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December 2014

Clear a Path

For the Third Sunday of Advent

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Scripture Reference: John 1:23 “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord’s coming!”  WrappingMess

Preparation: Bring several large squares of wrapping paper, a fat marker, and a bag for garbage.

Today is the third Sunday in Advent. Christmas might still seem a long way off, but while we wait, we should be getting ready. How do people get ready for Christmas? (Let children respond. Note the “getting ready” suggestions, writing several on the back of each sheet of wrapping paper. Then throw the papers on the floor in front of you.) We get ready for Christmas by making lists of things to do and things to buy. We get ready by wrapping presents. We have parties and get dressed up. We send out Christmas cards. We do Christmas baking. (A pile of paper should be growing at your feet.)

There are so many busy things to do at Christmastime, that sometimes we forget who we are supposed to be getting ready for. Christmas celebrates the coming of someone very important. Who is that? (Children may answer.) Yes! Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Jesus is coming! And during Advent we are supposed to be getting ready to receive Jesus.

Before Christmas comes, we are busy getting ready in many ways, but the most important thing we can do is to get our hearts ready to receive Jesus. John the Baptist was a man whose job was to help people get ready for the coming of Jesus. He knew what he was supposed to do. When people asked him who he was, John the Baptist answered, “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord’s coming!’”(John 1:23 nlt).

If the Lord were to come down this aisle and walk right up to us, would he have a straight pathway? (Indicate the mess of paper on the floor.) No, he’d have to make a path through all of these busy things that we do to get ready for Christmas. Can you help make a straight pathway through the middle of all this? Let’s make a straight pathway for Jesus. (Children can help push wrapping aside to make a path down the middle.) Thank you. Now Jesus has a pathway.

Advent is an exciting time of getting ready for Christmas, but in the middle of all of our busyness, we need to remember to make a straight pathway in our hearts so Jesus can come in. Before you go, can each of you grab a paper and put it in the bag? Then you can find your pathway back to your seats.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, come into our hearts in the middle of our Christmas preparations and remind us to make a pathway for you. Help us to receive you with joy.

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