Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 and Luke: 2:1-20
Key Scripture Verses: God sent the angel Gabriel with a message for a virgin named Mary. The angel greeted Mary and said “you are truly blessed...you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the God Most High…The Lord God will make him a King as his ancestor David was…his Kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:26-32a. About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders that the names of all the people be listed in record books…everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. Luke 2:1-5 While they were there (Bethlehem) she gave birth to her first-born son. She…laid him in a bed of hay because there was no room for him in the inn. That night in fields near Bethlehem, some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord…and said…”This very day in King David’s hometown (Bethlehem) a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is because you will find him…lying in a bed of hay.” The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying in a bed of hay. Luke 2:6-12, 16 (Contemporary English Version)
“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)
· Nothing is impossible for God.
· God brings new hope into the world through Jesus.
· Jesus came into the world to fulfill God’s plan.
· Doing God’s work is a blessing.
· The Holy Spirit gives us the power to do God’s work.
1. The children will learn that God blessed Mary by selecting her as the mother of His Son. Mary was not yet married to Joseph and she was surprised when the angel told her that she would have a baby. Impossible as it seems, Mary accepts this because she believes and is filled with hope.
2. The children will understand that King David was Joseph’s (and Mary’s) ancestor and because Bethlehem had been David’s hometown they had to report to Bethlehem in order to be counted in the Roman census (At this time Augustus Caesar ruled the Roman empire which controlled the lands of the Hebrews).
3. The children will recognize that God was sending Jesus as the Savior for all people, just as God selected very ordinary people to serve as Jesus parents and to be the first to learn of Jesus’ birth. God blessed simple people, not royalty, for the Messiah’s birth.
4. The children will create and assemble a community banner that will commemorate the events that affected Mary and Joseph concerning Jesus’ birth.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer thanking God for being a part of our lives would be appropriate. Ask Jesus to help us to be aware of God’s presence so that we may do God’s work.
1. Discuss the background to today’s story. Have the children use their Bibles to locate the verses in Luke 1:26-38 and 2:1-20. These passages relate events concerning Jesus’ birth.
2. First, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, an ordinary girl engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. The angel told her that she world give birth to a son who would be named Jesus. The angel told her “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you. (Your son) will be great and will be called the son of the God Most High. He will rule the people of Israel and His Kingdom will never end.” Mary was first confused by this message, as she was not yet married. When she understood it, she answered, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.”
3. At the time, Rome ruled a vast territory that included all the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Augustus Caesar was the Roman Emperor (ruler) who wanted to collect taxes from all the people. In order to do so, all the people had to be counted and recorded in an orderly fashion. People were told to return to their family hometowns in order to be properly listed. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth and now they would have to travel, by walking and riding donkeys, 80 miles to Bethlehem.
4. When they arrived in Bethlehem, there were already many people who had arrived before them and they could not find a room to stay in. By now Mary was ready to give birth so they went to a place where the horses and donkeys were stabled in order to rest in clean hay. Jesus was born there. Mary wrapped him in bands of cloth (baby clothes).
5. The night of Jesus’ birth angels appeared to shepherds in nearby fields as they watched flocks of sheep. They were told that a Savior was born for them. “He is Christ the Lord.” Following the angel’s directions, the shepherds found baby Jesus and told Mary and Joseph what the angels’ said. Then they returned to their fields praising God.
6. These shepherds who were young and lived a rough, dirty life among animals were selected by God to be the first to know and tell of Jesus’ birth. Mary, a young, unmarried girl and Joseph a person who worked with his hands were chosen by God to be Jesus’ parents who was born not in a palace but in the hay. Yet, he was destined to be a King worshipped by kings! Notice that God blesses and favors these lowly circumstances. God sent Jesus as the Messiah meaning “Anointed One.” To be anointed with fragrant oil is a ritual like putting a crown on a king’s head. The Latin language (Roman) uses the word savior and in Greek the word for anointed one is Christ. When Jesus was born, God anointed him for the special task of serving as His Son.
7. Take a minute to talk to the children about the creation they are going to be doing in this workshop. Tell them that they will be making a companion banner to the Trial and Crucifixion banner and the two will hang together in the Great Hall.
1. Create! Remind the children of the banner they made last Easter. Tell them that they will be creating a companion banner to tell the story of how God came to the world as His Son Jesus. Show them the cartoon of this banner depicting the angel appearing to Mary (Annunciation), Mary and Joseph traveling for the census and the nativity scene with the shepherds visiting.
2. Pass out materials. Have pieces for the three scenes drawn on fabric swatches for children to cut out. Simple shapes like stars and the Bible verse numbers can be free cut.
3. Steps: Small pieces can be glued down. Larger shapes may be stitched to other shapes or to outlined areas on the backing. Since many skills are involved, the teacher will have to determine which tasks are most suitable for particular age groups.
4. Clean up! Involve all kids in this so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal or sound for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.
1. Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – What messages did angels bring from God – how would you react if angels appeared? The memory verse is from the Old Testament and was written long before Jesus’ birth – do you know that several Old Testament prophets described circumstances of Jesus birth? Can you imagine what a shepherd’s life was like – what was different about their clothing?
1. Encourage the children think about the many places where the Bible tells us that Jesus birth was very special and he is the Son of God.
2. Say the Key Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.
3. Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for sending his Son, Jesus to the world.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
2. Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.
3. Check the art room to see what supplies exist. Purchase needed supplies and make a sample of stitches.
4. Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process. Have the materials ready to go. There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.
5. Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions. Thank God for giving us his son Jesus.
Felt banner backing 3’W x 4.5’H
Yarn - prethread in needles
Liquid Stitch adhesive