City Valley Blog

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Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus - Guest Blog

date1st December 2018
authorLaura Baldwin

This week we asked Joy Cowley, Children's Ministry Leader at City Valley Church to share a thought on Christmas from a parenting perspective. Look out for further guest posts from City Valley over the Christmas period.   

We have just received the costume instructions from school for the children's Christmas performance and I will admit that my reaction bore more than a passing resemblance to Emma Thompson's character in Love Actually as her children announce the parts they will be playing in the upcoming nativity. ("You mean, there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus??!") It's funny that we would have to look for Jesus in amongst all the Christmas hype, seeing as it's all about Him in the first place, but maybe no bad thing that we have to make a conscious decision to 'seek first the Kingdom of God' as Jesus tells us to in Matthew 6.   

I did initially panic and start demanding that my eldest explain the real meaning of Christmas twice a day just in case time with her friends or the Christmas episode of Peppa Pig had made her forget. But, I have mellowed over the last couple of weeks, and the new approach seems to be working better. At bedtime the other day, the youngest wanted to sing Happy Birthday as we often sing to Jesus at bedtime. It didn't take the eldest long to point out that Happy Birthday is not a 'Jesus song'. But, wanting to make the most of the youngest's enthusiasm I decided it could be at this time of year, so we sang 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus and chatted about how old Jesus is and how many candles you'd need if you made Him a birthday cake. 

I'm struck this year by the deep desire of people in our culture to create a magical Christmas for themselves and their loved ones. And I am overwhelmed by the fact that I've met the One whose arrival in our world is probably the most mysterious, thrilling and exquisitely beautiful thing that has ever happened. Whatever else might be going on for us this Christmas (and there might be grief, loneliness, stress, and conflict in the mix as well as the fun stuff) we can know that Christmases with Him at the centre have hope and joy in them, because that's what He has come to bring for our world. 

Now it turns out I'm not the first to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus. To get you and your family thinking about how to bring Jesus into your celebrations this year, why not take one minute for a quick watch of this video from 'Parenting for Faith'

Joy Cowley
Children's Ministry Leader
City Valley Church