Sooo funny story… I have had the honor of helping plan our weekly chapel services at the school where I work. This means I schedule speakers and come up with ideas to support our monthly themes (which we do in conjunction with our church’s Sunday School curriculum).
The Friday before Thanksgiving break our speaker for the chapel we were having right after the break let me know that he would not be available to speak. I was like, “That’s fine. We will figure something out!”
BUT THEN I FORGOT.
Until the night before the chapel.
So I fretted about it a little. I called some Plan B speakers, but no one was available last-minute. I paced the house. I looked on Pinterest and got swallowed into a black hole of NEVER-ENDING IDEAS and basically went into a paralyzed state. Then I bought a pair of shoes online.
Around midnight, I finally had the sense to PRAY. Why this was not my first idea – I DO NOT KNOW.
And God is faithful. He just sort of popped this idea into my head >> Birthday party for Jesus.
I am going to share with you what we did in case you would like something to do with your Sunday School class, kid’s church, family, or chapel service like me!
First, Mr. B. (who is awesome and rolls with my crazy last-second ideas) drove me to the grocery store on the morning before chapel and I picked up a slice of cake from the bakery, 5 helium balloons, a birthday tablecloth, a birthday sign, and some matching birthday party hats.
When chapel began, I started the program by asking the kids what holiday was coming up.
Then we talked about how easy it is to get swept up in all of the ‘stuff’ of Christmas and forget that it’s Jesus’ birthday.
I said that I thought it would be a good idea if we threw a birthday party for Jesus right then and there and would the kids like that? Did I even have to ask? 🙂
Before chapel, I had set up a long table with 6 chairs on the stage. I asked for 5 volunteers to come up on the stage to help me get ready for the birthday party. We really wanted to HONOR the guest of honor by making it super special.
I had a few of the volunteers tie the balloons to the back of the chairs, one volunteer put the tablecloth on, and one put the sign up.
Then I pulled out the cake (which was chocolate because JESUS LOVES CHOCOLATE – obviously).
The volunteers sat at the table and we reviewed – we had our decorations ready, we had the cake, we even had party hats. But OH MY GOODNESS did anyone remember to bring Jesus a present?
We spent a minute wondering what to give Jesus. Would he want an iPhone? A new necktie? A Paw Patrol Lookout Tower?
I read Psalm 51:16-17…
You are not pleased by sacrifices. Otherwise, I would give them. You don’t want burnt offerings. The sacrifice God wants is a willing spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for its sin.
God does not want our stuff. He doesn’t want us to buy Him things or toys or do a bunch of things for Him.
THE BEST GIFT WE CAN GIVE JESUS IS OUR HEARTS.
Hearts that are broken and in need of Jesus. He loves when we come to Him needy (Psalm 40:17).
At this point in the chapel I pulled out some cut-out red paper hearts. On one of them I had written my name in the center so that the children had a visual of what the Lord wants from us more than anything. I explained that in a few moments we would all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and give Him our hearts. I passed out more cut-out red paper hearts to the volunteers on stage with me and had them write their names on the hearts.
Since I couldn’t give cut-out hearts to everyone, I had everyone make a heart with their hands and hold it up in the air.
When everyone was ready, I announced that the birthday boy had arrived. Everyone waited with quiet anticipation as I pulled the baby Jesus from my Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set (affiliate link) out of my pocket.
That’s when we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and while we sang everyone held up their hearts toward Christ. The girls at the party table slid their hearts into the center of the table and I set baby Jesus right in the middle with the hearts all around.
It was such a special moment.
And that was it. 🙂 We prayed about not getting distracted by all the presents we want for Christmas, but rather focus on how we can give our hearts to the birthday boy during the holiday season and ALWAYS.
Sorry that I don’t have more photos of the program. I hope I explained it well enough for you to catch the vision and I sincerely hope that this was helpful for you!
Thank you for reading and Happy Birthday Jesus! 🙂