by Loreena Thiessen
How do you like your hamburger? Do you want it with cheese, tomato and a pickle? Do you want it fast?
At McDonald’s your order comes quickly. That’s why it’s called fast food, one reason you choose McDonald’s. You don’t want to wait.
Still you have to wait for a lot of things. Like Christmas Day every year. Do you wait patiently or impatiently?
In ancient times God’s people waited too. For 500 years they waited for the Messiah God promised would come. They waited and hoped. Their lives were difficult. They needed someone to help them. They needed a Saviour to save them from a harsh government.
They wanted a Messiah to walk and talk with. They wanted a Messiah who would destroy their enemies and remove evil from the earth. They wanted a King. They expected a warrior and a judge. Instead they got a baby in a manger. The people were surprised to hear that the baby born in Bethlehem was their long awaited Messiah.
Mary was surprised by the news the angel Gabriel brought. She didn’t understand when he said that Jesus would be God’s own Son. But she believed him.
Joseph was surprised too and he was worried. He wanted to do the right thing. He accepted the news and trusted God to help him.
The shepherds taking care of their sheep at night were very surprised. Black night suddenly became brilliant with light. A host of angels filled the sky singing loudly. They gave them the news. They instructed them to go and see for themselves, to tell others the good news.
The Magi were surprised to see a new star in the heavens. They knew it meant a new king was born and set out to find him. So they talked to King Herod. Herod was surprised and afraid. He knew a new king could replace him. In fact Herod was so afraid he plotted to kill all baby boys of the same age just to get rid of him. But God had other plans. He instructed Joseph to leave with Mary and Jesus and escape to Nazareth.
As Jesus grew up he seemed like an ordinary boy. He learned carpentry working with Joseph. He went to the temple with his family. But Jesus was not ordinary. One day in the temple he amazed the teachers. He explained that the Messiah is actually God. The teachers were surprised at his wisdom and knowledge.
As a teacher Jesus did many surprising things. He called his disciples from their jobs as ordinary fishermen. He broke laws, made the blind to see, and healed the sick on the Sabbath. He forgave people instead of judging or condemning them. He ate with sinners like Zacchaeus. He welcomed children when they were not welcome. He fed thousands of people with just a few fish and bread. He stopped the storm and walked on water. Most shocking of all was that he was arrested and died on the cross. His followers were devastated. They believed it was over. Their Messiah was dead.
Then an even more surprising thing happened. Jesus rose from the tomb where he had been placed. Once again he came to the disciples and showed them he was truly alive.
That is the surprising thing about Jesus. Jesus came as a baby, he is God’s own Son, the Messiah, and he rose again and is alive today. God kept his promise of so long ago.
Read Matthew 2:40-49 and Luke 24:1-7.
Activity: find the right answer.
- Who is Jesus?_______________________
- Where was Jesus born?_____________________
- Who heard the Good News first?_________________
- Who was healed?____________________________
- Who brought the Good News?___________________
- Today Jesus is _____________________
angels | the blind man | alive | God’s Son | the shepherds | Bethlehem