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For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.
Today’s verse is a little somber, but it is important to remember that hundreds of years before Jesus was born, prophets foretold His coming. It is also to remember that Jesus did not stay that cute little baby, but grew up and died for our sins. The good news is that He rose from the dead.
To lighten the mood a little, a good activity would be to focus on the new life Jesus gives to believers. And what better way to show that with seeds.
- Plastic cups (or terra cotta pots, if preferred)
- Decorative tape or packaging tape and/or permanent markers (Or acrylic paint for terra cotta pots)
- Potting soil
Give each of your children a plastic cup. Let them decorate with washi tape, or other colorful tape (like duct tape or packing tape that has a design on it, or permanent markers, or stickers, or anything you might have on hand).
Note: decorating with paper of any kind might not work well because you will be planting something in the cup and watering it. And we all know what happens when paper and water mix: children’s tears.
Also, if you don’t want to use plastic cups, you can use mini terra cotta pots and paint, just make sure the paint is completely dry before trying to plant and water anything in them.
Fill each cup with a little potting soil, and talk about how before we are Christians, we are lifeless like the seeds. But when Christ comes into our hearts, He plants and waters the seeds, and they spring forth with new life just like when seeds are planted.
Plant and water your seeds and continue to water them as the plants grow.
I suggest herbs because then you can use them in your cooking and keep them indoors for a while.
Instead of the above seed analogy, you can instead reference the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) for the soil analogy.