The history of this children’s kids’ slot is not something that I’ve been able to establish with any degree of certainty. I got it, in broad outline, from Roo Standring who claims to have got it from Mike Cain who probably got it from the Revd Jonathan Fletcher, Incumbent of Emmanuel Wimbledon. Presumably it’d make a great Christmas Carol talk for adults. But you’ll need to beef it up a little. Next year perhaps!
On the night that Jesus was born there were some shepherds on the hills outside Jerusalem. They were looking after their sheep. It was very dark. It was very quiet. And then all of a sudden God surprised the shepherds. A bright light shone in the night sky and an angel made a big announcement to the shepherds. Let’s read Luke 2:11.
In the announcement the angel told the shepherds three things about the baby Jesus.
1. it’s just what we were hoping for
The first thing he told them was that the baby was just what they were hoping for.
I’ve got three of my presents that I thought I’d let you help me open. I put them in a stocking but I can’t seem to find it. [Cue: ‘It’s behind you gags!’]
Let’s open my first present. That’s just what I was hoping for. I’ve really wanted a Colin Buchanan Christmas DVD for a long time. Christian told me how good it was and so I was hoping that someone would buy it for me. What are you hoping to get for Christmas?
When the angels told the shepherds that Jesus was the Christ the shepherds realised that Jesus was just what everyone was hoping for. Everyone had been looking forward to a time when God would send his special king. That’s what the name Christ means. Jesus is the king that God had promised to run everything. And that’s just what we’ve been hoping for.
It’s great when we get a present that’s just what we were hoping for. And Jesus is just that.
2. it’s more than we were expecting
The second thing that the angel told the shepherds was that the baby was more than they were expecting.
Let’s open my second present. It’s a card. It’s just a card. It’s from Great Aunt Betty. Let me read to you, ‘Dear Richard, Happy Christmas. Hope that you have a terrific day with your lovely family. Lot’s of love Great Aunt Betty’. But there’s something else in the envelope. What is it? It’s a twenty pound note. I wasn’t expecting that. I haven’t spoken to Great Aunt Betty for ages. She’s given me 20 quid, isn’t that fantastic! That’s so much more than I thought I’d get.
When the angels told the shepherds that Jesus was the Lord the shepherds realised that Jesus was more than everyone was expecting. Everyone knew that God would one day send a special king but they hadn’t realised that he was going to be God’s Son. Jesus isn’t just a king he’s God. And that’s more than we were expecting.
It’s great when we get a present that’s just what we’re hoping for and it’s more than we’re expecting. And Jesus is just that.
3. it’s just what we need
The third thing that the angel told the shepherds was that the baby was just what they needed.
Let’s open my third present. It’s a woolly hat. That’s just what I need. I get really cold on winter days and so a hat is ideal.
When the angels told the shepherds that Jesus was the Saviour the shepherds realised that Jesus was just what everyone needed. Everyone knew that we need someone to save us so that we can be friends with God. We can’t save ourselves. We need someone to do it for us. Jesus is the saviour that God has sent us. And that’s just what we need.
It’s great when we get a present that’s just what we’re hoping for and it’s more than we’re expecting and it’s just what we need. And Jesus is just that.
We’re going to get some great presents today, I’m sure. But God has already given us the best present we could ever get because he gave us His Son, the baby Jesus. He grew up to be
- the Christ, the special king who came to rule us and take care of everything
- the Lord, who’s not just a person like me but he’s God as well
- the Saviour, the one who came to save us so that we could be friends with God