“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:8-11 (NIV)
For those of us that work in children’s ministries we know the above scripture is the beginning narrative for the shepherds to begin their journey to look for the baby who would be the Messiah. We understand that there must have been great excitement and joy for the shepherds. We want to carry that excitement about the news of baby Jesus to the children in our ministries. Most of the time their parents join in the excitement and jubilation, and we count on the parents continuing the story of Christmas at home.
We might go around saying “Merry Christmas” to all who can hear. The Sunday before Christmas the phrase, “Merry Christmas” is usually heard all over the children’s area as leaders and teachers wish the kids and parents this saying as everyone is leaving. While most smile and give you a similar wish, the single parent may only nod or appear to be in another world. Some may mumble a “Merry Christmas” back, but for many “Merry Christmas” is a dreaded wish many divorced parents hate to hear.