The Greatest Gift of All (The Christmas story written especially for younger children)
From the Dec.15, 1991 issue of The Standard Bearer. Written by Mrs. Viola DeBoer
Christmas is coming! Does that make you happy and excited? Yes, most children are excited about Christmas. You, as God's covenant children, have special reason to be excited about Christmas. Maybe you are excited about the presents that come at Christmas time. Well, the real Christmas story is about a Gift too - the Greatest Gift of All. The Christmas story is not a make-believe story; this truly happened along, long time ago. We know that because God tells us so in His Word, the Bible. So, here is the Christmas story about the Greatest Gift of All.
Many, many years ago a man named Joseph and a woman named Mary lived in a town called Nazareth. They were not rich. In fact, they were poor people. But they were happy because they were soon going to have a baby - a very special baby.
The ruler of their country made a law that everyone had to pay money to the ruler. Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to pay their money because that is where their families lived many years before. Bethlehem was a long way from Nazareth and they did not have a fancy chariot with pretty horses to take them to Bethlehem. They had to walk or ride on an animal, maybe a donkey. It took them at least three days to get to Bethlehem.
When they arrived, they found that Bethlehem was a very busy town, because many others had come to pay their money also. The town was full of people! Mary and Joseph had to find a place to sleep. They asked at the inn (like a motel) but, no, there was not one room left. There was not one room in the whole town left for Mary and Joseph.
They finally stayed in a cave just outside of the town. In this cave people kept their animals. Horses, donkeys, cows, and other animals were in this stable with Mary and Joseph. In this dark and smelly stable Jesus was born! Mary wrapped her special Child in long strips of cloth (swaddling clothes) to keep him warm and then laid him in the manger - the feeding-trough for the animals. This was the very first Christmas!
Mary and Joseph must have been very happy about their new little Son. They knew that He was the Son of God even though He looked just like any other baby. God had told them before Jesus was born that their baby would be the Son of God who would save His people from their sins. So Mary and Joseph were very happy and excited about this Great Gift of God to His people.
But would anyone else know about this great news? Yes! God sent an angel from heaven to tell the news that His Son was born. God sent the angel to some shepherds in the fields. The shepherds were watching their sheep as the animals ate in the fields that night. Suddenly a very bright light and an angel appeared! The shepherds were very scared! They had never seen such a bright light. But the angel told them not to be afraid for he had very good news to tell them.
He told them that Jesus, the Savior, had been born. They could go and see Him! They would know the baby because He was in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. After the angel told them that, the whole sky filled with angels singing praises to God. All the angels were happy and excited about this Greatest Gift of All!
After the angels went back to heaven, the shepherds hurried to find this Baby. They found Hi with Mary and Joseph, and He was lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, just as the angel had said. They worshiped Him because He was the Son of God. The shepherds were very happy and excited about Christmas too! They told everyone they met about God's Great Gift and they returned to their sheep singing praises to God!
Jesus, born on earth, was God's Gift to us. Certainly that was the Greatest Gift of All. The Son of God was born on earth as a baby to save God's people from all their sins that they may live in heaven forever. So, after all your other gifts are broken, you still have the Greatest Gift of All, because this Jesus lives in your hearts right now! That's Christmas! Doesn't that make you happy and excited? Christmas makes all God's people very happy.