December 13th

Story

Mary gives birth to Jesus, wraps Him in swaddling cloths, and lays Him in a manger because there is no room for them anywhere else.

Activity

Grab some stuffed animals and towels or small blankets. Search how to swaddle a baby. Encourage everyone to try swaddling. Have a contest to see whose is best!

Adult

The apostle Paul writes his letter to the Philippians from prison. He knows hardship, but he also knows the peace of God. This is because biblical peace, like hope, is based on a person and not on circumstances. Paul calls followers to rejoice in God at all times, to pray, to give thanks, and to think on what is good and true. Paul shows how these habits can lead to experiencing the peace of God even in the midst of great difficulty.

Read

Philippians 4:1-9

1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Reflect

  • Make a list of all the instructions Paul gives in Philippians 4:1-9 (i.e. “stand firm in the Lord,” “live in harmony,” etc).
  • Observe your list and imagine making each one into a habit. What would those habits practically look like in your daily life? How do you think those habits would eventually lead to an experience of God’s peace?
  • Review verses 7 and 9. What do you observe? What do these verses tell us about the protective nature of God’s peace? Express your gratitude for his protection now.