8 December 2023

Kids Alive! World: Comfort and joy

Helping children live a healthy and an active lifestyle and care for their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing

A photo shows two children dressed as Nativity scene characters and an adult singing alongside them.

The Kids Alive! team explores the benefits of sharing comfort and joy at Christmas.

  • Share this article with children in your family or your children's worker at your corps so they can pass it on – you may find the advice helps you too!

Aren’t Christmas carols lovely? The words are often so beautiful and the tunes can make you feel all happy inside. They can really put you in the festive mood. Have you heard of ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen’? It’s one of the oldest Christmas carols and one of the most famous lines is ‘O tidings of comfort and joy’, which reminds us of the joy of Jesus being born at Christmas.

Jesus is born

God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
Was born upon this day.

That’s the first four lines of the carol and they basically mean you don’t need to feel anxious or sad because Jesus has come to bring joy to our world. Obviously, there are a lot of things happening in our lives and world that can be scary, sad or worrying, but Jesus can comfort us and help us cope with anything. We know this because in the Bible Jesus says, ‘If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28 Contemporary English Version).

Show the love

As well as receiving comfort from Jesus ourselves, we can also share comfort with others. In the Bible it tells us ‘He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share this same comfort with others in trouble’ (2 Corinthians 1:3–4 CEV). Isn’t that a nice idea? We can share the love Jesus gives us with others who need it.

There are lots of ways to do that. It can be as simple as smiling at others as you’re going about your day or remembering to hug your family and tell them how much you appreciate them. If you see someone at school who’s looking lonely or sad, ask them if they’re OK and see if you can help them. You could also pray for anyone you know who is poorly or for those affected by conflicts around the world.

A photo shows three children holding up Christmas cards that they have decorated.

The real reason

If you’ve read the Nativity story in the Bible you’ll know that when the shepherds heard the news of Jesus’ birth they were filled with joy (check out Luke 2:8–20). Is that how you feel when you think about Christmas and Jesus’ birth?

It’s easy to get excited about gifts at Christmas! The Christmas lights, food and music are fabulous too and so much fun. However, it’s important not to let them distract us from the real reason we celebrate Christmas – Jesus. He should be the reason we’re filled with joy at Christmas and throughout the year too!

Joy to the world

One of the best things about Christmas is that we can share the good news of Jesus’ birth with others. That means they can be filled with joy too! You could tell a friend why you’re a Christian, organise a Nativity play to teach your classmates the Christmas story or give away copies of Kids Alive! to your neighbours so they can learn more about Jesus. Then you can be just like the praising shepherds from the Nativity story – they spread the news about Jesus’ birth and praised God for all they’d seen (Luke 2:17–20).

There are lots of ways to show the love of Jesus with others through our actions too. Making Christmas cards for someone you know who lives on their own will bring them some joy. Or you could donate clothes or toiletries to help people experiencing homelessness. How about making a food parcel to donate to a food bank or buying an extra gift when shopping to donate to The Salvation Army? They’ll give it to a family that needs it. After all, Paul says in Acts 20:35 that Jesus once said, ‘More blessings come from giving than receiving’ (CEV).

Have fun finding and sharing comfort and joy this Christmas!

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This year's Nativity comic strip from the Kids Alive! Christmas issue.

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