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Jesus is Born!
a fun interactive software lesson
for at-home or in-church use
Download the free software for PC ~ Fluffy and God's Amazing Christmas Adventure
Normally, this software is only available to our Supporting Members, however THIS ADVENT we are making it available to all our members and giving you permission to share this downloadable file with the members of your congregation. It may not otherwise be publicly distributed.
Summary of the Lesson:
You will use several sections of Fluffy and God’s Amazing Christmas Adventure software to learn and reflect on both Matthew’s story of the angel who appeared to Joseph and the birth of Jesus according to Luke. Through this lesson, you will come to know the story of Jesus’ birth so that you can share the story and not merely celebrate it.
Scriptures for the lesson:
For additional reading, see the Bible Background.
What you need:
- Install and preview Fluffy & God’s Amazing Christmas Adventure on a PC
- Print or have available on your device the software program’s outline
NOTE: This lesson cherry-picks several interactive activities and animations from menu items 2 and 4 in the Fluffy software. Be sure to explore the program’s other Advent story activities and presentations some other time.
Start your lesson!
1) Introducing angels
Ask: What is an angel? (Allow all answers.)
Say: Our computer game will answer this question. I’ll ask this question again at the end of the lesson.
Ask: What stories in the Bible do you remember that have angels in them? (Hopefully, one answer they say is “the Christmas story.”)
If necessary, jog their memories a little bit about angels. You might mention the angel at the end of the Garden of Eden story, or the angels that visited Sarah.
2) Begin in “Yo! Joe & Mary”
Then enjoy God’s presentation about the angel appearing to both Mary and Joseph.
Other “Yo!” pop up menu options at this time can be skipped for the purposes of this lesson. You will return to “Yo! Joe and Mary” at the end of this lesson to complete the Angel Fluffimation activity.
3) Skip to “Jump for Joy” ...in Bethlehem
On the software’s main menu, click area 4, “Jump for Joy,” to enter Bethlehem to begin learning about the story of Jesus’ birth according to Luke 2. (Enter “Bethlehem House” and “Luke 2 Theater” by clicking on the signpost.)
In Bethlehem House:
The main point of Bethlehem House’s tour is to teach children that the word “inn” probably means “guest room.” This understanding of the surroundings of Jesus’ birth tells us that he was probably born among extended family and not “out in the cold” as some traditional depictions have led us to believe. Indeed, in many small homes of that era and region, the stable was a room attached to the house.
This would be a good place to discuss with older students how our thinking about the birth of Jesus has been shaped by traditions, songs, and Christmas artwork (like creches, cards, ornaments). For example, in the song “Noel, Noel,” we sing “on a cold winter’s night that was so deep” --which conjures up images of snow at Jesus’ birth. Yet it rarely if ever snows in Bethlehem in the winter, and most of the year it is quite warm (like northern Florida-warm). This is also a good opportunity to teach that the Bible doesn’t mention the month of Jesus’ birth. Scholars suggest it was fixed on Dec 25 many years later for reasons you can read about here and elsewhere.
Other common misconceptions:
- What animals are mentioned in the birth story? None
- Were there angels at the birth? No. Luke says the angels appeared out in the field to the shepherds.
- Did the Magi visit Jesus at the manger? No. Matthew 2:1 says it was after he was born, and Matthew 2:11 says they found Jesus in a house.
- Was there a bright star overhead at the manger? Probably not. According to Matthew 2, the Magi arrived sometime after the birth. The Bible doesn’t say the star was bright, only that it rose and appeared.
- These are important points for your children to hear from you now because they will undoubtedly hear about these misconceptions from other sources as they grow older.
In Luke 2 Theater:
This fun presentation recounts the census and birth (Luke 2:1-7) plus the arrival of the shepherds –all of which left Mary “pondering.”
(Skip the Super Jesus Fluffimation activity.)
4) Reflect: Using the Angel Fluffimation
Say: The story of Jesus’ birth is meant to be shared and not just celebrated by giving gifts and singing songs. Jesus’ birth is a statement to the world that God is with us, that God has not abandoned us. That God saves us. That is why we are learning this story in-depth. In this activity, you will prepare yourselves to KNOW the story so you can SHARE the story.
What is an angel? (A messenger.)
When you SHARE the story, you become an angel of the Lord, a “messenger.”
Return to section 2 on the main menu, “Yo! Joe and Mary.” Watch the presentation again about the angel’s announcement (it can’t be bypassed). Then click to open the “Angel Fluffimation” activity.
The Angel Fluffimation is like an interactive “mad-lib” activity. Users respond onscreen to a number of questions by typing answers, and then the program takes their responses and puts them into a narrated script they will hear and see. The script is a retelling of the Matthew 1 and Luke 2 scriptures using the student’s words.
It is recommended that you complete and share the Fluffimation multiple times. After hearing and discussing it the first time, do the Fluffimation again to refine your thoughts and give others a chance to do the inputting.
Suggestion: after you hear each Fluffimation, point out interesting insights that the words chosen created (a great teachable moment).
Adapted from this Rotation.org Writing Team lesson
Copyright Rotation.org Inc.