Birth Narrative


Antioch Arcade


Scripture:  Luke 1:26-38 and 2:1-7


Key Verse: “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” Luke 1: 38



Memory Verse:  "A child has been born for us.  We have been given a son who will be our ruler.  His names will be wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6 (CEV)





1)     Older children will locate the story of Gabriel’s visit to Mary in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Luke.

2)     The children will play a game that reinforces the details of the story.

3)     The children will consider how this story relates to the concepts above.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.


2.     Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.     Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles.  Help the students to find the book of Luke. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.) Many of the kids will already know the four Gospels. If necessary, remind them that the Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Ask whether Luke is in the Old or New Testament (It tells about Jesus so it’s in the New Testament). Make sure everyone knows that Luke is the third book in the New Testament.


After they’ve found Luke, help them find chapter 1, verse 26. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.


2.     Have the class stand in a circle. Have slips of paper numbered 1-20. Hand out the slips, starting with Number 1 and following in order until each child has a number.

3.     Explain: “Now I’m going to read a version of the Bible story we just looked up in Luke. When you hear the word ‘right,’ pass your paper to the right. When you hear ‘left,’ pass it to the left.”

God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee, with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph, who was from the family descended from King David. Gabriel left right away to find Mary. Gabriel came right up to Mary, greeted her and said, “You are truly blessed. The Lord is with you.”

Mary was confused by the angel’s words and was left wondering what they meant. Then angel told Mary,  “Don’t be afraid. You are right with God, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be right-fully called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

This announcement came right out of left field. Mary asked the angel, “How can that possibly be right? I am not married.”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. Everyone thought she would be left childless, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible with God.”

Right then and there, Mary came right out and said, “All right! I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.



1.     Send the children holding even numbers to one side of the room, odd numbers to the other. These are the two teams for the game.

2.     Have the shepherd keep score on the white board. Starting with the child holding question number 1, let each child spin the game wheel and attempt to answer the question on his paper. If he answers correctly, award his team the number of points he spun for. Let him consult his team if needed. No points for a wrong answer. Continue in the order of the question numbers (to reinforce the sequence of events, and because some of the questions refer to previous questions).

3.     After each child has had a turn, if you have enough questions left, let the kids each have another turn. If you have just a few questions left, you can let one person spin for the points but ask the question of the team as a whole. However you choose to handle it, it is important to ask all the questions.

4.     Younger Children: Use the multiple-choice answers provided with the questions.
Older children:  Give them a chance to answer the question, but offer multiple choices if they’re stumped ( a couple of the questions require offering the choices). Or let them look up the answer in their Bibles.


Reflection Time:


Gather the children in a circle and discuss:

Do you remember how the angel greeted Mary? (You are truly blessed.) Do you think Mary felt blessed, when she heard the angel’s news? (Accept all answers.) Having a baby before she was married would be very hard on her. How do you think you would feel if you found out God had chosen you to do something very difficult? (Scared, mad, special – accept all answers.) Do you think you would feel blessed? Maybe not – but Mary was blessed whether she felt that way or not, and we are blessed when we have a chance to do God’s work.

What do you think Gabriel looked like? (Accept all answers.) A lot of times we think of angels as wearing white robes, having halos and wings and being able to fly. But the word angel simply means a messenger, so we really don’t know what Gabriel looked like. He might have just been a regular person bringing Mary a message from God.


Do you think an angel might ever bring you a message from God? How would you know? What if somebody asked you to do something that might be hard for you to do, or that wouldn’t be any fun and you just didn’t want to do, but you had the feeling that it was what God wanted you to do? Could that person be bringing a message from God? (Accept all answers.) In tough situations like that, it’s good to pray for God to help you make the right decision.

Where do we get the help we need to do God’s work? (From the Holy Spirit)

Do you remember what Mary said at the very end of our story, after the angel had convinced her of what God wanted her to do? (Have the children repeat with you: "I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.") That’s what we need to respond when there’s something God wants us to do – to be God’s servants, ready to obey. And remember that when we trust God like Mary did and let God use us, that’s a blessing for us, just like it was a blessing for Mary.



Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. (TIP: Fill in the “workshop” blanks ahead of time; otherwise, the children will spend the entire journal time spelling out “Antioch Arcade.”) Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.


Tell the older children to write three ways in which they can serve God. Suggest thinking of ways to show love to other people, serve other people, share the story of Jesus with others, obey God’s commandments, etc. Younger children should write at least one thing or draw a picture to represent serving God.





Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer. Suggestion:

"Thank you, God, for the wonderful gift of doing your work. Help us to see the opportunities we have every day to serve you, and to be obedient and willing servants like Mary.  Amen."


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Collect all papers, Bibles, etc. before dismissing them.


Teacher preparation in advance:


1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Prepare opening and closing prayers.

3.     Books of maps. Consider pointing out Nazareth and Galilee to the older kids during the scripture time.

4.     Write the scripture memory verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.


Supply List

Slips of paper numbered 1-20

Map showing Nazareth and Galilee (optional)

Dry-erase marker

Game wheel

Journal pages


Memento for journals -- optional




“Left-right” story version adapted from Workshop Rotation Set by Elizabeth Adams, Eden United Church of Christ, Edwardsville, Ill. Posted at Permission to use for non-commercial purposes only.


Questions for game:

1)     Who came to visit Mary?
a. her relative Elizabeth
b. King David
c. an angel name Gabriel

2)     Why did God send Gabriel to Mary?
a. To give her a message
b. To sing her a song
c. To deliver some baby clothes

3)     To what town did Gabriel go to find Mary?
a. Bethlehem
b. Nazareth
c. Jerusalem

4)     What area of Israel is Nazareth in?
a. Galilee
b. Judea
c. Samaria

5)     Whom was Mary engaged to marry?
a. Joseph
b. David
c. Gabriel

6)     Who was Joseph’s ancestor?
a. Elizabeth
b. The angel Gabriel
c. King David

7)     How did the angel greet Mary?
a. “Listen! I have an important announcement.”
b. “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”
c. “Go to Bethlehem with Joseph.”

8)     When Mary heard the angel’s greeting, how did she feel?
a. Happy
b. Sick
c. Confused

9)     What did Gabriel tell Mary NOT to do?
a. Laugh
b. Be afraid
c. Tell other people

10) What did the angel tell Mary would happen?
a. She would have a son named Jesus.
b. She would have a baby in a stable.
c. She would have a baby in her old age.

11) Why did Gabriel say God chose Mary?
a. She was beautiful.
b. She was smart
c. God was pleased with Mary.

12) What did the angel say Jesus would be called?
a. The Good Shepherd
b. Messiah
c. Son of God Most High

13) What did the angel say God would do for Jesus?
a. Make him rich and famous
b. Make him king of Israel.
c. Make him a great warrior.

14) How long would Jesus’ kingdom last?
a. Until his death.
b. Until the Messiah came
c. Forever.

15)  Why did Mary ask, “How can this happen?”
a. She was not married.
b. She was not good enough
c. She was too poor

16) Which of these things did Gabriel tell Mary?
a. The Holy Spirit will come over you and take your power to God.
b. The Holy Spirit will come down to you , and God’s power will come over you.
c. God will give power to the Holy Spirit.

17) Who else did Gabriel say would have a son?
a. Joseph’s relative Elizabeth
b. Mary’s relative Elizabeth
c. Gabriel’s relative Elizabeth

18) Why was it surprising that Elizabeth would have a son?
a. She was not married.
b. She was too poor.
c. She was old.

19) Which of these statements did the angel make?
a. With God, almost anything is possible.
b. Nothing is impossible for God.
c. God can make good things happen.

20) After the angel told Mary everything, what did she say?
a. Give me some time to think about this.
b. I don’t like this. I don’t want to do it.
c. I am the Lord’s servant. Let it happen as you have said.