There was a time in my life when people would tell me stories about their grandchildren and I would get bored, even a little irritated.
That was, of course, before I had my own! With that said, I must tell you what happened at the 2013 Christmas Play at Riceville Presbyterian Church.
All We Like Sheep
This little congregation put on an amazing Christmas pageant called, “The Shepherd’s Tale.” Addie, my granddaughter, joined the other young children on the stage as a sheep.
Josh, my son-in-law, and Rebecca, my daughter, were shepherds with no lines, but were there to shepherd the young sheep by keeping them in line.
A Missing Lamb
The play concluded with everyone singing. I noticed that one little sheep, Addie, had left her shepherd mother’s side and had picked up the baby Jesus – a baby doll.
She was not responding at all to the applause of the enthusiastic audience. She wasn’t in step with the rest of the cast taking their bows.
A Child’s Love
She was behind the angels, busy and focused on the baby Jesus on whom she was lavishing her full attention. First she hugged him, then returned him to the manger and covered him up in his blanket, then picked him up to hug him again and repeat the tender ritual.
It’s All About Jesus
I suffered a moment of private disappointment thinking to myself, “Why, she should be out front with the other cute children.”
But then I realized, “Wow! She is getting it right — it’s all about Jesus! Not Santa Claus! Not Christmas trees, not presents, not being cute at the pageant, but the birth of Jesus Christ, the Word become Flesh, and the Hope of the World!
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross — through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Yes, I am given to exaggeration at times. As talented as my granddaughter is, I know she does not grasp all that! But I was moved by her focus on Jesus.
After the play was over, I dismissed it for a time. She is, after all, a little girl and she does like baby dolls.
A Christmas Surprise
Ten days later, on Christmas Day, as we all gathered around a big Christmas family dinner–her three boy cousins present as well–she suddenly got really excited and exclaimed to everyone at the table, with a radiant smile, “Do you know what Christmas is about? Jesus has been born and He is the hope of the whole world, and angels came to tell us and He is really important, He is a King and…”
A Three-Year-Old Evangelist
I was amazed! She really had gotten the true message of Christmas. And here she was with great joy and enthusiasm telling her cousins the Gospel.
And I heard again like a great angel chorus in the words of a three-year- old, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” To crown it all, her cousins chimed in to tell the story with Addie.
My grandfather buttons were busting!
Sharing the Gospel
This experience leads me to encourage us all to pray for the children of the world that their inborn sense of God may be nurtured to know Jesus.
Let us pray for missionaries around the world to reach these children through their parents and grandparents.
Let us become freshly aware of the Spirit’s leading in our homes that we may impact the children in our families, church families, and neighborhoods for Jesus by talking about Jesus to them, showing Him to them, and loving them with His love.
Praying Children into the Kingdom
Hallelujah! Hearing my three-year-old granddaughter so clearly proclaim the Gospel awoke in me the desire to see children at home and around the world know Jesus. Will you join me in that prayer for the coming year?
The Next Step
If you’re interested in learning more about cooperating with the Holy Spirit in prayer and evangelism, consider attending a Dunamis track near you. Just follow the link below to a registration page that has a list of all the upcoming events. Make sure you get there so that you can grow in how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit.