A: I suspect most families with young children have this problem; I know we did! And after all, don't we want our children to be excited about Christmas, even if it isn't always for the right reasons? As time passes, they'll grow in their understanding.
One way to deal with this is to help your children understand the meaning of Christmas before it actually arrives. Christmas is only a few days away now, but why not take a few minutes daily until then to read to your children about the birth of Jesus? (You'll find it in the Bible in Matthew, chapters one and two, and in Luke, chapter two.) Tell them that one reason we give gifts at Christmas is because on that first Christmas, God gave us the greatest gift of all — the gift of His Son, our Savior.
Then let me encourage you as a family to give gifts to people who are less fortunate than you. Let your children have a part in this; they might, for example, pick out a toy for a local toy drive, or give some of their allowance to an organization that helps poor children in other parts of the world. It will help them become concerned about others, and not just themselves. The Bible says, "Share with God's people who are in need" (Romans 12:13).
Finally, ask God to help you make the meaning of Christmas a reality in your own lives. Children learn from our example as well as our words; do they see Christ in you?
Q: How can anyone believe Jesus was born of a virgin? Maybe they believed in such things 2,000 years ago, but we know better today. — S.D.
A: I can assure you that people 2,000 years ago knew the facts of life just as well as we do (and perhaps more so, since most of them lived close to the land and dealt with birth regularly, not just among people but among their animals). They knew that -- humanly speaking +- a virgin birth was impossible.
And yet the Bible is clear: Jesus Christ had no human father. When the angel came to tell Mary she would be the mother of God's Messiah, her immediate reaction was to wonder how it could possibly happen, since she was a virgin. The angel's reply must have stunned her: God's Spirit would be the Father of her child: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). Incidentally, the writer who recorded this account was Luke — a physician.
Why is the virgin birth of Jesus so important? It's important because it tells us that Jesus was different from anyone else who'd ever been born, or ever would be born. He wasn't just another human being; He was the divine Son of God, sent from heaven to save us from our sins.
During this Christmas season, I invite you to turn your heart and mind to Jesus Christ as He is found in the Gospels — who He is and what He has done for you. His miraculous birth points us to an even greater miracle — the miracle of the new life God promises to all who open their hearts and minds to Christ's transforming power.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.