We have heard about how God is everywhere.God knows everything. God is powerful. God is holy. God is faithful. Today we find out that God has made a way for us to know him.
Mary and Joseph were in the stable. That night something amazing had happened. Jesus had been born as a baby. Jesus was not just an ordinary baby – he was God’s Son sent from heaven.
Out in the fields there were some shepherds looking after their sheep. It was dark. There were stars up in the sky. Suddenly an angel was there! This angel had a message from God.
The shepherds were scared!
‘Don’t be afraid,’ the angel said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that is for everyone. Today in the Town of David a Saviour has been born to you!’
Who is this Saviour? It is Jesus
The angel told the shepherds ‘ You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and in a manger’.
Then there were lots and lots of angels in the sky singing. It was such a special night – a Saviour had been born.
Then the angels were gone. The shepherds looked at each other. ‘let’s go and find this special baby’, they said to each other.
They dashed into the town and they looked. And they found him – the Saviour sent from God was there. God had sent Jesus to be our Saviour so that we can know God. The shepherds found Jesus. You can find Jesus too.
The characters are from Early Learning Centre. The ‘straw’ is shredded tissue paper.
One day a man called Zechariah was in the temple. It was a very special place where people went to worship God. Zechariah had a special job to do there – just once in his life! He was a priest and he had been chosen to go and burn some incense that would make the temple small beautiful. He was all by himself. all the other people had to wait outside.
Suddenly an angel was there with him. Angels are big, strong messengers from God. Zechariah was frightened!
‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel said, ‘God has heard your prayers and you and your wife Elisabeth are going to have a baby son.You will give him the name John.’
Now Zechariah should have believed the angel but he didn’t! ‘How can that happen? he said Elisabeth and I are far too old to have children!’
The angel said, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in God’s presence everyday! I was sent to give you this good news. Now since you haven’t believed me you won’t be able to talk until the baby is born.’ Then Gabriel went away.
Zechariah finished what he was doing. He went outside but he couldn’t tell anyone what had happened!
He went back home. Time went by. Would God keep his promise?
God always keeps his promises. God is faithful. Zechariah and Elisabeth had a baby boy and they called him John.
Learning the Books of the Bible is really useful – just having an idea of whereabouts a book is and what kind of book it is can be helpful when we are finding our way around God’s Book. For a brief description of the Old Testament books take a look here.
For the New Testament the pegs work really well as a reference and by playing games with the pegs – mixing them up and putting them back in the right order – children can begin to get a feel for the order.
The pegs are wooden attached to a wire coat hanger – the names of the books are written on with biro and then a colour to represent the NT is added at one end and then different colours for categories at the other end.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – the gospels or life story of Jesus.
Acts – history of the early church
Romans through to Jude – letters. Explain that some of the names of the letters refer to where they were sent (e.g Philippians). Others refer to the name of the person who received the letter, (e.g I and 2 Timothy) while others refer to the person who wrote the letter (e.g 1,2.and 3 John).
Revelation – prophecy relating to end time events.
To tell the story from Luke 8 I used some simple pictures. I introduced ‘Jairus’ first and asked the children to repeat his name and say hello.
The pictures I used were a selection of symbols and a photo of a house that I made from a shoe box, and one phrase. I realise that the children weren’t necessarily going to be able to read this but the adult listeners are there too! Plus is a useful prompt for the storyteller 🙂 They are all held together with string and so make one large visual aid by the end of the story.
to add something to the telling of the Christmas story – add sheep and camels that stand up on pegs for legs.
Draw a simple camel or sheep (without legs!) on to card and cut out. Add the pegs.
You could also do this as a craft activity – just be careful with the pegs.
In the Bible Alphabet at Toddler group we are on to ‘f’. I decided to go with field – the story that Jesus told about the man who found treasure buried in a field, sold all he had, bought the field and then owned the treasure. You can find the story in Matthew 13:44.
To tell the story – I had a small treasure chest hidden under a green cloth and a spade. I went digging in someone’s field (it is important to mention that it belonged to someone else) and found the treasure – was anyone looking? No! So I hid the treasure and went and got all my stuff to sell. For this I had a bag of my stuff – a picture of a house, a toy car, my phone, a laptop, chocolate biscuits, a shirt – all sorts of things – to show that everything was sold. Then I went back and bought the field and dug up the treasure which now belonged to me.
Main teaching – knowing God is more important than anything else.
Note – the story is a parable so I felt quite happy to add a few anachronisms.
Simple craft – A4 brown sugar paper folded in half. From the folded join draw a treasure chest shape and cut so you have a treasure chest that opens on the join. Write ‘Can you find the treasure? on the outside. Children glue ‘treasure’ inside. Make sure they are left to dry open or they will stick closed.
I used some small glittery shapes that could be sprinkled over the wet glue. Very effective, lots of fun and messy!
Following on from where Jesus was born – Bethlehem – who took care of him? Mary and Joseph. In this story we concentrated on Joseph and the job he did.
With young children I sometimes like to have some objects in a bag – it keeps them interested and watching what is going on and objects help to explain words and concepts.
In the story bag
A knitted doll – Joseph
A toy saw and hammer
Pieces of wood