Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gifts to Jesus Sharing time

Sharing time- “Gifts to Jesus”
Bring four boxes wrapped as gifts. Each box should contain a picture or object representing one of the following events and a piece of paper with an explanation of the blessing or gift it portrays:

Christmas is coming soon and sometimes we give and receive presents during this special time. We are going to talk about some of the gifts that Jesus Christ has given us. I have some presents here, each has a special gift that reminds us of something that Jesus has given us to be happy.

Gift #1- Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ : "Heavenly Father gave His Only Begotten Son to be our Savior."
More than 2,000 years ago Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. Joseph tried to find a place for them at an inn, but there was no room. They found a stable where Mary could give birth.
This was the first Christmas. There were no large family gatherings. There were no decorations. There were no brightly wrapped presents. But there were carols and singing and rejoicing. The angels in heaven joined in a great chorus of rejoicing and praise at the birth of the Son of God (see Luke 2:13–14). Heavenly Father gave us a great gift. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ.
Sheila E. Wilson, "Sharing Time: Christmas Gifts All Year", Friend, Dec. 2004, 35
Gift #2- "Jesus Christ taught us how to live righteously." Jesus spent his entire life teaching us by example and by word of how to live worthy to return back to Heavenly Father. He also gave us this book, the Book of Mormon that has his full gospel for us to read.  It is a wonderful gift to be able to read His instructions every day of how to get back to heaven.

Gift #3- Jesus Christ made it possible for us to be saved from sin."
“In our Church, we believe that ‘through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel’ ” (third article of faith).  The atonement allows each of us to be forgiven of our sins if we repent Heavenly Father chose Jesus to save us from our sins and our sorrows. To do this, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to be alone and to pray. As He prayed, He felt the sins and the sorrows and the pain of all the people who would ever live on the earth. He felt the pain and sorrow for the sins of each one of us. Jesus’ suffering was so great that blood came out of every pore of His body. We cannot imagine how great that suffering must have been. As the only perfect person who ever lived on earth, He was the only one who could do this for us. We could not do it for ourselves. Without His sacrifice, we could never be forgiven of our sins and would not be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again.

Gift #4- The Resurrection- "Jesus Christ made it possible for us to be resurrected."
After suffering in Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested, bound, mocked, spit upon, scourged, and put to death on a cross. He suffered hours of intense physical pain, then gave up His life. Because He was a God and had power over death, He did not have to die. He chose to do it for our sakes, His spirit left His body. His body was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a clean linen cloth, and placed in a tomb. A huge stone was rolled in front of it. On the following Sunday, when women came to anoint Jesus’ body, the stone had been rolled away and His body was not there. He had risen! He had taken His body again. Because Jesus broke the bands of death, after we die, we will also have our bodies again.Jesus gave us the greatest gift which is eternal life, or the chance to live forever.

Karen Ashton, "Sharing Time: Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love", Friend, Feb. 1996, 36

Gift #5(show wrapped gift)- So what can we give Jesus Christ this year? We can’t buy Him something from the store, but we can promise to do something like pray more often or read our scriptures better. A spiritual gift!  Let’s explore a few ideas of what you could give Jesus this year before opening the final present.
Christmas tree on board with presents with spiritual gifts to Jesus. Have some children pick a present and read on the back what the gift idea for Jesus is.

I have a handout here reminding you of the gifts that Jesus has given us and there is an empty gift that you can do at home or at Family Home Evening and draw or write a gift that you are going to give Jesus this year for Christmas.
The Primary presidency has an ornament that is a gift for you. It is to remind you of the gift that you will give Jesus this year. Please hang it on your tree as a reminder of what you will give our Savior for Christmas this year and the next year, and so on. (Or whatever you want to say to the children, including below comments from a Presidency message in the Friend)
If time- This Christmas let us try to follow the example of the Savior who gave us His gift of life. He was always giving gifts and seldom receiving them. He did not give shoes or stockings or toys. He did not give perfume or shirts or ties. Instead, His gifts were truly rare. He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and health to the sick. When His friends gave Him shelter and food and love, He in return gave Himself—His love, His service, and His life! And Jesus gave to everyone the gift of the resurrection and eternal life. Let us follow His example by giving love unselfishly to others.
“Christmas Greetings, Friend, December 1977, 2”

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