Discuss how each item depicts a gift we receive at salvation.
1. Eraser (our sins taken away).
“I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” ~Isaiah 43:25
All of our sins are forgiven when we ask Jesus to be our Savior.
2. Picture of a Mansion (a home in heaven).
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” ~John 14:2
Jesus is preparing a place for us to live with Him in Heaven! You could also read Revelation 21:10-27, which describes the new Jerusalem and all the beautiful things that will be there.
3. Life Insurance Papers (eternal life).
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life...” ~I John 5:13
We will get to live with God forever!
4. Pen and Notebook (our name written in the Book of Life).
“…rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” ~Luke 10:20
“And there shall in no wise enter into it [the new Jerusalem] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination…but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~Revelation 21:27
When we know Christ as Savior, our names are written in the Book of Life.
5. Adoption Certificate (adopted into God’s family).
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” ~Ephesians 1:4-5
What a blessing to be adopted into the family of God, joint heirs with Christ!
6. Receipt, stamped or written on “Paid in Full” (our sin debt paid).
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23
Because of our sin, we deserved death, to be separated from God forever. But Jesus paid that debt when He died on the cross. He took all of our sins on Himself so that we wouldn’t have to suffer the punishment we earned.
7. White Paper Heart (a new heart for God).
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” ~Psalm 51:10
We have a clean heart because our sins are forgiven. God also makes us new creatures at salvation, with a heart that desires a relationship with Him.
8. Picture of a family (brothers and sisters in Christ).
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” ~Ephesians 2:19
We can treasure a church family and other fellow believers who encourage us in our walk with Christ.
9. White piece of cloth (a robe of righteousness).
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” ~Revelation 19:8
We will one day stand before Christ “clean and white,” not because of our good works, but because Jesus shed His blood to cover our sins.
10. A Monogrammed Item (sealed by the Holy Spirit).
“…in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” ~Ephesians 1:13-14
Once we’re saved, we’re sealed, or marked, as Christ’s forever.
You could go another direction with this verse by using a box of money or a check. Explain that the Holy Spirit is a down payment or deposit (“earnest”) towards our inheritance in Christ, which we will receive in full when we get to Heaven.
I hope that this demonstration will remind all of us of the amazing gift we’ve been given in the person of Jesus, who came to earth to die for us, to rise from the grave, and to bring us into fellowship with God when we accept Him as our Savior.
Can you think of other gifts that we could add to this list? Please share them in the comments!
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