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)
1. Jesus came into the world to fulfill God's plan.
2. Doing God's work is a blessing.
3. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to do God's work.
1. Children will view the video ďA Charlie Brown ChristmasĒ
2. Children will discuss gifts and gift giving at Christmas.
3. Children will think of no-cost ways to do Godís work.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.† Wear your nametag.
2. Ask the children: What do you love about Christmas? (presents, fun, family get-togethers, shopping, parties,† etc.) What is one of your favorite things to do during the Christmas season? Why is it so easy to spend all your time thinking about ďgettingĒ at Christmas? (Bring in the Sunday paper with all the flyers of advertisements for things to buy. Show the kids.) Why do stores and TV ads try and sell us all this stuff? (So that they can make money.) Does all this stuff make us forget about what Christmas is really about? Do you sometimes feel greedy about wanting all this stuff? What does greedy mean? Isnít that what stores want us to feel so they can sell more and make more money? Think about what all these ads are trying to make us do.
3. †Tell the children that today they will be watching a video about Charlie Brown who was looking for the real meaning of Christmas. Everybody has a different idea about Christmas. Watch and see who finally tells Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas
4. Distribute the popcorn with help from the Shepherds or volunteer children. (Popcorn† should already be made) OR you may need to start the video immediately and then pass popcorn.
1. Show the video. Itís about 25 minutes long if it is cued after the beginning credits.
2. Discussion: What did Charlie Brown discover about the true meaning of Christmas? (The birth of Jesus) Who finally told Charlie Brown? (Linus, he read from Luke 2)
3. What gift did God give us? (read the memory verse) Why is this gift so special? Ask a volunteer to look up John 3:16 (CEV) or have it written on a piece of paper to give to someone to read: ďGod loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die?Ē Isnít that so much better than a new computer game or clothes or toys?
What did all the other kids in the video think about the meaning of Christmas? Are we sometimes like that?
1. Today we are going to talk about the gifts you have to give. Ask each child to pick an envelope off the Christmas tree. Inside the envelope is a picture of something that represents a gift to give. These gifts donít cost tons of money and arenít advertised on TV and in newspapers and in stores. BUT when we give these gifts we do Godís work. It is a blessing for us to be able to do Godís work. What is the feeling inside us that makes us want to use these gifts to help others? (a good feeling, The Holy Spirit in us)††
2. Open up your envelope and guess what it represents. It will be something that we can give to others. Who would like to share their picture and tell us what gift it represents.
3. Ask the shepherds to distribute the journals and pencils/markers. Paste your picture on your journal sheet. Write the name of your gift and describe who you might give this gift to for Christmas. (First Graders can draw their answers.)
Prayer: Suggestion: Prepare a 5 sentence prayer with one sentence per slip of paper. Number the slips 1-5.† Ask for volunteers to help with the prayer. Give a slip to each volunteer. Line the children up or call out the number as you say the prayer. Suggestions for prayer sentences:
1. Faithful God, you kept your promise of so long ago to send the Savior of the world.†
2. God, it is awesome that you love us so much that you gave us the gift of your son, the baby Jesus.
3. We confess that sometimes we get greedy and think only of the gifts we will get this Christmas and the food and the parties. We forget about why Jesus came into the world.
4. Help us keep the true spirit of Christmas. Help us use the gifts you have given us to share with others. Let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts so we know to do the right things.
5. Bless us all, your children, in the name of Jesus who is Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. Amen.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare envelopes with a picture inside; one for each child.
3. Write the memory verse on the white board.
4. Prepare closing prayer on slips of paper.
5. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. The bin with supplies is in the closet.
6. Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place. The video will be given to you at the Workshop Leaders Bible Study. Be sure to ask for it..
7. PRACTICE OPERATING THE POPCORN MACHINE.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, distributed by Gateway Films/Vision Video. 1996.
Place a picture inside each envelope. Cut out from magazines, clipart, etc. If your class is small, put a couple of pictures in the envelope or the kids can pick 2 envelopes. Put the envelopes on a small artificial tree. There are no right answers but here are some suggestions for the pictures. Let the children use their imagination.
Picture:† ††††††† ††††††† Gift:
Watch, clock†† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Time, patience
Heart†††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† love, kindness
Hands in prayer† ††††††††††† pray for others
Friends, shake hands†† ††††††††††† friendship, fun
Tools, working, vacuum††††††††††† helpfulness
A sad face, cross††† ††††††††††† forgiveness
Candy††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† sharing
Army tank, war, dove††††††† ††††††††††† peacemaking
happy faces†††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† laughter, joy
thumbs up††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† encouragement
Bible, church†† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† faithfulness
Cross, Baby Jesus††† ††††††††††† sharing good news of Jesus,† witness to others
Hospital bed††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† visiting, caring for someone who is sick, old
Telephone, mailbox†††††††††† ††††††††††† thoughtfulness in calling Grandmas and Grandpas, cards, letters
Singing, music, choir††† ††††††††††† enjoyment, sharing gifts with others
Christmas tree (small artificial one to hang the envelopes)
pictures Ė print in color
Closing prayer on slips of paper
The advertisement inserts from a Sunday newspaper