I’ve taught children’s Sunday School a long time, and yesterday I had one of the moments that simply takes your breath away. It was the kind of moment you can’t teach or coach, but that you must bear witness to.
We were studying, as you might well imagine, the story of Jesus’ birth. We had read the passage in Luke 2 that tells of His birth and the angels’ visit to the shepherds and were watching the companion video. In the video lesson, one of the children had given a gift that meant a lot to her because she wanted to show how much her friends meant to her. This was one of the characters who often focuses on the negative things around her, and she acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but you could see that the giving had made her happy. She even offered a rare smile.
As I started the ending video, the younger sister of one of my fifth graders came into the room. In her class, she told us, they had been allowed to pick out several gifts that their teacher (my husband, Larry) had provided. Among them, this younger sister had spied a gold box that held a bracelet — really just a piece of costume jewelry, but it was beautiful to her and she had wanted it.
But, the interesting thing is, she didn’t want it for herself. She wanted it as a gift for her big sister and couldn’t wait for class to be finished to give away the gift. She delivered the box and then headed back to her own room, not even waiting to see her sister open it. She knew her sister would love it, and the giving had been enough to make her happy.
When the sister open the gift, we were all entranced by the bracelet inside. Its simple beads and gold-colored connectors had been transformed into a sparkling treasure. Love transformed them. The giving transformed them.
I have no idea what the nice folks at Lifeway had included on the ending video for the day, what message they had to sum up the lesson that focused on loving others. It really doesn’t matter; God had sent us our own special message gift-wrapped in the heart of a child. It reminded me of the gift He sent on the first Christmas. Love to transform us. A gift to transform us.
“Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15 (New Living Translation)