25 Days of Christmas – December 6

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SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

SONG

O Come, O Come Immanuel

O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

ACTIVITY

Listen to Handel’s Messiah “For Unto Us a Child is Born” – London Symphonic Orchestra has a Youtube video of that segment that is really good and about 4 minutes.

As an additional or an alternate activity, since today is St. Nicholas Day, you can talk about the true story of Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra.

VeggieTales has a fun version of the story:

Or you could read a book about the real person and how his story has morphed into the Santa Claus myth. Please note: Many books available are still fictionized stories, even though they are about a real person, with facts woven in. This book calls him a “pastor” but he was a Bishop for the Catholic Church who loved Jesus and others.

 

Here is a link to an article that gives a little history of Nicholas and Santa Clause.

I like to tell my kids about the real Nicholas, an early Christian leader who used all that he had to help the desperate and the oppressed. I think it is so much more inspiring to learn about a real person who lived out his faith so well, versus a mythical all-knowing elf that at some point children will stop believing in. This is by no means a condemnation of families who pretend Santa is real for their young kids (Romans 8:1, you guys!!), but for like-minded families who don’t pretend Santa is real, or for families who are ready to let go of Santa, this is really wonderful, eye-opening church history!

(Please note: While I don’t believe Nicholas performed miracles and I don’t believe he is any more a saint than any other Christian is [1 Cor 1:2], many do, so depending on what you believe, you might need to choose your sources carefully.)

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