Read these verses with your family:
Psalm 146.5-9
The LORD God of Jacob blesses everyone who trusts him and depends on him.
God made heaven and earth; he created the sea and everything else. God always keeps his word.
He gives justice to the poor and food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free and heals blind eyes.  He gives a helping hand to everyone who falls. The LORD loves good people and looks after strangers.
He defends the rights of orphans and widows, but destroys the wicked.



Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they tell us about God?  How does God treat poor, hungry, and imprisoned people?  How do you think God wants us to treat them?   Talk with your family about how Jesus might want us to celebrate Christmas because of these verses.

Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus,
I'm so glad that you take care of poor people, of prisoners, of people in need of help, of strangers, orphans and widows.  Thank you for taking care of me and of the whole world.  Help me to take care of the world too this Christmas.  Amen.


Then color this color sheet and pray for God to keep taking good care of people all over the world.  Ask God to help you find ways to take good care of people all over the world too.
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The Bible says that those who are sad who are poor and who suffer will be comforted.  This Christmas, many children around the world will be slaves.  Let's spend today praying for them to be comforted.


Read these verses with your family:
Luke 6.20-26
Jesus looked at his disciples and said: God will bless you people who are poor. His kingdom belongs to you!

God will bless you hungry people. You will have plenty to eat!

God will bless you people who are crying. You will laugh!

God will bless you when others hate you and won't have anything to do with you. God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of Man. Long ago your own people did these same things to the prophets. So when this happens to you, be happy and jump for joy! You will have a great reward in heaven.

But you rich people are in for trouble. You have already had an easy life.  You well-fed people are in for trouble. You will go hungry! You people who are laughing now are in for trouble. You are going to cry and weep!

You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. That is what your own people said about those prophets who told lies.



Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they tell us about God?  What do you think about slavery and about how we treat poor and hungry people?  Talk with your family about how Jesus might want us to celebrate Christmas because of these verses.


Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus,
Thank you for taking care of poor, hungry, and sad people.  Forgive us for times when we don't care for them but only care about ourselves.  Help us to celebrate your birthday by bringing food to hungry people, hope to poor people, and laughter to sad people.  Amen.


Then color this color sheet as a prayer for children around the world who need God's comfort this Christmas.

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A very very long time ago God made a law that slaves should be freed.  But sometimes we aren't good at listening to God and there are still slaves all over the world.  Some of them make our Christmas gifts.  Maybe this should change how we celebrate Jesus' birthday?


Read these verses with your family:
Leviticus 25:9-10
on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is also the Great Day of Forgiveness, trumpets are to be blown everywhere in the land.  This fiftieth year is sacred--it is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families.


Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they tell us about God?  What do you think about slavery?  Talk with your family about how Jesus might want us to celebrate Christmas because of these verses.


Then say this prayer:
Dear Jesus
Thanj you for forgiving me!  Thanj you that every day is a Great Day of Forgiveness with you!  Help me to celebrate Christmas that way.  Help me to celebrate with freedom - in a way that lets slaves go home with their famili


And then color this color sheet.  What do you wish this Christmas for slaves?  What do you imagine going home would be like for them?
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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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In the Bible, God tells us that He cares so much about the poor that he will take them from being homeless to being rich and well cared for.  How can we be a part of caring for the poor and helping them to have homes and food and to be paid for the work they do this Christmas?


Read this verse with your family.2 Samuel 2:8
You lift the poor and homeless out of the garbage dump and give them places of honor in royal palaces. You set the world on foundations, and they belong to you.

Ask your parents what it means.  How does it make you feel?  What does it say about God?  There are people who work very hard but still live in slums and dumps; reading this verse, what do you think God wants for them?  Talk with your family about how you can help make this verse true.

Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus,
Thank you for taking the poor from garbage dumps to palaces.  Thank you for caring for them.  You are so wonderful and awesome.  You made the world and it belongs to you.  And even though you made the world, you came to live with us in the world.  You were poor like poor people around the world.  Help us to remember that on your birthday and to celebrate your birthday by caring for the poor.  Amen.

Then connect the dots below and color this color sheet while you think about how amazing God is that he takes homeless people and gives them homes like palaces.  Ask God to tell you how you can help to bless the poor too.
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Jesus tells us to store treasures in heaven.  When he says this, he means that we should want the kinds of things that help others and worship Jesus rather than things like toys and money and nice clothes.  We can have those things, but Jesus asks us to care more about others and about God than about those things.  
If some of our toys and clothes are made in ways that hurt people, do you think they are "treasures" we should ask for?  Or, should we ask people to help us find toys and clothes that help people around the world - so that we can have treasures both here and in heaven?


Read these verses with your family:
Isaiah 10:1-3
You people are in for trouble! You have made cruel and unfair laws that let you cheat the poor and needy and rob widows and orphans. But what will you do when you are fiercely attacked and punished by foreigners? Where will you run for help? Where will you hide your treasures?



Matthew 6:19-20
Don't store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them.


Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they tell us about God?  What do you think about cheating the poor and robbing orphans and widows?  Do you think that maybe when orphans, widows, and poor people have to make our clothes and toys without pay or without fair pay those might not be the best Christmas presents to ask for?  Talk with your family about how Jesus might want us to celebrate Christmas because of these verses.


Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus,
We want to store our treasures in heaven.  We want to want the things you want and to care for poor people, orphans, and widows all over the world.  Forgive us for the times we have accidentally cheated them and help us to make better choices in the future.  Please help us to store our treasures in heaven and not to want too many things that hurt people around the world.  Amen.


Then connect the dots on this color sheet and color it in.  While you do, think about the things you treasure and what things Jesus might want you to treasure and ask for on his birthday.
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God wants us to love one another.  A part of how he wants us to love one another is by honoring our parents - by caring for people from other countries - and by taking care of women and children who are poor or easy to hurt.  When Jesus was born he and his family needed a home to stay in and people to take care of them.  What are some ways you can help take care of families like Jesus' this year?  


Read this verses with your family:
Ezekiel 22:6-7
None of you honor your parents, and you cheat foreigners, orphans, and widows.


Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they say about God?  What do they say about what God wants from us?  How do you want to care for foreigners orphans and widows?  Talk with your family about what these verses mean for how we celebrate Jesus' birthday.

Then pray:
Dear Jesus
Thank you for taking good care of poor people orphans and widows.  Help me to honor my parents; to care for people from different countries; to love orphans and widows.  And please help me to celebrate your birthday in a way that cares for people all around the world.  Amen.

Then color this color sheet and think about Jesus as a baby in need of a place to stay and of all the babies in need of a place to stay this Christmas.
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God likes it when we take care of the poor.  He ways that when we do it is like a light is shining in us.  What are some ways we can celebrate Christmas and take care of the poor?  Since some of our Christmas gifts we ask for are made in a way that doesn't care for the poor - maybe we should try to ask for presents from companies we know do take care of poor people?

Read these verses with your family:
Isaiah 58:9-11 
When you beg the LORD for help, he will answer, "Here I am!"
Don't mistreat others or falsely accuse them or say something cruel.
Give your food to the hungry and care for the homeless.
Then your light will shine in the dark; your darkest hour will be like the noonday sun.
The LORD will always guide you and provide good things to eat when you are in the desert. 
He will make you healthy. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water or like a stream that never runs dry.

Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they say about God?  What do they say about what God wants from us?  Talk with your family about what these verses mean for how we celebrate Jesus' birthday.

Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus
Thank you for being light in darkness.  Help me to be a light in darkness by taking care of people in need.  Forgive me for the times i'm selfish and think only about what i want when others are hungry.  Help me to celebrate your birthday in a way that shows the world how much you care for people who are poor or hungry.  Amen.

Then color this color sheet and think about ways you can help poor people this Christmas.
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In the Bible, we are told that Jesus is a light that shines in the darkness.  There are many people, 27 million, around the world who are forced to work without being paid or without the choice to leave.  They are not treated fairly.  And they make a lot of the things we buy.  Being forced to work without pay or the ability to leave probably feels very dark.  But Jesus came to be a light in darkness - a sunny day for those who need it.  This Christmas, maybe we can help these people see the light of Jesus' love that is shining on them.


Read these verses with your family.Isaiah 59:8-9
You don't know how to live in peace or to be fair with others.
The roads you make are crooked; your followers cannot find peace.
No one has come to defend us or to bring about justice.
We hoped for a day of sunshine, but all we found was a dark, gloomy night.



Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they say about God?  What do they say about how we sometimes do wrong things that hurt others?  What do you think about these verses and about Jesus being light in darkness?  How do you think Jesus might want us to celebrate his birthday this year because of these verses?  How can we be more fair and peaceful and bring justice?  Talk to your parents about this.


Then pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus,
Thanks for being light in darkness.  I'm sorry for the times that I'm not fair to others.  I wish there were no slaves in the world and I am sad that many of the things we buy are made by them.  Jesus, be light in darkness to them.  Be their sunny day.  And please help me to celebrate your birthday by being fair to and caring for all people all over the world.  Amen.


Then color this color sheet as a prayer for people who need a sunny day this Christmas season.

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God loves and takes care of poor people.  When Jesus was on Earth, he encouraged people to give to poor people.  What if, for Christmas, instead of asking people to give you presents, you asked them to give things to poor people?


Read these verses with your family:
Psalm 9:8-10
You judge the world fairly and treat all nations with justice.
The poor can run to you because you are a fortress in times of trouble.

Everyone who honors your name can trust you, because you are faithful to all who depend on you.


Ask your parents what these verses mean.  How do they make you feel?  What do they say about God?  There are people around the world who are poor and treated unfairly so that toys and clothes and many other things can be cheaper for us here.  What do you think God thinks about this?  Talk with your parents about how Jesus might want us to celebrate his birthday because of these verses.


Also, talk with your family about how you can help poor people - how you could be a "fortress in times of trouble" for them.


Then pray this prayer with your family:
Dear Jesus, thank you for being fair and just even when we are not.  Thank you for taking good care of poor people even when we do not.  Help us to remember to love poor people.  And please help us to celebrate your birthday in a way that is fair and just to all people.  Amen.


Then color this color sheet as a way to pray for poor people in your town and around the world.

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