11.27.17 | Stories | by Diane Cotton
How do you teach your children that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus – in the midst of Santa, toys and the crazy holiday schedule?
I believe you can make Jesus the focus, and make it fun for the kids, by looking at who Jesus is each day! Recently I studied the names of Jesus and it changed my life as no other study has ever done. This fall, this study has turned into a book, 100 Days with Jesus. Each page gives a glimpse into 100 different names used to describe Jesus in the Scriptures. It contains the name, Scripture where the name is found in the Bible, a simple definition of the word and a prayer of response to the truth of who Jesus is.
The culture around us focuses on everything else – but you and your family can focus on Jesus and who He really is and why He came to earth as a baby – by looking at a different name for Jesus each day!
Here are 5 ways to center your family around Jesus this Christmas:
1. DISCOVER a different name for Jesus each day by using the list of names in 100 Days with Jesus. (Start on December 1st and go to December 25th.) Read a name for Jesus, the Scripture where the name is found, and talk about what each name means. Each day you can read a name with your child at the breakfast table, on the way to school or before they go to bed. Read a name when you are eating breakfast, driving to school or before bedtime. Talk about it before school and when they come home from school. Soon your children will be asking “What is the name for Jesus today?”
2. WRITE the name of Jesus from the list you are using on an ornament and allow your children to hang it on the tree each day. Put the scripture on the back and read it as they hang it up. You could even provide a separate, small Christmas tree for them to hang these ornaments on that is for your children only. Allow them to create the ornaments with the names of Jesus and to hang them on their own tree. When you take the ornaments down after Christmas – say the name again and read the scripture. (You can find simple and inexpensive ornaments to write the names of Jesus on at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or any craft store).
3. RECORD all that they are learning. Have your older kids keep a Christmas Journal and write out the name of Jesus, Scripture and the definition of the name. If your kids are too young to keep a Christmas Journal, have them do a Christmas coloring book – color the name or an image that represents the name. They can color a page or draw a picture instead of keeping a journal.
I follow this simple pattern:
- Write the name for Jesus.
- Write out the verse that tells His name.
- Look up the name in the Merriam Webster Dictionary online
- Complete the sentence “Jesus, You are ________________”. Write a personal prayer of response to Jesus about who He is and what it means to you and the world.
- Worship Him all day for who He is!
4. CELEBRATE on Christmas Day with a Birthday Cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Him! (Our family does a pan of giant cinnamon rolls with a candle in them). Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 (before they open gifts) and have them share their favorite name for Jesus!
5. READ a name of Jesus and the Scripture with your spouse each day in December over morning coffee or before you fall asleep at night.
I pray that focusing on the names of Jesus this Christmas will be as life transforming for you as it has been for me and our family!
How do you capture who Jesus really is? What words would you use to describe Him? Explore the endless possibilities with these 100 names and attributes, pulled directly from Scripture, and presented with uncommon clarity and depth. Full in scope. Rich in devotion. Through prayers and insights that widen your view of Jesus’ nature and purpose, you will see Him in ways you’ve perhaps never noticed before—specific to your need, complete in His love for you. You won’t just be informed. You’ll be transformed. One day at a time, 100 days in a row, inspired toward a deeper, more knowing sense of worship . . . for a lifetime.