“The Best Gift of All”
Madala tells the others the story of the first Christmas.
Themes Found in This Story:
- The First Christmas
Possible Bible Memory Verses:
- “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)
- Character Ornaments
- Tea Bread
Madala and Nyati were roasting fish over a fire. “Is dinner almost ready?” asked Omulonga. “It smells delicious!”
“Almost,” said Nyati. “Is everyone here?”
“The cubs are still at the river,” said Suloliko. “I think the mudslide is their favourite Christmas game!”
Kili went to fetch the cubs, and soon the three of them came bounding back up the hill. Reë spattered mud all over Jos as she stopped. He grunted, wiping flecks of mud from his hat. After a fine dinner of fish, roasted corn and Suloliko’s special groundnut tea bread, the friends exchanged gifts. Tshameka and Reë gave Madala a new cover for his steering wheel. Omulonga got a fishing pole from Maro and her little brothers and sister, and all the lemurs got a basket of fresh fruit from Suloliko’s stall. Kili gave Jos a little vest that matched his fine hat, and Madala gave Kili a chain so he wouldn’t lose his glasses. Omulonga gave Nyati a tin of polish for his horns, and Nyati had a book for Suloliko. Jos had new scarves for Reë and Tshameka, but he wouldn’t let them have them until they cleaned all the mud off their paws.
After everyone told each another thank you, Tshameka asked, “Why do we all give each other presents at Christmas?”
“Well,” said Madala with a laugh. “It’s to help us remember that at the first Christmas, God gave us the very best gift of all!”
“What was that?” asked Reë.
“Why, it was Jesus of course!” Madala told her. “Many years ago, He was born in Bethlehem, in a stable surrounded by animals.”
“Animals like us?” asked Tshameka hopefully.
“Well,” Madala chuckled. “We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say what kind of animals were there. But it does say that angels and shepherds and kings came to worship him.”
“Shepherds and kings?” asked Kili.
“That’s right,” said Madala. “Rich men and poor men both, because Jesus came for all people. There’s no way any of us could get to Heaven on our own, so God sent Jesus to show us the way.”
“Wow,” said Omulonga. “So Jesus was the very first gift, and the very best one too!”
“That’s right,” Madala said with a smile. “God gave us Jesus so if we accept Him, we all can be saved.”
“And there’s no better gift than that,” said Maro happily.