Read these verses with your family:
Isaiah 35:1-10

Thirsty deserts will be glad;
   barren lands will celebrate
   and blossom with flowers.
Deserts will bloom everywhere
   and sing joyful songs.
   They will be as majestic
   as Mount Lebanon,
   as glorious as Mount Carmel
   or Sharon Valley.
   Everyone will see
   the wonderful splendor
   of the LORD our God.
Here is a message for all
   who are weak,
   trembling,
   and worried:
"Cheer up! Don't be afraid.
   Your God is coming
   to punish your enemies.
   God will take revenge on them
   and rescue you."
The blind will see,
   and the ears of the deaf
   will be healed.
Those who were lame
   will leap around like deer;
   tongues once silent
   will begin to shout.
   Water will rush
   through the desert.
Scorching sand
   will turn into a lake,
   and thirsty ground
   will flow with fountains.
   Grass will grow in wetlands,
   where packs of wild dogs
   once made their home.
God's Sacred Highway
A good road will be there,
   and it will be named
   "God's Sacred Highway."
   It will be for God's people;
   no one unfit to worship God
   will walk on that road.
   And no fools can travel
   on that highway. 
No lions or other wild animals
   will come near that road;
   only those the LORD has saved
   will travel there.
The people the LORD has rescued
   will come back singing
   as they enter Zion.
   Happiness will be a crown
   they will always wear.
   They will celebrate and shout
   because all sorrows
   and worries
   will be gone far away.


Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make your feel?  What do they say about God?  They talk a lot about joy.  Think about all we've learned about people who are forced to work without pay or the freedom to leave.  What do you think "joy" means to them?


Say a prayer for all people around the world to be joyful this Christmas.


Then draw something inside this star - something you think would bring joy to poor people and people who are not free this Christmas.
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