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This topic shares some favorite Advent and Christmas videos for in-church and at-home learning that are especially helpful here in 2020 with pandemic restrictions affecting our gatherings, teaching activities, and traditions.  

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Many of these recommendations are also found in our main ADVENT FORUM featuring all sorts of ideas and Advent lessons, This topic of Advent videos is meant to be a sort of "best of the best."

Your best video recommendations welcome!

If you like creative ideas and resources like these,
please join us as a Registered or Supporting Member!

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Here are two good "about Advent" video clips that can be shared with the members of your church. 

Clip 1: Advent in 2 Minutes

This first 2-minute video, "Advent in 2 minutes" defines what Advent is, and more importantly, what it means. Share it with your members to view at home. Include some questions about what they re doing to prepare their hearts for Advent. It is also suitable for use in worship and Sunday School.

Clip 2: "The Beginning"

"The Beginning" (2010) is a terrific short film produced by the same folks who created the Jesus Film. It starts with a high-quality Creation Story then moves into the story of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac as a way of laying the groundwork for the coming sacrifice of the promised Messiah. Prophets, promises, including those from Isaiah, are featured. The language is kid-friendly. It's free and can either be viewed online in HD, or downloaded as an MP4 video and played on any DVD player or computer.

Below is the YouTube version of "The Beginning." You can also view or download the high-def version from the Jesus Film website.

 

Videos recommended by our Writing Team for these Advent lessons:

  • The Prophets foretell the Messiah
  • Gabriel visits Mary (Luke), An angel visits Joseph (Matthew)
  • Mary's Song of Joy
  • Shepherds and Angels
  • The visit of the Magi, Wisemen

The Rotation.org Writing Team has written a bunch of creative "Video Workshop" lesson plans for the above Advent stories (and more). These lesson plans can be found in our ADVENT LESSON FORUM.

Below we've excerpted their video choices and listed their URLs so you can share them with families for viewing at home or at church.

Note: The Team's lesson plans themselves are open to our Supporting Members (join now). The videos are open to the public. 

Here are their recommended Advent videos for teaching:

Prophet's foretell: "The Beginning" ...really good. See the Isaiah lesson plan.
Open the video on YouTube. https://youtu.be/kCgcQ9PrSik

The Angel visits Mary/Joseph and Shepherds and Angels: “The First Christmas: the Birth of Jesus” from the New Superbook series. See the lesson planLink to free viewing.  https://us-en.superbook.cbn.co...ayer?v=3769066400001

Mary's Song of Joy: "The Promise"  YouTube Linkhttps://youtu.be/Rj4Mx7xHZ28 
See the lesson plan with options

Magi, Wisemen: Four short clips. See the complete lesson plan with discussion guide to understand how we weave clips from Disney's terrific "Moana" movie (about a girl searching for something more) with Bible story clips in this unique musical-video lesson!

Clip 1: The 3 Wisemen https://youtu.be/Zk1LhnqROCM
Clip 2: How Far I'll Go (from Disney's Moana) https://youtu.be/cPAbx5kgCJo
Clip 3: We Know the Way (from Disney's Moana) https://youtu.be/ubZrAmRxy_M
Clip 4: Moana and the Magi Know the Way  (View this clip first to understand why we picked the other two clips from Moana) https://youtu.be/1pRI8fJpLCk

Recognize the voice? It's Lin Manuel-Miranda of Hamilton fame. He wrote and sang the song and we mashed it with a Magi video to create a lesson about searching and finding (the theme of both Moana and the Magi stories).

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

A review of some of "Christmas story movies" past and present.

The Nativity (2006 live-action full-length movie) 

The Star  (2017 animated)

The Fourth Wiseman  starring Martin Sheen and Alan Arkin, available at Vision Video. They've also posted the entire video on YouTube.)  A great movie to teach with too.

See all these reviews and more at https://www.rotation.org/topic...5#572285145726844975



Saddleback Kids' Animated "Short" Video: The story of Christmas

the Story of Christmas, aka "Mary and Joseph" is on YouTube, https://youtu.be/XkEypzmHwCI




Animated Hero Classics: The Maccabees and the Story of Hanukkah 

This Nest Entertainment video is great. View the Trailer below or on YouTube at  https://youtu.be/4ZWFHl-4FVQ.  Available at Nest Learning.

You can also find lessons here at Rotation.org for kids about Hanukkah, including one that uses this video. These lessons connect the festival and its theme of "light" to Jesus the light of the world. Written by Pastor Ron Shifley, a member of our community!

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

For those of you who own a copy (or are inclined to buy one) of
What's in the Bible? DVD #10: "Jesus is the the Good News!" 

Episode 1 in DVD #10 presents a very good overview of the "Inter-testamental" period's events and groups in Israel that immediately precede and set the stage for the coming of the Messiah, i.e. the Birth of Jesus. Maccabees, Pharisees, Roman conquest, etc. It's all very kid-friendly and entertaining, while also being informative about the world Jesus was born into (and why it's important to know). While mostly for primary grades, I think youth and adults will get a lot out of this Episode too and enjoy the humor.

  • Watch it in small groups.
  • Lend it out to families (put it in a special bag with a list of "who to deliver it to next" included.)

Here's a brief outline of Episode 1 (25 minutes)

Chapter 1: Old Testament Recap (0:00)

  • Michael in the car (funny, and actually pretty deep!)
  • 1:49 mark, Theme Song
  • 3:40 Buck and Phil begin the OT Recap "What have we learned from the OT?" (A good question to ask your kids.) "The OT is like a story without an ending."
  • 6:40 "Why did God wait so long?" Pastor Bob and Church Lady explain the "fullness of time." Good section!

Chapter 2: Spread a Blessing (6:50 minute mark)

  • Church lady and others continue to explain the gap between the Testaments and why God waited.
  • 8:00 Alexander the Great changes the Middle East. How the Roman Empire took over and built roads. 
  • 11:00 "Pax Romana" How the Peace of Rome helped spread the blessing. Song.

Chapter 3: Four Jewish Groups (13:00 minute mark)

  • What were the Jews doing while they waited for the Messiah?
  • 13:55 Pirate's Guide to Jewish History: Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, Essenes

Chapter 4: Time for the New Testament (17 minute mark)
(Note: If you're short on time, or using this with very young children, you could skip Ch 4.)

Note: Supporting Members can access the PDF Guides to all 13 DVDs in the series HERE.

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