At last night’s Family Christmas Celebration, we learned that Jesus is God’s greatest gift of generosity to sinners like you and me. When sin entered the world, it broke our perfect relationship with God and others. Because of this, we need a rescuer/redeemer. God sent Jesus to be this rescuer/redeemer. He is the greatest gift of all and the real reason we celebrate at Christmas time. God generously gave us His Son, even while we were sinners. Understanding God’s great generosity changes how we treat others. We can love, serve, and give to others during this season because God first loved, served, and gave to us.
One way that you can encourage your family to apply what we learned is to create a Generosity Jar. If you attended the event, you should have left with a copy. If you were unable to make it, we have extra copies available for pick up on Sunday morning near the Crossing Kids checkin area. We’ve also included a copy of the instructions below.
Family Christmas Celebration 2015
Ask: Have you ever heard of the word “generosity?” What does it mean to be generous? Can you think of a time where someone did or gave something generous to you? Can you think of a time where you were generous to someone else?
Say: When we attended Family Christmas Celebration together, we learned a lot about the word generous. We learned that generosity is giving more of something than what is expected. We learned that Jesus is God’s greatest gift of generosity to sinners like you and me. Do you remember the memory verse they shared with us? Let’s practice it together now.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
Ask: Why was it generous for God the Father to send Jesus to the world? (The world was broken and filled with sinners like you and me. Our relationship with God was broken because we sin, or disobey God with our thoughts, words, and actions. We can’t fix this brokenness on our own. We need God to do it for us.)
How has Jesus been generous to you and me? (He left his throne in heaven and came to our messy, broken world. He lived a perfect life in our place, died, and rose again so that we could have a relationship with him and spend forever in heaven with him if we trust in Him as our Savior. He gives us everything we need. All of the good gifts we have on earth come from him.)
Say: When we understand God’s great generosity to us, it changes how we treat others. We can love, serve, and give to others during this season because God first loved, served, and gave to us. Let’s read a few verses about generosity together now.
1 Chronicles 29:14—But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
What does this verse say about generosity? (Everything we have comes from God already. We can only give what he’s first given to us.)
Proverbs 11:25—A generous person will prosper whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
What does this verse say about generosity? (Being generous doesn’t just bless the person we’re being generous to, it blesses us as well. Being generous takes our eyes off of ourselves/what we want and places it on other people.)
Matthew 6:21—Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves cannot break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What does this verse say about generosity? (Our hearts are always connected to what we treasure. When we struggle to give/be generous, it’s likely because our hearts are holding onto something/valuing something too much. Giving generously reminds us that our true treasure is in heaven, not on earth.)
1 John 3:1a—See what great love the Father has lavished* on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.
1 John 4:19—We love because God first loved us.
What do these verses say about generosity? (God has given so much to us! Because He made us His children/He first loved us, we can love and give generously to others.)
*Note that lavished just means to give generously.
Say: There are three main ways that we can give generously to other people—through our time, through our treasure, and through our talents.
What do you think it means to give generously through our time? (Spending our time loving/serving other people.)
What do you think it means to give generously through our treasure? (Using our money or resources to buy or give something to someone else.)
What do you think it means to give generously through our talents? (Using the things we’re good at/gifted at to bless other people.)
Generosity Jar Activity Directions
Say: Tonight we’re going to create a Generosity Jar. In this jar, we will brainstorm ways that we can give generously to others using our time, our treasure, and our talents. We’ll write down these ideas on a slip of paper and place them into the jar. We’ll take some time throughout the month of December to pull these ideas out of the jar and use them as ways to give to others.
Step One: Decorate your jar.
Step Two: Brainstorm/record ideas of ways to give generously. Use the categories time, treasure, and talent, to help you.
Option for Older Kids: Give each child a few slips of paper and have them discuss and write down ideas they have.
Option for Younger Kids: Brainstorm ideas together as a family. Write down the ideas onto the paper for them.
Step Three: Pull slips of paper from the jar throughout the month of December and give generously to others. You can also use the jar to collect spare change to give away at the end of the month.
God thank you for giving your Son Jesus to us as the greatest, most generous gift of all. Please help us to understand your great generosity to us more and more so that we can love, serve, and give to others this season because you first loved, served, and gave to us. Amen.
*We’d love to see how your family uses your Generosity Jar. Take pictures and share them on our Facebook page this month. https://www.facebook.com/CrossingKids