BIG IDEA: JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
AIM: The ‘Christmas Carol’ Childrens Lesson takes the Christmas carol ‘Mary Did You Know?’ and the bible passage to challenge children to think about what Jesus’ birth means to them.
- ‘Mary Did You Know?’ by 12 year old Aaliyah Rose
- ‘Breath of Heaven’
- ‘No Ordinary Baby – the Greatest Gift of All’
- Christmas Carol Battle. (regular/widescreen) Split your group into teams and give them a list of Christmas Carols. Let them practice the carols and see if they can remember the lyrics. You can then either take the papers away or let them keep them. Each team must take turns to sing a carol for 30 seconds. They have 5 seconds in between each song to start singing. The team that stops singing on their turn is eliminated. The last team singing is the winning team.
- Human Top Trumps. (regular/widescreen) Children split into teams. The leader asks teams to find their player that has something special about them. Each time the child that has this runs to the leader to compete. The leader should decide who is the winner each time. Special things include: longest tongue, longest fingernail, smallest ears, curliest hair etc
- Human Present. (regular/widescreen) Split your group into teams. Players must choose one person to be the present. The team is handed a roll of Christmas wrapping, decorations and scissors and tape. They must wrap up the player as a human present. The team with the best present at the end is the winning team. Application: Are presents the most important thing about Christmas? [Get feedback] Jesus is the reason for CHRISTmas and He is who we celebrate today!
BIG VERSE: A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.
INTRO QUESTION: What is your favorite thing about Christmas?
SET the Scene:
- ‘Gabriel Visits Mary’ from the Nativity Story
- ‘God Sent an Angel to Mary’
- ‘Angel Visits Mary’
- ‘The Story of Christmas: Mary and Joseph’ by Saddleback Kids
- How many months pregnant was Elizabeth? (verse 26 – six months)
- Who did God send to Mary? (verse 26 – angel Gabriel)
- Where did He send the angel? (verse 26 – Nazareth – town in Galilee)
- Who was Mary pledged to marry? (verse 27 – Joseph, a descendent of David)
- What did the angel call Mary? (verse 28 – highly favored)
- How did Mary feel about this? (verse 29 – greatly troubled and wondered)
- What did the angel say in return to Mary? (verse 30 – don’t be afraid, Mary had found favour with God)
- What did he say would happen to Mary? (verse 31 – she would conceive and give birth to a son – Jesus)
- Who would Jesus be? (verse 32 – Son of the Most High, reign over Jacob’s descendants forever)
- How did the angel tell Mary she would have a baby? (verse 35 – conceived by the Holy Spirit)
- What would the holy one be called? (verse 35 – Son of God)
- What did Mary say? (verse 38 – Mat your word be fulfilled)
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) NO ORDINARY CHILD
You will need some paper and marker pens. You will also need to play the song ‘Mary Did You Know’ or hand out the song words to the group.
Say: Every child is special and unique. But there was something especially different and special about Jesus. There never was and there never will be another baby like him. He wasn’t just a one-of-a-kind child – He was a new kind of child.
Invite the children to create their own animal; it could have a fox’s tail with an elephant’s trunk for example. Explain that it can’t just be a type of cat or a type of dog (for example). It must be a new kind of animal. Allow them to spend a few minutes drawing them. Ask them to name the animal.
These animals aren’t just a different type of lion, or a different type of giraffe, they are their own kind of animal. Now, Jesus isn’t a type of animal (obviously!) and He hasn’t been designed by anyone. He’s not a new species. Yet Jesus was born of God – the Holy Spirit – He wasn’t just another child – He was completely different – a new kind of child. Just like our animals are new kinds of animals. Why? Because Jesus was and is God – God’s Son. There never has been and there never will be anyone like Him. There will never be another baby born fully God and fully man – and that’s just who Jesus was born!
The song ‘Mary Did You Know?’ was written by a man named Mark Lowry as a poem in 1984. Mark remembers his mum saying to him that if anybody knew that Jesus was no ordinary child – a child born when Mary had done nothing to have a baby – Mary knew! Mary knew she had done nothing – Jesus was a free gift from God. Jesus was born of God.
It must have been an amazing moment for Mary to meet the baby that the angel had told her about. Yet Mary would have to wait nine months until she would meet this beautiful baby boy. The angel told Mary who the baby would be. The angel said in verses 32-33:
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
The angel also tells Mary the baby will be made in a very special way (verse 35):
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
So Mary knew that this baby was no ordinary child – He would be the Son of God.
Mark says that he wrote the poem ‘Mary Did You Know?’ by sitting down and asking a series of questions that he wanted to ask Mary. For seven years he carried his poem with him. Imagine that?! Then in 1991 he asked his friend Buddy Greene to write the music to go with his poem. Buddy held onto the poem for two weeks. Then one day he wrote the music in half an hour.
Both the poet and the musician wrote this song because they knew that Jesus was no ordinary child. He is the Son of God. The one who created the heavens and the earth. Chapter 1 of John’s Gospel tells us Jesus was there at the beginning of time – because Jesus is both God and came to live on earth as fully God and fully man. WOW! He is amazing and was definitely no ordinary child!
2) JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
- For older children: Print out lots of cards with the different names for Jesus on them. If the children cannot read you will need to read the card that they have been given out to them. You may need to explain what some of the words mean if they do not already know. This activity might be best done in small groups. Once the children have chosen a name for Jesus you can give them some paper to draw and reflect on what that means to them.
- For younger children: Ask the children to shout out names for Jesus that they already know. You could hold up prompts such as a crown for King of Kings and a torch for Light of the World and some bread for ‘Bread of Life’ or a cup of water for ‘Water of Life’, a picture of a road for ‘The Way’ etc. If the children don’t have any answers, you could explain the reason for the items you have brought and explain that Jesus is known for many things and has many names, yet He is the Son of God [bring out a doll to end].
Say: Who is Jesus to you? Mary knew that Jesus was God’s Son because she believed all that the angel had spoke n to her. She replied “may your word to me be fulfilled.” That means she wanted the angel’s words to be true and to come to pass.
Mary chose to put God first because she knew that the child born to her was God’s Son. Mary’s whole life would change. She would have to look after a little baby, every day. She could have said no to God, but she knew that Jesus was God’s Son and she wanted to do God’s will.
3) JESUS: SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
If you have a globe or an inflatable world to hold this would work well for this object lesson.
Say: If you could choose one person to save the world, who would you choose? [Get feedback] Maybe you wouldn’t choose to send a baby – and definitely not your own son, especially if you knew they would need to die to save it, to save everyone.
The name Jesus is a very special name. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that the angel spoke to Joseph and told him about this very special name. He says in Matthew 1:21:”She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” In fact, the name ‘Jesus’ means ‘Savior’. The Angel Gabriel also told Mary the baby’s name would be Jesus. Luke 1:31 says, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
God had a master plan; that Jesus was to save the world. He came to save the world from all the wrong things that they have thought, said and done. Those things separate us from a perfect God that has never done any wrong. Our perfect God cannot be around people that have done wrong. Blood had to be paid so that we could be forgiven for the wrongs that we have thought, said and done. Jesus came to save the world by dying on the cross. When he died and rose again he made a way for us to come back to God – to be friends with God! All we have to do is ask him to come into our lives, change us and make us more like Him. We can pray now if you want? [Lead the children that would like to receive Jesus in a prayer]
Pray: Father God, thank You that You sent Jesus. Jesus thank You that You came so that I can be forgiven. Please forgive me today and help me to live more like You. Amen.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Print off the Baubles 1 and Baubles 2. You will need a present such as chocolates. Wrap the present with saran wrap/clingfilm. In each layer add a bible verse or forfeit and a candy. Switch it up so the child doesn’t know which to expect.
Players pass the present around a circle and when the music stops they take one layer of saran wrap/clingfilm off. The winner is the player that takes off the last layer and gets the present at the end when the music stops.
- Who is Jesus to you?
- How do you think Mary felt when she saw the angel?
- How do you think Mary felt when she was told she would have a baby?
- How did Mary put God first?
- How do you put God first in your life?
SENSE How You Feel:
How do you think Mary felt when the angel appeared to her?
You could use one of the activities to create below as the children consider their answer to this question:
- Sensory: Place white feathers and light blue cloth on the sensory table. You could even place some small angel figurines on the table, if they are clean and safe to use with no sharp edges.
- Build: Invite children to build an angel and Mary scene with the lego or building blocks.
- Make an Angel using the Make an Angel sheet.
- Create a standing angel craft using the Angel Stand Up Craft Template.
- Color/Fill in the 5-7s and 8-11s booklets.
- Check out the Pinterest board here.
Circle Time: You will need a doll to hold as you talk. Encourage the children to pass the doll around. Explain to the children that they are to imagine that this doll is Jesus – the Son of God, Savior of the World. Invite them to tell you how they would feel or to show you their facial reaction to meeting the Son of God. Play a chosen version of the song ‘Mary Did You Know?’ from the above list.
Say: Mary was given such a special job to do. She would raise the Son of God. And it all started when she listened to the angel’s words and believed. She said yes to what God wanted her to do. Just as Mary was met by an angel and she saw and heard God speak to her, that is also possible for us today. We can hear and see the things of God. Some of us are going to see angels. Some of us are going to have special dreams like Joseph did. We are going to hear from God in many different ways. We can expect to hear His voice when we choose to follow Him! Are you excited?! I’m excited to hear His voice. So let’s spend a few minutes now listening out for Him – the God of the Universe speaking to us! [Wait whilst you allow the Holy Spirit to move]
You may be thinking something now, that might be God speaking to you. Perhaps you have a picture in your mind, a video playing in your head, maybe you sense a different kind of feeling or your body is feeling different. Perhaps you have a bible verse or a phrase/sentence in your head.
[Allow the children to spend a few minutes listening, sensing, seeking God]
Did anyone experience anything that they would like to share with the rest of the group? [At this point encourage all the children in the ways they respond. It is really key not to laugh or mock anything and not to show shock. Simply listen and encourage your children. If a child is sad because they have not sensed God you can remind them that we are practicing listening to His voice. It takes time to recognise a person’s voice. Just like being on the phone, when you have heard the person’s voice lots you will know them straight away, but sometimes it can be difficult to recognise their voice if you have not spoken to them before.]