This is Rev. Deacon Elizabeth Short's original Children's message that she gave on Christmas Eve. - ed
It was December. Kiley loved December. It was an exciting month! Everywhere she went, Christmas was in the air, and Kiley LOVED, LOVED Christmas!! There were lights and decorations and baking and carols and secrets and wishes.
Yes, December was a big, BIG month!!
One thing her family did each year was go out to cut down their own tree. It was such a fun day with the family and friends. It always ended with a beautiful, big tree and a nice big cup of hot chocolate.
Kiley brought a pine cone home with her. She placed it on her dresser and forgot about it until Christmas Eve. She picked it up and shook it and some tiny seeds fell out. She ran to show her mother. She thought about the tall trees in the forest and her beautiful, big Christmas tree and was AMAZED that it had come from such a tiny seed.
Her mother said, “Kiley, some of the biggest, most important things begin with something small.”
Kiley thought about that. She thought about small seeds, and the tiny granules of yeast that made the dough for the Christmas bread grow. She thought about her brother who had been a small baby last Christmas and was now running about, much bigger (and louder) than he had been a year ago.
“Did you know that without a very small word, there would be no Christmas?” , said her mother.
“Come have a look at our Christmas Creche,” Mom said. “How do you think all this comes to be?”
Kiley thought about that, but she wasn’t sure what her mother meant.
“God wanted to give the world the greatest gift of all. He wanted to give us God on earth as a human being. But before we got to the stable in Bethlehem, there were people who had to say a small but important word, and that word was YES.”
Mom handed Kiley the Mary figure.
“An angel, God’s helper, visited Mary and told her that God was asking her to become the mother of Jesus, God’s Son. Mary wasn’t sure she was the right person for the job, but Mary loved God and so she agreed. Mary said YES.”
Mom then handed the Joseph figure to Kiley.
“And then there was Joseph, whom the angel also visited. When he heard the news, Joseph was confused and worried. But Joseph loved Mary, and Joseph loved God, and so he agreed to be Mary’s husband and take good care of her and the baby. Joseph say YES.”
“And there were others: The Shepherds said YES and went to see the baby Jesus, and shared the good news to the people around them. The Kings said YES and went on a looooong journey to visit the baby Jesus, and then they said YES again and went home a different was, so they didn’t have to speak to bad King Herod who wanted to harm baby Jesus. The Kings were able to share the good news to the people far away.”
Kiley looked at the tiny pine seed and thought about this. “That little word made a lot of big things happen.”
“That is true,” said Mom, “and the YES that began this wonderful event began with our loving God who said YES to us!”
YES, I love you.
YES, I want the best for you.
YES, I will come to you as a human being.
YES, I will even die for you, but I will come alive and be with you forever.
Kiley picked up the Baby Jesus figure.
“I love you,” she whispered, “and I will try to say YES to you each day. I will try to be like you were when you grew up.”
“I will say YES to being kind.
“I will say YES to sharing what I have.
“I will say YES to saying my prayers and loving you.
“I will try to always say YES to what you want me to do.
“And maybe, just maybe, I can be a small help in your big plan for us.
“Happy Birthday, Jesus. Merry Christmas!”