Shepherds and Angels (Revised)
November 13-December 11, 2005
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38
Key Scripture Verse: Luke2: 20 “As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.” (Contemporary English Version)
Memory Verse: “Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (CEV)
Offering: Joy Gift
· God cares equally for all people.
· God communicates with people in different ways.
· We can learn from the shepherds about how to respond to God.
1. Learn that God sent Jesus as a very special example of his love.
2. Understand that shepherds were the first to be told of Jesus’ birth.
3. Recognize that sometimes God’s message is brought by angels.
4. Children will create either an angel or a shepherd figure as a physical reminder of the story.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name tag. Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom! Children will either already have name tags on, or will get a nametag from their shepherd. Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Perhaps: Dear Lord, thank you for this season of Advent that allows us time to prepare our hearts and lives for God’s most precious gift to us, Jesus. Amen.
1. The story of Jesus begins with an angel telling Mary, Jesus’ mother, that she will give birth. Mary was a young woman and she did not think that she was good enough to give birth to a child as special as Jesus. Angels are sometimes used by God to carry messages to people. Mary was awake when the angel visited her, but an angel also came to Joseph in a dream. You may remember other lessons where angels came to people – Peter, Daniel, and the women at Jesus’ tomb. There were many others too, and they were first frightened. Each time the angels began by saying, “Don’t be afraid!” These angels came from God and they brought messages of God’s friendship and caring.
2. In the Christmas story, after Jesus’ birth an angel appeared to shepherds watching their flocks of sheep. Often the job of a shepherd was given to young children or very old people. It was an important job to care for the safety of the animals, but some people who worked in villages thought that shepherds were not as good as themselves. God thought that shepherds were as good as anyone else. Rich or poor, strong or weak, young or old, or anything in between, God loves us all equally. God chose shepherds to be the first to know about Jesus’ birth. The angel told them the good news that “This very day in King David’s hometown a savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is, because you will find him wrapped in cloth and lying in a bed of hay.”
3. Suddenly other angels came from heaven,
singing “Praise God in heaven! Peace on
earth to everyone who pleases God.” The
shepherds decided to go to
1. Create! READ the Bible story (1-3 above) with expression.
2. Tell the children that they will have the choice of making a decorative 3-dimensional angel or shepherd. Show them the samples.
3. Steps: Hand out markers and pre-traced patterns. Older children can cut out the patterns, so have scissors available for them. Have patterns precut for the youngest children. While the children are drawing hair, faces, clothing designs, etc. ask shepherds to start stapling the figures according to the sample (4 per figure starting with two to create a cone for the body, then one on the neck and lastly the hands). The children can use markers before and after stapling is done. Be sure that they recognize that all decoration is to be done on one side (except for the sheep). They can print their names or initials inside the figures.
4. Clean up! Involve everyone in cleaning up so that you will have time to share at the closing. You may want to have a pre-arranged signal 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.
5. Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving. At the end of the rotation, return examples and patterns to the Faith Quest file.
1. Ask the shepherds to pass out journal pages and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – How would you feel if an angel came to you with a message from God? Why were the shepherds first afraid and then happy? Jesus is sometimes called the “Lamb of God.” How can we show our love to Jesus and act like shepherds? Love and care for each other and for God.
2. At 10:40 ask the kids to put away their pencils/markers and prepare for the closing prayer.
1. Encourage them to remember that God worked through shepherds and angels to spread the word of Jesus’ birth.
2. Remind them that their pennies will go to the Joy Gift offering.
3. 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.
4. Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Suggestion: Thank God for the gift of Jesus and for the people around us who, like the shepherds and angels, tell of God’s wonderful love for us.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
2. Practice reading the Bible story (above) with expression.
3. Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.
4. Check the art room and the supply closet to see what supplies exist.
5. Purchase poster board. Trace enough patterns– 2 per sheet. Cut sheets apart before handing out.
6. Experiment with what the children will be doing.
7. 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.
8. Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer, use suggestion provided, or ask for suggestions.
White poster board 22” x 28” with patterns pre-drawn and possibly precut
Glue and yarn for extra decoration if desired