Read: This is what happened the night that Jesus was born:*
“While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. There
were no rooms left in the inn. So she wrapped the baby with cloths and laid him in a box
where animals are fed. That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their
sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The angel said to them, 'Don’t be afraid,
because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. Today your
Savior was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You
will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box.' So the shepherds went quickly
and found Mary and Joseph. And the shepherds saw the baby lying in a feeding box. Then
they told what the angels had said about this child.”
—Luke 2:6-17, abridged (ICB)
Wonder: I wonder what Mary and Joseph felt when there was no room for them. I wonder what
it felt like for the shepherds to get invited to meet Jesus. I wonder if the stable was crowded
that night. I wonder what the animals thought of all these people in their home. I wonder what
it feels like when you get invited to something special.
Say: The good news is that God invites all of us to be close to Jesus, and anywhere we are
together, even in a barn, God is there, too.
Pray: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for inviting us to be close to you, just like you invited
the shepherds and the animals and the angels. Help us to remember that no one gets left out
from your invitation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
- Create an invitation for a friend to come to church with you.
- Play Sardines. One person goes to hide and the rest of the people seek the hider. When
you find the hiding place, squeeze in until everyone is together.
- Read Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell and Jason Cockcroft. New York: Margaret K.
McElderry Books, 2006.
- Learn about how other countries celebrate Christmas. What kinds of celebrations do they
have? Which would you like to be invited to?
* Note: Many churches and families read the full Christmas story, either from the bible or a picture book, on Christmas Eve. Any telling of the Christmas story will work great here.