Third Sunday in Advent
Click here for a printable version of this story.
Click here for a printable Spanish version of the story.
- Online video clip, “The Emotional Body”
- OPTIONAL: a small Christmas tree
- OPTIONAL: When giving story, use hand & head gestures at appropriate times. For example, look up slowly when tree is talking to the creator or when describing the large old trees.
- Because online videos often take a few minutes to download, play the related video before the story begins to ensure that it will be ready when needed.
- Prepare any necessary materials.
- Invite children up to steps of altar.
- Reader of story sits in a chair with children sitting on floor in front of her.
- Include children’s story, even if there are no children in your congregation, to welcome families who may come to the service.
- You can add your own creativity to the stories. You may feel comfortable using puppets, props or presenting them just as they are written.
- Feel free to adjust the content to fit your time frame. However, for the spiritual development of the child, we encourage keeping as much of the Ascended Master’s Teachings as possible.
Good morning and welcome. Today we celebrate the third week of advent. In many churches this is the week that they focus on the virtue of JOY. Advent is a joyous and holy time in our lives to prepare for the receiving of Christ into our own beings. We do this through prayer, devotion to our Mighty I AM Presence and by giving the violet flame to purify our four lower bodies. We have been learning about these four lower bodies during our advent stories. This week we will focus on the emotional body. It is also called our feeling body.
Besides having those good feelings such as joy, love and hope, we often have negative feelings. Have any of you ever had any negative feelings? (Allow children to answer.) Yes, we might have felt anger or even some dislike toward someone. Or maybe we desired something that was not in keeping with God’s will for us.
Let’s hear what our beloved Mother of the Flame says about the emotional body. We’re going to listen to a short audio clip. You will see some photos while you listen. (Play online video clip.)
So God’s greatest desire is to be more God. Our desire should be to be one with our God, to serve God and to do God’s will.
Besides giving the violet flame, another way that we can turn our negative feelings into positive ones is by showing gratitude. When we’re expressing gratitude, it’s impossible to have negative feelings at the same time. Let’s try it. Think of something you’re so grateful for that you start feeling that gratitude. Are you all feeling thankful for something? Now, can you feel a negative feeling at the same time? No, it’s impossible. In fact, when you feel gratitude and joy and desire to do God’s will, you will not fall into those negative feelings.
Our story today is about a little Christmas tree. Do any of you have a Christmas tree up yet? (Allow children to answer.) Christmas trees are fun to decorate and we know that it can be the focus for Christmas angels.
Let’s hear our story now and see how this little tree loved its Creator and desired only to do God’s will, and how the tree expressed gratitude and joy for all the wonders in her life. It almost seems like an angel or elemental embodies this little tree.
The story is called The Littlest Christmas Tree written by Janie Jasin. (Hold up small Christmas Tree for children to see.}
The Littlest Christmas Tree
Once upon a time in a field of young Christmas tree seedlings, there stood a tiny tree, smaller than all the other seedlings. The little tree stood attentively in her row, planted in the soft, sandy soil among the other little trees. This littlest tree wanted to grow tall enough to become a real Christmas tree.
As she was growing, the littlest tree decided to think about all the things that made her happy.
The first thing she thought of was the Sun.
“I love the Sunshine, so warm on my green branches,” she said to herself. “I can feel it helping me grow tall all summer long.” (Ask: Is she expressing gratitude here?)
The littlest tree tipped her head and thought some more.
“And the Sky, I love that too. I watch it each day as it changes, some days all cloudy and grey and some days so clear and blue.”
Then she felt a gentle breeze begin to rustle through her tiny green needles.
“The Wind! I can’t forget the Wind. When I hear the Wind coming, I listen very carefully and scrunch myself down as low as I can to let it blow through me. I can feel it all the way from my most top branch to my lowest branches.”
The littlest tree thought and thought about the wonderful things in her world.
“Of course, there’s the Rain. How delicious it feels on my needles, so soft and warm, smelling sweetly of grass and earth.
“I know I’m lucky to have the Rain – and the Sun and the Sky and the Wind. They care for me and help me grow tall. But I do wish I would grow faster.”
And the littlest tree waited and dreamed about becoming a Christmas tree.
Sometimes the littlest tree leaned over to listen to the grown-up trees talking to each other in the nearby woods. She learned that when she grew taller, trimmers would come with their clippers to carefully shape her tree form.
“I won’t be afraid when the trimmers come,” she told herself. “I know that I will be shaped to become a beautiful Christmas tree with my very tip top reaching high toward the Heavens.
“Christmas trees must be a lot like people,” thought the littlest tree. “People who are good and strong look up to the Heavens for strength and encouragement. I will look up and stand patiently until I am tall enough to be chosen for Christmas.”
She called out to the Sky, “Please, choose me!” I am ready for a Christmas celebration. I am ready for the season of Lights and Life.”
Ever so quietly the littlest tree thought, “But what if I’m not chosen to be a Christmas tree? There must be lots of things I can become when I am tall.” (Ask: Is she willing to do God’s will even if it’s different than her own desires? (Allow children to answer.) Yes, she is.)
She decided to think about some of the many possibilities for her life.
“Maybe I could be a shelter for animals to hide in my fluffy branches. Perhaps a rabbit or a squirrel would stop by for an overnight stay.
“Or I could be planted near a family’s house and little birds will nest in my small needles. I know my friends the chickadees would love to stay with me for the winter.
“They could fly from my branches to the bird feeders and window ledges and then fly back to me for safety.”
The littlest tree was filled with ideas jumping from branch to branch as she thought about the many things she could become.
“Maybe I could be a window frame and hold shiny glass in my arms. Oh, that would be lovely! There are so many possibilities to think about,” said the littlest tree excitedly.
Then, pausing, she said, “But today I can only grow and become my very best right here where I am planted. I will feel the Sun and the Sky and the Wind and the Rain and I will think about how wonderful it is to grow…just for today.”
The littlest tree often listened to the mother and father trees whispering with the other tall trees in the woods. They told stories of their ancestors, the giant old trees, so tall and majestic that even the strongest of men looked up at them with wonder.
Standing up as straight and tall as she could, the littlest tree stretched her tiny roots deep down into the soft, sandy soil. She looked up to the Heavens and called out to her Creator,
“Invite the birds and the animals and all the people to come and walk between our rows of seedlings. Let them see the beauty of the Sky and the trees. Let them feel the magic of the Sun and the Wind and the Rain, and let them know the wonder of the forest.”
At last, the littlest tree understood. The joy of being a Christmas tree can be found in each and every day. Standing patiently in her row of seedling trees, the Littlest Christmas Tree looked up into the dark, starry night and whispered,
“Thank you, Dear Creator, for Life. Thank you for Dreams. Thank you for Dreams. Thank you for Ideas and Thoughts and Feelings. Most of all, thank you for choosing me to grow – just for today – and to know the Wonder of Your World and its many Possibilities.”
Can’t you just feel the sweet elemental in that Christmas tree? In Lanello's birthday address, The Spirit of Christmas, he says, “Tender hearts are the elementals. And of course, they are greeted by little children in their finer bodies with such joy. Truly, this is the joy of Christmas, when sweet children can freely interact with elementals, and elementals can know the true worship of Christ and the hope that they, too, may become that Christ.”
Let’s spend this week praying to God, like the elemental in the littlest Christmas tree did. Let’s ask to be the instrument of love, joy and gratitude. And let’s pray that our desires are God’s desires and that we desire to become the Christ.
Thank you for participating in our story. Have a blessed day.