Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 and 2:1-7
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
The main objective of this workshop is to expose the children to the fact that Jesus’ birth was planned for a long time and that God told prophets and people to some extent that Jesus was coming. The children are not expected to remember or recall any of the people or dates in this lesson other than to remember that God told people about Jesus and then made good on his word. Hopefully, the names and dates given will reinforce the story for the children.
Other objectives are:
1. Reaffirm to the children that God is totally in control: God has a plan that has existed from the beginning and is being fulfilled. The birth of Jesus is part of that plan.
2. Introduce the terms “prophet,” “prophecy” and “fulfillment” so that the children might understand what a “fulfillment of prophecy” is.
3. Give examples of prophecies about Jesus that came true with Jesus’ birth.
4. Teach the children that Jesus gives us hope.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today you will learn how Jesus’ birth was something God planned for a very long time. God told the world about the birth ahead of time and then made it happen just as he had planned. God gave us Jesus to give us hope that one day we can always be with God.
Have the children try to recite or read the memory verse. Have it posted somewhere in the room for reference. After saying the verse, ask who is the child referred to in the verse. Jesus. Ask what are some of the other things the verse tells us this child will do or be. Wonderful Advisor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace POWERFUL WORDS!
Ask the children to open their Bibles to Luke while you read the Scripture passage (be prepared to make the jump to the second bit of scripture in Luke). In the oldest grades you can ask for a volunteer to read if you like to do so, but even good readers read the Bible slowly and do not always put the emphasis on the text that you might like. During this time, you can offer a sticker to those children that remembered to bring their Bibles to church.
This workshop will not focus on the birth story. So review it and move on to our focus. Don’t worry that it is not covered sufficiently--other workshops will be covering the Luke story in detail (Apostles Playhouse will act out the whole story, for example). Our focus will be on exposing the children, probably for the first time, to the prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled by Jesus’ birth.
Remember that in the first week(s) of the rotation, the children may not have heard the scripture passage yet, though most regular church attendees will know the birth story. After reading the passage, you can move on or you can ask a few questions to reinforce the story. Probably the most important points to make are about Mary and Joseph being in David’s line, David being from Bethlehem and Jesus being born in Bethlehem. You will probably have to give many of the answers yourself.
A possible reinforcing Q and A series:
How did Mary know she was going to have a baby and name it Jesus? An angel told her. Whom did she marry? Joseph What else did the angel say about Jesus? Would be Son of God, king who would rule Israel forever. Why did Mary and Joseph have to travel when the baby was about to be born? The government (Roman Empire) wanted everyone to go to the town where his or her family came from. Does anyone know what a descendant is? Someone who is the child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc of someone else is called their descendant. Who were Mary and Joseph the descendants of? David (of David and Goliath story) Where was David from? Bethlehem. So they went to Bethlehem, which was David’s hometown. Then Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem.
1. After reading the scripture, start on the following activities.
2. Older children: Pass out worksheets (see attached worksheet) and pencils to the older children and ask them to try to complete them. Tell them that during the story time they will hear answers so they can complete or correct their answers.
3. Younger children: Divide the younger children in groups of 3 to 5 children (depending on how many you have and how many word puzzles you make—see attached word puzzle). Hand out a word puzzle to each group. Ask them to try to fit the pieces together to make words. You or the shepherd should supervise to make sure no one gets frustrated because the words will probably be new to each of them.
4. Give each child a cup and tell them not to bend or break the cup because they might need it later. They should anticipate something is coming, but do not tell them what.
5. Tell the attached story. See attached story. Please fell free to add your own input, drama, and/or style. Try not to read the story. Tell the story with flair! You can use index cards to prompt you. During the story you can use the suggested props. Visuals will make the story more exciting for the students.
6. When you are finished with the story you can fill their cups with a drink and tell them this is to help them remember the story—that they were given a cup that hinted that something was coming and then it did. Next you can give them some candy, a cookie, some crackers or a sticker and tell them that this is to help them remember that God always gives us more than we were expecting, “more than we dare ask or imagine.” from Ephesians 3:20-21 CEV.
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers. The completed worksheets can be added to the journal. Tell the older students to write down what they thought was the most interesting part of the story today or anything learned for the first time—at least one thing. They can refer to their worksheets if they like. Tell the younger students to draw a picture of God speaking with a prophet or the prophet speaking with the people. Tell them to use their imagination of how to draw God (if anyone is frustrated give hints, such as draw his glory using a bright or white color, or have God off the page and just his words coming on the page.
Prayer: Ask God to bless the children for coming to hear about his Word. Thank God for the hope of eternal life with God by believing in Jesus.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Pray that God will guide you to teach what God wants taught during this workshop and scripture passage. Pray for a loving and patient attitude toward the children.
2. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
3. Prepare a closing prayer.
4. Please read the scriptures. Read and re-read the attached story so that you become familiar enough with the story that you can tell the story instead of reading the story to the students. Make index cards for prompts if that helps you. Making props will assist you in the delivery of the story, if you wish to use them.
Suggested Supply List
· small paper cups, enough for everyone to have one
· prepared drink, such as lemonade
· candy (something neat, such as M and M's) or cookies or crackers, or stickers
· Stickers if you want to reward those who brought their Bible
· crepe paper streamer roll
· pictures or drawings of characters in the story
· card stock
Nave’s Topical Bible
Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study
The Advent Story:
The Birth of Jesus as the Fulfillment of Prophecy,
A story for Good News
Today, I want to tell you how the birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy. Does anyone know what “fulfillment of prophecy” means? These are words from your worksheet/word puzzle.
Fulfillment means completion or finishing of something
Prophecy means words said about something that is going to happen but has not yet happened.
So “fulfillment of prophecy” means that somebody said something was going to happen and it did!
Prophecy sounds like prophet. What is a prophet?
A prophet is a person who tells what is going to happen before it happens.
How do you think a prophet knows what is going to happen?
God tells a prophet something that’s going to happen.
God knows what is going to happen and he shares this with the prophet. The prophet is supposed to tell other people. Many of the books of the Old Testament are named after prophets. Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel are a few. What would it be like to be a prophet? Would you like to know about something before it happened? Would it be hard to make other people believe that God had told you these things?
God told some people and prophets about Jesus’ birth. All of these prophecies were written in the Old Testament before Jesus was born. When God talked about Jesus coming, God did it a little bit at a time, almost like God was hinting at it without giving all the details.
What does that mean, hinting without giving all the details? Let’s pretend your grandparents are planning a big surprise for you. They might only tell you a little bit at a time. First, they say, “Don’t plan anything to do on Friday afternoon—keep it open to do something with us.”
Then on Thursday, they might call you and say, “Wear old clothes tomorrow.”
And Friday at noon, they might drop by your house to pick you up and give you a pair of rubber boots in your size. Then they might ask you to get in the car. Then finally they stop the car at a creek to go fishing, which is something you have wanted to do for a long time.
Do you see how you were only told a little at a time, and maybe only what you needed to know at each step of the way? Do you see what a nice surprise it was?
God gave hints about Jesus’ birth.
First, he chose Abraham and told him “All the people on earth will be blessed through you.” (from Genesis 12:2 NIV.) These words did not mention Jesus’ birth but did say that something good for all the people on earth will come from Abraham. Jesus IS that blessing, given to all people. Jesus came through Abraham because Abraham is one of his ancestors. Does everyone know what an ancestor is? A relative who came before you, such as a grandfather, grandmother, great grandfather or great grandmother. Did you know about this relationship between Abraham and Jesus? It is true. God said these words to Abraham about 4,000 years ago, which is about 2,000 years before Jesus was born. But even then God had already planned to send Jesus into the world.
Do you remember David who killed Goliath and later became a famous king of the Jewish people? God told a prophet named Nathan to tell David (in God’s words), “I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.” (2 Samuel 7:16 CEV) What God meant was that one of David’s descendants would rule forever, and that person is Jesus, who is a great, great, many greats grandson of David. This was 1000 years before Jesus was born.
About 750 years before Jesus was born, God told a prophet named Isaiah that a son would be born for us. That son is Jesus. This is your memory verse. Let’s read or say it now again.
"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
God told a prophet named Micah that a special ruler would come from Bethlehem. We know who was born in Bethlehem, don’t we? Jesus. That was 700 years before Jesus was born.
About 600 years before Jesus’ birth, God also told Jeremiah, a prophet, that one of David’s descendants will be a good king. The LORD said, “Someday I will appoint an honest king from the family of David, a king who will be wise and rule with justice.” (Jeremiah 23:5 CEV) The king God is talking about is Jesus.
So we know that God planned to send Jesus from the beginning. God told a lot of prophets and other people about Jesus. What God told the prophets came true, exactly the way God planned it. So we know God is in control and Jesus’ birth was the “fulfillment of prophecy.” He was a descendant of Abraham and David, born in Bethlehem, and a blessing to all people of the earth. .
Why did God send Jesus? God wants us to believe and accept Jesus because Jesus is also God. And if we do that, we are saved and will live in heaven with God after we leave this earth. Does that give you hope?
Draw a line between each word and what it means. Circle your favorite new word.
Completion of something
Words said that something is going to happen that has not yet happened
Person who says things that God has told him to say
Child, grandchild or any number of greats grandchild of someone
Instructions: Using a heavy paper, such as card stock, print the words fulfillment, prophecy, prophet, descendent. Use a different color for each word. Print them with some space between the letters so that you can cut them apart, such as ful – fill – ment, pro – phet , pro – phecy, des – cen – dent. Cut the words apart and put one complete set of all the words in a baggy. Make up several of these packages (at least 4).
When you hand them out, tell each group of children to try to fit the pieces together. Tell them that these are new and big words and that you and the shepherd will give them lots of help. You might hold up the first piece of a word and tell them to look for it, then show the next piece and tell them to add it to the first. The main objective is to have the children focus on the words so that they may remember them. You don’t want to spend more than a few minutes on this. Leave the pieces in front of them. Tell them the story will explain what these words mean and then they can look down at the words as you tell the story.
Ideas for Props
(Or Do Your Own)
Before Faith Quest, use card stock or paper to make up cards with the dates and the names and/or pictures of the people in the story.
Use a crepe paper streamer roll for a timeline. Roll out a length of about 10-12 feet. Don’t cut it. Leave the rest rolled up. Place it on the floor or a table. Start the timeline from the rolled out piece.
As you discuss a person, have one child place the date and another child place the person. (You can hand out the pieces ahead of time or have a child choose the pieces off a table.) At the end of the story you can say that the rolled up part of the streamer roll is God’s plan that hasn’t happened yet.
Abraham 2000 BC
Nathan (and David) 1000 BC
Isaiah 750 BC
Micah 700 BC
Jeremiah 600 BC
Jesus 1 AD