WHAT YOU NEED:
What You Do
Ask your child, “Do you know what the word joy means? Joy is when you can find a way to be happy, even if things around you aren’t all that happy.”
Set a timer for five minutes. Challenge your child to go around the house and find three things that bring them joy. Tell them you’re going to do the same thing. When the timer goes off, meet back in the spot where you are now and share the things you chose. Talk about why those things bring you joy.
Talk about the Bible Story
In our story today, who appeared to Mary? (The angel Gabriel)
What did the angel tell her? (That she would give birth to the Savior of the world)
How do you think Mary felt about the news that she would give birth to God’s Son? (Joyful, scared, probably overwhelmed)
When we talk about joy in the Bible, we’re often talking about people who were able to find joy even when their situations weren’t so joyful. Mary probably felt joy about baby Jesus, but she was probably also scared and overwhelmed. How does it make you feel to know that God sent Jesus for you?
Parent: Share a personal story about a time you had a plan, but God’s plan was different. Talk about how you handled it. Were you able to find joy in the midst of your circumstances? Were you able to feel God’s presence with you?
Use this prayer as a guide, either after your discussion or right before bed tonight:
“Dear God, thank You so much for the joy we have in You—during the Christmas season, and always! Thank You for sending Jesus to be our Savior. Thank You for [name your child(ren)], and how You made each of them special and beautiful and smart and funny! We praise You for the plan You have for us, and the truth that we can trust You no matter what. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!”