PRINTABLE INCLUDED IN THIS CRAFT
For those of you following along with my character development series, you know I have been following along with my original 365 day series in a systematic way, working on the same “word of the week” we did exactly a year ago. However, for these last few weeks I’m going to mix it up a bit. First, I’m a little behind, so I need to do slight catch-up. Second, I really wanted to focus on HOPE leading up to Christmas. What gives more hope than a Savior entering this world to take away the sins of a broken world? This stained glass nativity craft teaches hope. Jesus came to redirect people to truth and die so that we might live. You see, the people had it all wrong. The religious leaders of that day taught that to get right with God one would have to follow a bunch of rules. They not only taught the rules that God had originally given for mankind, but they had begun to add in a bunch of other directions about how to become holy in the sight of God and earn your salvation. Their hearts were far from God. They becomes judges and ones who focused on the law rather than seekers of God and a heart like His. Like so many religious thoughts of today too, the concept t is that if I’m just good enough, I can earn my way to heaven. There are a lot of pitfalls to that thought, and I’d encourage you to read a small book called, “How Good is Good Enough,” by Andy Stanley. It’s a very short book, but it challenges that concept so well and will help you think through the question, “Can I earn salvation by being good?” I can tell you that isn’t what the Bible teaches. When we decide to follow God, we do go through changes that help us to become better as we grow closer to Him and want to exhibit his qualities. However, that still is not what gets us into heaven. There is a popular look at scriptures and what the Bible teaches about salvation called “Roman’s Road.” I’m going to lay it out for you now.
1. All Have Sinned
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 We don’t have to look far to understand this passage. We see it in our own lives. We see it in the lives of others. Sure, there are “good” people. There is no one perfect, however. We have all sinned. There is no one righteous…not even one.
2. Sin Leads to Death
“For the wages of sin is death…” – Romans 6:23a Bad news to us. Sin leads to death. The Bible isn’t just talking physical death here. It is speaking of spiritual death as well. If we sin, we are separated from God because He is completely Holy.
3. Jesus Christ is the Key to Salvation
“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23b and “But God showed His great love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 Jesus died for us WHILE we were still sinners. We didn’t do anything to earn that. He did it out of love, and it is the key to salvation. Jesus was without sin and died as a “sacrificial lamb” in replace of the Old Testament Jewish practices where a blood sacrifice was needed to let people be forgiven of their sins. He was the ultimate sacrifice and no other was needed after that point. He was pure and blameless and yet took on the sins of the world in one act. This one act is what gives us hope because I know that if earning salvation was up to me, I’d fall extremely short.
4. Salvation Comes through Faith
“If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9. The step you need to take is faith. I struggle with faith, but I see that it takes a lot more faith to believe that we all came to be from nothing than it does to believe that there was a beginning and a God that created it all. When studying history and the external and internal evidence of the Bible, I feel like I can put my faith into something that has proved faithful. True faith will result in action and change but it is not the action and change that earns you salvation. It is merely a response to your salvation that you received, despite your sin. I encourage you to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead so you can experience forgiveness, grace an reconciliation despite your sin.
5. Benefits of Being Made Right with God
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God” – Romans 5:1-2 and “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 and “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 Does any more need to be said? That is our hope. I pray that you have been made right with God through faith and can therefore live with hope.
One of our pastors put it so well this weekend. He said that most world religions have mankind trying to reach out to God. Christianity is different in that it has God reaching out to mankind.
Now onto the craft that represents this hope found through baby Jesus entering our world. I got this idea from Housing a Forest but wanted to add a printable so it’s easy to replicate.
The first thing I did was create a printable of the nativity silhouette for you. You can see my eraser marks as I worked to create a shape I liked to represent Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the manger.
You will want to print this out and gather scissors, an Exacto knife, pencil, ruler and black paper. You will also need either wax paper & a glue stick OR Con-tact paper (my choice for this project). You will also need tape and tissue paper. There is a little bit of prep work to make this craft, but it is worth it for the experience and the product.
I started with scissors to cut out the outer edge of the nativity scene on the white paper. This would become a template.
I then used a combination of the Exacto knife and the scissors to cut out the rest of my silhouette template.
I made 4 of these – for my kids and myself to be able to do one. I was able to cut through all 4 at a time with a little bit of effort.
I chose to use Con-tact paper. You could also use wax paper and glue sticks. The Con-tact paper makes it super simple.
I traced around the outer edge of the silhouette onto the contact paper. Then, I cut that out slightly smaller than the tracing, knowing I wanted to be able to tape the contact paper to the black silhouette paper.
I also cut up a bunch of little squares of colorful tissue paper. The kids can do this too.
The next step is when the kids really step in. Peel off the backing of the contact paper, and the kids can begin to layer down all the pieces of tissue paper.
Remind them to cover all of the areas of the contact paper and overlap the tissue paper.
The contact paper will look similar to the above picture when finished. You can trim off the edges. At this point you can leave it just like this, or you can add another piece of contact paper to the back side to sandwich it into place
The final step is to tape or glue down the contact paper tissue art to the back of the silhouette. This completes the look.
The kids enjoyed holding it up to the lights to see how theirs turned out.
We hung them in the window to be able to be a visual reminder of the hope we have because a Savior entered our world in the form of a baby. He brings us hope through forgiveness of sins and a reconciliation with a holy Father. I pray that this Christmas brings you the joy and hope that this season is really celebrating.