Meanwhile

Dec 20, 2023

The story of Christmas for kids.

Once upon a time, in a faraway place we call “The Holy Land,” things were far from holy. The people walked in darkness, and they were getting into more and more trouble. It seemed that the world was out of control—there was no LIGHT to guide them.

MEANWHILE …

God knew all about it, and He had a big PLAN! In fact, He’d been preparing His Plan since way back in the beginning of time. His Plan was to give them LIGHT by sending them a SAVIOR!! … a Messiah. This Messiah would come and help them! He’d change everything for the better—to show people the WAY out of darkness and into the LIGHT. God had been telling wise people—the “prophets”—about the PLAN for a long, long time, and the good people kept watching and waiting for it. They knew it was coming. They kept wondering, “WHERE is the Messiah? WHO is He? WHEN is He coming? We need Him NOW!” But God was waiting for just the right time to put His Plan into ACTION!

MEANWHILE …

About that time, there was a young Jewish girl living in a town called Nazareth. She was just an ordinary girl—humble, obedient, and a good sort of girl who loved God very much. Just like one of you. She didn’t think that she was anyone very special. In fact, almost no one even knew she existed, other than Joseph, her fiancé. Her name was Mary, and as she waited for her wedding day, she was quietly waiting for the Messiah, too!

One day, a very extraordinary thing happened: God sent an angel to Mary with a message. “FEAR NOT, Mary!” the angel said. “God has seen YOU, and YOU are the ONE! YOU will have a baby boy, and you will name Him JESUS. ‘Savior.’ The MESSIAH! He will be GOD—yes, the same GOD you know and love—but in a human body!” WOW! Mary wondered, “How is THAT going to happen? … and what will Joseph say?”

MEANWHILE …

Joseph also had a plan. His plan was to marry Mary. He was just an ordinary sort of guy—a very good and kind man, and he loved his sweet Mary very much. One night, while he was fast asleep, an angel came to HIM, too! The angel said, “FEAR NOT, Joseph! Go ahead and marry your sweetheart. It’s OKAY! This is all a part of God’s big PLAN!”

And so he did.

MEANWHILE …

Way across the sea in a big city called Rome, there was a man called Caesar Augustus. He was the king of the whole world at that time, or so he thought. He made a big announcement: “All the people in the world! You will have to go to the city of your family where we can get a headcount … and then you’ll have to pay a TAX! To ME!!”

Joseph’s family was from Bethlehem, and so was Mary’s. So, Joseph took Mary with him there, though the long trip from Nazareth must have been very difficult for her. When they finally got to Bethlehem, all the hotels were already full—and the only place left where they could find shelter was in a stable. They went there, settled in, and tried to get some sleep. But, as it turned out, that very night was God’s RIGHT TIME, and Mary’s baby boy arrived! They named him Jesus, just like the angel told them to. But the funny thing was that, though the Messiah that the people had been waiting for had finally COME … nobody even knew it happened!!

Well, MEANWHILE …

There were some shepherds out on the hillside nearby, minding their own business. They were just ordinary shepherds—kind and good with animals. They worked in the fields near Jerusalem where all the lambs used for Temple sacrifices were raised.

SUDDENLY, out of the dark night sky, what do you think they saw? An ANGEL! And what do you suppose the angel said? Yes! “FEAR NOT!! I have some really good news for you! Right here in Bethlehem, in your own neighborhood, YOU will find the Messiah! The Savior that you’ve all been waiting for! And you won’t have to look far, because He’s in a STABLE, swaddled—just like one of your Temple lambs—and cradled in a MANGER!!” And THEN, they saw thousands more angels, all praising God! Wow! The shepherds were convinced! The news must be TRUE!

So, they went to find the new Messiah Baby—perhaps carrying their own little lambs with them. And sure enough! They DID find Him—and they knew right away that He was the ONE! They were the FIRST to see and hear the good news—but they sure were quick to go and tell OTHERS about it! Soon, everyone in the streets and marketplace of Bethlehem knew about the new Messiah Baby! But … Bethlehem was a very small town. If Jesus was to be the Savior of the WORLD, then the news would have to travel a little farther than the little town of Bethlehem. Hmmm …

Well, MEANWHILE …

In another faraway country to the east, there were some very wise and educated men. They were NOT ordinary men—they were probably very, very rich—and very, very important. They were watching for signs in the sky—because, back then, that was what wise, important men did. They could “read” the skies and were looking for a sign to lead them to the King of Kings. When they saw a very bright star suddenly appear—they KNEW something special was happening! THIS must be IT!

They said, “This must mean that—FINALLY—the PROMISED KING has been born! Let’s follow the star and find Him! And let’s bring Him some birthday presents!”

That’s just what they did … and they told OTHERS. And eventually, the whole WORLD found out about Jesus. Emmanuel. GOD WITH US!

You see, God never planned to send someone ELSE as the Messiah, the Savior. He planned from the beginning to come down to earth HIMSELF. Jesus, the Messiah, was GOD Himself in FLESH so He could be GOD WITH US! The whole world discovered that God SO loved them that He came and sacrificed His OWN body—the only human body that was ever fully God—so that whoever trusts in HIM would never be forsaken, but would live forever!!

So … if you’ve ever prayed for something for a very long time with no answer—
Or … if you think that you are all alone and no one even knows you exist—
Or … if you are far away and looking for a glimmer of hope—
Or … if you are wondering “Where is the Messiah? Who is He? When is He coming AGAIN?”

Just know that—MEANWHILE—there are always PLANS in place for YOU. What the LORD said to Israel applies also to YOU: “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11 AMP) He knows, He cares … and He CAME for YOU. You are never alone … and never without HOPE.

LOOK to JESUS … and FEAR NOT!!