This children’s sermon was given December 27, during our global pandemic, so it was experienced virtually rather than by children in the sanctuary. I’m posting it here in hopes that it can be helpful to someone.

Good morning, girls and boys! I’m so glad you’re here with us! Did you have a wonderful Christmas? I hope so! I don’t know if you noticed, but we’ve added the whole reason for Christmas at all to the nativity set: baby Jesus! We’ve brought him to where he belongs, in the stable, but also right with us.

Today we celebrate the story that Pastor Jim is going to read in a few minutes, when Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to Jerusalem, to present him to God in the temple. Do you remember the story? They bring him to the temple, and what do they give God as an offering? A pair of doves or pigeons. There were two people there, a man and a woman who came up to them and said things about this baby, about who he would become- that were amazing and puzzling. Listen for that when Pastor Jim reads it. And then what happened? The mom Mary and father Joseph and baby Jesus went back home to Nazareth, And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

This passage reminds me of you- and all the children in our church. Maybe you were brought here to the front after you were born, or to another church, to dedicate you to God. Your parents didn’t bring doves, but they give offerings to God in other ways, because we just can’t help but give to God when we’ve been given so much.

You probably don’t remember us looking at you when you were brought to the front, and the promises we made to you. But if you were in big church before the pandemic hit, you might remember how Pastor Jim asks the parents if they recognize that you were a gift from God. Then he takes the baby around the church so that we can all see her, and he says important things. That this is her church home and we will be her faith family, that God will love and accept her no matter what she does or doesn’t do, and we will too. We make promises that we will help teach her about God, and raise her. Then he gives a blessing to her, reminding her that she is a child of God. Juli Morrow, her first minister gives her a New testament- full of stories of Jesus and his love.

And then what happens? The mom and the dad go back home, and the child grows—into you!  You become strong & wise and the grace of God is on you too! Do you know what grace means? 2nd chances- 3rd &4th! As many as you need.

Lucky for us baby Jesus grew up into a man who still teaches us how to grow up as we grow old, how to love each other, how to treat each other, and teaches us who God is, and that we can keep coming close to God our whole lives long.

Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for coming as a baby- just like us- and growing so that we can understand you better. We love you, God. Amen.