Christmas Is Coming!

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Hi there!

Christmas is just around the corner! We wanted to give you some last-minute ideas for ways to keep Jesus at the center during the next couple of days. These are just a few idea-starters from the We Are That Family blog and MinistryLift.

  • Hide the baby Jesus from a Nativity set and search for him on Christmas morning, or wrap him as a gift and open it as the very first Christmas gift!
  • Play Christmas Bingo! See this template provided by Focus on the Family.
  • Read the book, The Jesse Tree, and/or create one of your own!
  • Celebrate Jesus’ birthday! You can have a party, with a cake and party hats, and think of ways to give gifts to Jesus—like blessing someone else in need, or dedicating a few hours each week for a special time of worship.
  • Talk about the spiritual significance of some traditional Christmas symbols–such as candles and Christmas lights, which represent Christ as the light of the world (John 8:12).

We hope to see you on Christmas Eve at Bend High! We pray that you experience God’s love and joy fully this Christmas.

 

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God’s Plan: Send Jesus!

Hello Church Family!

It’s Advent season and we can’t wait to teach kids about God’s amazing plan to send His Son Jesus to rescue us so we would be able to spend forever with God! Below is a summary of what kids will learn this unit, December 4th-18th.

Big Picture Question: Why was Jesus born? Jesus was born to rescue us from sin.

Key Passage: “But when the set time had finally come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

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Angels spoke to Mary and Joseph • Luke 1:26-56; Matthew 1:18-24 | God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus.

Angels announced the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph. God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus by grace, not because of anything they did to deserve it. Jesus’ birth fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of God providing a Savior for His people. God the Son has always existed, but He took on humanity so that He could live a life full of obedience to the Father, then die paying the sin penalty owed because of people’s sin, and finally rise again from the dead proving that He has power over the grave. We encourage you to help your kids keep Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth central as they celebrate the Christmas season!

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Jesus Was Born • Luke 2:1-20 | Jesus was born to be God’s promised Savior.

It was fitting that Jesus was born in a manger and that the first people to hear about His arrival were the shepherds in the fields. Shepherds were outcasts from society. When God announced the birth of Jesus to them first, God was declaring that the Savior was for all types of people everywhere. Help your children develop a heart for all people this Christmas season no matter what language the speak, what they look like, or where they live!

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Wise Men Visited Jesus • Matthew 2:1-21 | The wise men worshiped Jesus as King.

Wise men traveled from far away to worship Jesus as King. King Herod, on the other hand, was nearby but He wanted to destroy Jesus instead because he felt threatened. Jesus is the true King, promised in 2 Samuel 7, who is worthy of our worship. Help your kids find meaningful and sincere ways to worship Jesus this week as they continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus even after Christmas day has passed!

 

As always, don’t forget to utilize the free Gospel Project for Kids Family App, and check out the Big Picture Cards for Families for more ways to interact with the Bible content each week.

Merry Christmas!!

 

 

My Child Wants to Get Baptized!

 

We love it when kids start asking about baptism! We also know kids can ask tough questions. Below you will find a guide  to help you answer the questions a child might ask about baptism!

When a person chooses to follow Jesus, Jesus invites him or her to be baptized. But what is baptism?

  • When you get baptized, think of it as the day you tell your family, friends, and strangers that you are on the greatest adventure of your life—following Jesus! When you get baptized, it shows people why you have chosen to follow Jesus. In fact, you are reenacting the story! Jesus came to us, died on the cross (you stand in the water), was buried (you go under the water), and came back to life (you stand again)!
  • It’s your chance to give Jesus the credit. You know Jesus was beyond generous in taking the punishment for your sin. You can hardly believe it—it’s such a good thing that Jesus has done for you!
  • You want to tell everyone! You want everyone to know this good news—that God loves us and wants us to follow Him. Getting baptized in a public place allows you to tell everyone around that you intend to follow Jesus with all of your energy, money, and passion—and invites them to do so, too!
  • You need to identify yourself. Getting baptized allows other people to identify you as a follower of Jesus. You want to make sure people know what team you are on and that the leader you are following is Jesus!
  • You want to find your people. There are many other people who have chosen to follow Jesus, also. Knowing each other allows you to encourage one another, serve each other, and work together as you all follow Jesus. Getting baptized tells other people you are a follower of Christ, too!
  • You want to receive God’s power. Getting baptized is an opportunity for you to receive power from the Holy Spirit for this great adventure to which He has called you and which you have chosen.
  • You want to celebrate! Jesus has given you a new life with a new purpose! This is the best news ever! Baptism is a celebration of God’s work in your life as you eagerly await being with God in His kingdom where everything is good again!

What now? 

At Antioch, it is significant to us to baptize individuals who want to make this public profession of faith. We encourage you, the parent, to enter into intentional dialogue with your child and also provide strategic experiences designed to help your child follow Jesus. Below are some creative ways to encourage a child’s faith before getting baptized:

  1. Learn From Others—Encourage your child to interview a few people who are influential in his or her faith (grandparents, family friends, etc.). Ask to hear about the time they got baptized—make sure to ask why they chose to be baptized! Conclude the conversation by asking about favorite Bible verses then memorize these verses before getting baptized.
  2. Experience Journal—Encourage your child to journal his or her thoughts prior to getting baptized using the following prompts:
    1. I believe God loves me—I know He does because…
    2. I want to get baptized because…
    3. Jesus, following you changes everything. How can I use my time/energy/talents/money to show your love to others?

To find out about the next baptism at Antioch, email us by clicking here!

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