|Theme:||In Jesus, we receive the right to become children of God. 2nd Sunday after Christmas|
|Object:||A gift you received for Christmas|
|Scripture:||Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. John 1:12-13 (NIV)|
This tie I am wearing was one of my Christmas gifts. I really do like it. Did you receive a lot of gifts for Christmas? I'm sure that you did. Of all of the gifts that you received for Christmas, what was the very best one? What was your favorite? (Give the children an opportunity to tell you about their favorite gift.)
You know, there is one thing that I have learned about Christmas gifts. No matter how much you enjoy receiving them, they just don't last. Some of you may have received new clothes. They look nice and you enjoy wearing them, but sooner or later, they wear out, go out of style, or you outgrow them. I am sure that many of you received toys. You really enjoy the toys, but eventually, they either get broken or you get tired of playing with them. Perhaps you got some candy. Well, when you eat it, it is gone. Except for what you wind up wearing around your waist.
There is one Christmas gift that is different. It never wears out. It never goes out of style. You will never become tired of it. It is like the Energizer Bunny -- it is a gift that keeps on giving year, after year, after year. Do you know what that gift is? It is the true gift that Christmas is all about. It is God's gift to us. His Son, Jesus.
The Bible tells us that all who receive Jesus and believe in his name become the children of God! When we become the children of God, we have all of the rights and privileges of being His child. He will love us, protect us, and provide everything that we need. The best part is that it never ends. The Bible says that "kindness and love will be with us every day of our life, and we will live forever in the house of the LORD." (Psalm 23:6 paraphrased)
I enjoy giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, but I think it is important for us to remember that the greatest gift of all was God's gift to us. It is the gift that keeps on giving!
Dear Father, we thank you for loving us so much that you gave your Son so that we too could become your children. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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