Jingle All the Way!
Jesus is the source of the true joy of Christmas
Some small bells (Put one on a string or ribbon to make a necklace for each child)
"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8). "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him" (Romans 15:13).
This morning I brought something that we see a lot during the Christmas season--bells. I have made a necklace with a bell on it for each of you. As I pass them out, please hold them very quietly until everyone has received their bell, and then we will ring them all together.
Okay everyone, ring your bell (Perhaps you might sing a bit of "Jingle Bells" or, better yet, "Joy to the World"). Oh my, wasn't that a happy sound? The joyful sound of these bells reminds us that Christmas is a happy time. It is a happy time because it is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God!
Look closely at your bell. Do you know what gives this bell its joyful sound? Inside there is a tiny ball which makes the ringing sound as it bounces around against the inside of the bell. Our joy comes from the inside too! It comes from having love for Jesus in our hearts. The Bible says that even though we haven't seen Jesus, we believe in Him and love Him, and because of that love, we are filled with glorious joy.
Now I want each of you to hold your bell tightly in your hand and shake it. It doesn't have a very joyful sound does it? Our hands have dampened the sound of the bells. It is no longer bright and joyful. It is dull and lifeless. We must be careful that we don't let anything dampen our joy at Christmas. Sometimes we get so caught up in giving gifts and going to parties that we miss the real joy of the season. It is important to remember that the reason we go to parties and give gifts during the Christmas season is to share in the joy of Jesus' birthday. If the gifts and parties become the most important thing, then we will no longer ring out the true meaning of Christmas!
Dear Lord, help us to clearly ring out the good news that Jesus is born.