Attentiveness: Christmas for Children - Gordon Conwell

Attentiveness: Christmas for Children

A reflection inspired by my granddaughter.

Now Gloria, I know you are excited about the presents you may be receiving next week. How do I know? Because you made sure that I know which fashionable outfits you must have, and you mentioned so many times that you have never been to Paris! Christmas is so exciting, and there are so many beautiful decorations, and then there are the Christmas cookies and music (don’t you just love Christmas songs?).

We always love to celebrate and come together as a family. Aren’t you looking forward to your cousins coming? And Uncle Ralph! What crazy gift do you think he will bring this year? Remember his Christmas monkey that would sing “But-Anna saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause!”

Well, let’s celebrate . . . but let’s celebrate like God celebrated that first Christmas. Did you know it was a grand celebration on that first Christmas? Well, it was. There was special music. A huge choir of angels (all with perfect pitch) sang the first Christmas songs out in the fields to shepherds. It was like a remarkable outdoor concert with special lights (glory lights) and everything. And talk about celebration! Mary and Joseph seemed to be alone with animals. . . and then what happened? All of a sudden, angels, then shepherds, and eventually foreign guests came bringing gifts! Magi from Persia of all places! So exciting!

You see, we sing, travel, bring gifts, and welcome foreign guests just like God did on that first Christmas. Gloria, this is why we always check to see if there are international students, refugees, or immigrants who need a place to celebrate. Adopted families, we might call them.

And Jesus came bearing gifts too. Did you ever think about that? Jesus brought hope, and he showed us what love looks like. Did you ever think about what love looks like? It looks like Jesus! He touched sick people, and he hugged children (can I have a hug now, Gloria?).

We know that Jesus not only showed us how to live, but he also showed us how to live and die for others. What a reason to celebrate and to give all we have with great joy—just like Jesus.

So, this Christmas, and every Christmas, let’s give away recklessly with great joy and celebration. Let’s sing, share food and our home, and meet new people (like Magi and shepherds).

Christmas is really great, isn’t it?

“For God so love the world, that he gave his only Son . . .”


Dr. Scott W. Sunquist, President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is author of the “Attentiveness” blog. He welcomes comments, responses, and good ideas.


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