Children’s homily, “Prepare Some Room for Jesus”
Advent 4, 2014, St. Dunstan’s, San Diego
The Rev Robert G Eaton
Prepare some room for him.
Today we’re going to prepare some room for Jesus. We’re going to set the table for him. Do you all know how to set a table for dinner? [answers!] Well, We’re going to get everything ready for Jesus so when the day gets here that we celebrate him coming to us, he will have a place prepared.
When you get ready to have a meal at your house, somebody has to set the table. Even if it’s pizza and the tv, somebody still has to do some things to make sure everyone can eat! Somebody’s got to get the right station or show or movie for the TV; somebody’s got to get some cups for whatever you’re going to drink; somebody’s got to order the pizza, and maybe go get it. You know, you don’t just clap your hands and a pizza falls out of the sky into your lap!
And there may still be some people out there who sit down at the table to eat a dinner, maybe even just when somebody special comes over for dinner., So then you have to set the table….
You know, there’s a way to do it. There’s a right way to do it.
For instance, when you set a place setting, the plate goes on the chair, right? [answers]
No, the plate goes on the table in front of the chair, and hopefully, the plate goes on a placemat, and the placemat is on a table cloth. Now how about the fork? And the spoon? Where do they go? Its going to be the same all the way around the table. [answers]
I just happen to have a picture to help us. [show picture of a proper place setting]
So here’s the fork, maybe two forks, on this side; here’s the spoon, maybe two spoons, and a knife, on the other. And everything is in the right place to help you get through the dinner, with manners.
When we think about Jesus and his birth, we want to make the right setting to help us be reminded of how he was born.
What do we need to set the table up there for the moment Jesus was born? Forks and spoons? No. But WHERE he was born, and WHO was there – those are important.
So what will we need? Cow, donkey, manger, Mary, Joseph, lambs, shepherds….
What about Jesus, though?
Well, not yet. Today is not his birthday. Our job today is just to set the manger table so when he does come, everything is ready for him.
So let’s go do that, shall we? Do you see where all the pieces of setting the manger table are? On the altar.
Let’s all go there first.
[ALL move to the altar, Hand out pieces.]
Now let’s take these pieces and figurines and go to the manger table.
[All move to the manger scene at the pulpit]
Now, one at a time, everyone who has a piece can put it into the manger scene. You just put it where you think it goes best in preparation for Jesus’ coming. [Aside to congregation:] This always comes out unique, but we’re going to leave it however it goes!
[figurines in place]
Now just one more thing to say. It is very helpful to be able to help prepare our celebration of Jesus’ birth in this way. It reminds us. But what is even more important is that we prepare the table of our heart so Jesus can be in us, and we always have him with us. And even if we already have Jesus in our hearts it is good to set the table of our hearts again. That’s because the tables of our hearts often get lots of stuff piled up in them, just like our dinner tables have to be cleared off to set the table for dinner.
We all know how to do it, to make room for God….
You can Do things for God, and for others, and not just for yourself
You can Sing a song of love to Jesus,
[other answers will probably come from a couple of kids]
You can Tell Jesus you want everything to be just right
You can Say to Jesus, Here I am, I’m all yours.
And the table of your heart will be set for Jesus as you celebrate his birth.