Skip to main content

The lesson plans, ideas, and resources in this "General" forum about Jesus' Birth tend to cover the "entire" story of Jesus' birth, rather than focusing on individual parts or persons in it. Check our other Advent story forums for lessons that are more specific to particular persons or episodes, such as angels, Mary, shepherds, Magi, etc. Don't forget the Writing Team's extra creative Advent lesson sets too!

Here are the lessons and outline to my church's 3-hour Christmas Vacation Bible School we called "The Gift of Christmas Event."

It could easily be adapted for Sunday morning lessons as well.

The event last three hours and we scheduled it for a weekend afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.

  1. We had a 15 minute opening (to give kids a chance to be dropped off).  During the opening, they decorated gift bags--at each activity station they got an item to put into their bag.
  2. Then we had 5 activity stations (each 30 minutes long). 
  3. There was a 15" closing session at the end where the kids could watch a video or color while waiting for their parents.

We divided our kids into 3 groups. Each group had 2 youth group members serving as guides.  Each activity station had a teacher and a helper.  One of these 2 persons was the narrator--we told the Christmas story from the perspective of 5 different characters. 

Guide Information

Here is a brief overview:

STATIONNarratorActivity Overview


Gift Bag Item

Openingn/a15" gathering time. Tables with crayons and markers so that kids can decorate their gift bagsThe gift bag!
GamesMaryGo through an obstacle course--the various obstacles retell Mary's storyflyer about our church and Sunday School
DramaShepherdPut on costumes and act out the storyChristmas tract--The Gift of Christmas
CookingAngelPut together a snack mix--the ingredients help tell the storyTheir left-over snack and the "recipe" (with the meanings)
ArtJosephCreate an ornament--one for themselves and others to share with people receiving a basket from the food pantry.Their tree
GiftMagiThey will put together a brownie mix (in a bag not a jar) as a gift.The gift and the recipe
Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Gift of Christmas "VBS" Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Opening and Closing Time

Station Summary

During the opening time, the students will decorate gift bags that they will take with them to the various stations.  If there is additional time, they can color or play with play dough.

During the closing time, while waiting to be picked up, the children can watch some short video clips (or color and play with play dough).  If there are still ornaments to be made from the Craft Station (we are using kits to put together ornaments for the people receiving Christmas food baskets in town), then the children could put more of these together.


Preparation 

Pray for the children and for your time with them.

Materials List:

  • Paper gift bags in solid colors--one per child
  • Name tags--2 per child (one for their shirt, one for their gift bag)
  • Signs for the tables (each group will be at a different table)
  • Large trays from kitchen (so that the guides can carry the gift bags from station to station--one per group
  • Coloring sheets (see separate document)
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Play dough
  • Cookie cutters
  • Ornament kits (from the Craft station in the Opening Room)--if needed

Advance Preparation

  • Using registration sheets as reference, write children names on the name tags
  • Print out coloring sheets (see separate document)

Before Opening Starts:

  • Have one table for each group of children.  The guide for that group should be at that table. Set out each table with some crayons and markers, stickers, play dough and cutters. 
  • Put a sign at each table, so that children know which table to go to

 Before Closing Starts:

  • Get any extra ornament kits from the Craft Station in the Opening Room.

Activity

Opening

Children will be assigned to various groups. They will be traveling together with that group and a guide.  After registering, children will come down to 102 before the first station starts.  They will go to the table assigned to their group.  Give them a gift bag.  They will have a chance to decorate their gift bag.  Make sure that one of their name tags is on the gift bag, so that it can be identified later.  After they are done decorating their gift bag, it should be placed on the large tray (which will be carried by the guide).

 If there is still time after they are done decorating their bags, then they can work on coloring sheets/puzzles or play with play dough.

 Closing

The children will return to 102 while they wait to be collected by their parents.  They can go back to the coloring sheets and play dough.  They can also help put together the ornament kits.  The guides should know how to do this, since they have each been to the craft station.

 The people from the Welcome Table will be reuniting the children with their parents, as they will be aware of the process in place to do that.


Gift Bag

Make sure that each child has their gift bag before they leave to go home!

 


Turnaround Time

(Between the opening and closing)

Straighten up any mess left from the opening.  Keep the materials out as some children may want to do play dough or coloring at the end. 

 

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Gift Station

Station Summary

One of the Magi will tell the story from his point of view.  The children will then make a gift for their families:  brownie mix in a bag. 


Preparation 

Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.

 Materials List:

  • Costume for the storyteller (Wiseman)
  • Basket with gold, frankincense, myrrh (scented lotion)
  • Script for storyteller (see lesson)
  • All-purpose cleanser
  • Paper towels
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Quart-size Ziploc bags--one per child
  • Paper bag (lunch bag sized)--one per child
  • Crayons and markers and Christmas stickers
  • Christmas Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Gift tags--one per child
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Cocoa Powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate chips (or a mix of white and chocolate chips)
  • Bowls for ingredients
  • Measuring cups and spoons:  1 cup measures (3); ¼ cup measure (1); 1/3 cup measure (4); teaspoon measure (2)
  • Index cards
  • Recipe card (to go with gift)--one per child (see end of lesson)
  • Tape

Advance Preparation

  • Print out and cut apart recipe cards
  • Using the index cards, make a sign for each ingredient telling how much is needed for each bag
    • FLOUR:  1 and ¼ cups
    • BAKING POWDER:  1  teaspoon
    • SALT:  1 teaspoon
    • COCOA:  2/3 cup
    • SUGAR:  2 cups
    • CHOCOLATE CHIPS:  2/3 cup                                                         

Before Class Starts:

  • Wipe the tables down with all-purpose cleanser and paper towels.
  • Set out the ingredients in a line, in the order that the recipe calls for (and the order listed above under advance prep so that there are layers of light and dark in the gift bag--start with flour).  Put each of the ingredients in their own bowl--it will take too much time for students to pour salt out of a container or try to scoop chips out of a bag.  Place the sign and the appropriate measuring cup/spoon next to it. For instance, if it calls for 1 and ¼ cups then put a 1 cup measure and a ¼ cup measure there.  If it calls for 2/3 cups, then put "2" 1/3 cup measures there (so the students know that they have to fill up and use the measuring tools there and don't have to remember if they have to use it once or twice).
  • The very last "ingredient" is the recipe card and tape (which they will attach to their quart bag with the ingredients in it).
  • Set up another table with paper bags and ribbon and supplies for decorating.  There should also be  gift tags for the children to label.
  • Have children clean their hands with the sanitizer when they enter the room.

Bible Story / Monologue  

The Bible story will be told by one of the persons in the Bible story (a volunteer in costume).  This may or may not be the same person as the teacher.  They need to get their costume before the day of the event.  Practice the script so that you can tell it with meaning and emotion.  It would be nice to have it memorized, but it is OK to have it there to refer to.

 If the storyteller is NOT the teacher, then they will remain in the class as one of the helpers.

 The story for this activity station will be told by one of the Magi: See end of lesson for monologue.


Activity

If you were NOT the storyteller, then introduce yourself to the children.  Open with a prayer:  Dear God, Thank you so much for sending Jesus to us to be our Savior.  Thank you for such a wonderful gift. Amen.

 A lot of people think that we give gifts at Christmas because the wise men first brought gifts to the baby Jesus.  That ISN'T quite right.  The FIRST gift at Christmas was the baby Jesus.  God in heaven sent His Son Jesus down to earth for all of us.  Because of our sins, all of us are lost.  But God wants us to be back in His family, so God came up with a plan.  He sent Jesus to save us! When Jesus grew up and became a man, He died on a cross to save us from all of those sins.  And then He rose from the dead so that we could be alive with Him in heaven someday if we believe in Him. 

 So, we are going to be making a gift for our families today.  And that will help us remember that Jesus is the best gift of all!

 Brownie Mix

Explain:  You are going to be making a brownie mix that your families can bake. You will get a Ziploc bag that you will put the ingredients in.  The sign will tell you how much to put in--and there are measuring tools to make sure that you put the right amount into your bag.  Go in the order that we have here, so that you will have a mixture of light and dark ingredients--it will make your bag look prettier.

 Give each child a Ziploc bag and have them go through the line filling it up.  Then help the students carefully seal the bag.  Then they should tape the recipe card to the bag.

Decorating a gift bag

After filling their bag, they can go directly to another table, with the decorating supplies.  There will probably NOT be a lot of time for decorating.  For sure, they must fill out a gift tag and attach it to the paper lunch bag.  If they have time, they can use the crayons and markers and stickers to decorate the bag.  Then they should put the brownie mix bag INTO the paper bag.  They can then tie the bag shut using some of the Christmas ribbon. 

 Say:  When you give this gift to your family, don't forget about the best gift ever--the gift of Jesus and believing in Jesus. 


Gift Bag

Each child has their own gift bag to put the various items they collect in each of the stations.  The group's helper will have all of the bags on a tray.  At the end of class have each child put the following item(s) in their own gift bag:

  • The gift that they made

(The gift tag had the following baking instructions:   Combine contents of bag with 1 tsp vanilla, 3 eggs (lightly beaten) and 2/3 cup vegetable oil.  Stir. Spread evenly in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.)


Age Adaptations

  1. Older students:  Make sure that they are using the correct amount of ingredients.
  2. Younger students:  They may need more help with getting the correct amount of ingredients in their bags.  They may also need help sealing their Ziploc bags.  You might need to tie the ribbon on their gift bag.

 


Turnaround Time

(You will have just a few minutes before the next group arrives.)

  1. Wipe up any spills on the table.
  2. Refill ingredient bowls as needed. 
  3. Make sure that the correct measuring cup or spoon is with each of the ingredients.


 A lesson written by Cathy Walz and Amy Hodges from
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL. 2014.



Script for Wise Man

 When performing these, the most important thing is to speak slowly.  Practice in front of someone and have them time you. It should NOT be any shorter than 3 minutes (or much longer than 5).

(has a basket with him, covered)

Oh!  Welcome!  Good to see you!  Have you heard the news about the child King too?  I just returned from bringing him some gifts.  I wonder what sort of gifts you think someone might bring to a child who was born a king?  (take some responses)  Well, I have some different things here in my basket that I'd like to tell you about. 

But I suppose I should tell you a bit about who I am first.  You may have heard me called a King, or Magi. I am from the ancient Middle East.  Some think I came from Babylon or the country that you know today as Iraq.  Where I came from isn't really all that important, but why I am here now certainly is worth talking about.  I'm not actually a King, but a scholar, advisor, or even a scientist, you might say.  I study the stars and the constellations, and look for wisdom in prophecies and the natural world.  One day, a new star appeared in the sky.  Now you may not be able to see many stars in the sky here, but we Magi are watching the sky all of the time, especially for changes.  When we saw this star, we knew that something of great importance had happened--it was the birth of a King!  We needed to investigate. 

So we traveled to Jerusalem, to speak with Herod, the current ruler of the Jewish/Roman state.  We asked him, "Where is He who has been born king of the Jews?  For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

King Herod seemed rather uncomfortable and worried at our question, most likely because he knew that he had no real legitimate right to be king over the Jews, and was afraid for his job (and his life!).  He brought together a bunch of HIS advisors and even began to question the religious leaders of the Jews themselves.  What they told him began to make him even MORE worried.  They told him that their people were awaiting the birth of a special baby, the Christ child.  Their prophets had written, "And you, O Bethlehem . . . from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel."  Herod had in mind to KILL this baby, and we were later warned not to go back to Herod.

So after we talked with Herod, the star we had seen moved before us until it came to rest over the place where the child was.  Our journey had taken us some time, so by then, the baby had grown to be a young child.  We found him with his mother, Mary, and fell down to worship him as King, the son of God.

This was when we shared our gifts. 

We brought gold. (pulls something gold out of the basket and passes it around).  Gold is beautiful, a precious metal; it is a good gift for a king.

We brought frankincense: (pulls out incense (potpourri) and lets the children smell it).  Sometimes incense is associated with the priesthood, the ones who talk to God on behalf of the people.  The Bible speaks of our prayers as rising to God like incense. This child would grow to be the one Great High Priest, or intercessor, for His people.

We brought myrrh (pulls out a bottle of perfume, or perhaps a tub of scented lotion).  Myrrh is a fragrant perfume, used in embalming bodies and preparing them for burial. 

You may wonder why we would give a young child a gift one might receive before he would die?  Could it be that this child would one day die to save all people?

(closes up basket, asks pensively,) I wonder what kind of gifts we could offer him?  I wonder if we can keep learning about the gifts He has for us? (pause)

I hear that you will be working on making some gifts now, so I will be going. I have a long journey back.  But as you give (and receive) gifts this year, think about how this child, born so long ago, is still bringing his gifts to you.  Won't you worship him too?

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Cooking Station

 Station Summary

An angel will tell the Bible story from his/her point of view.  The children will then put together snack bags where each ingredient stands for a different part of the story. 


Preparation

Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.

 Materials List:

  • Costume for the storyteller (an angel)
  • Script for storyteller (see lesson)
  • All-purpose cleanser
  • Paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sandwich bags (zip-lock variety)
  • SOUR gummy worms
  • Bugles snack food
  • Fruit roll-ups (cut into smaller pieces)
  • Shredded Wheat cereal (with frosting, not plain)
  • Mini-marshmallows
  • Mini candy canes
  • Starburst candies--individually wrapped
  • Rolos (with the gold wrappers)--are OK for kids with peanut allergies
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Lifesaver candies--individually wrapped
  • Paper bowls to put the various ingredients in
  • Food prep gloves (will need to be used with any ingredient that doesn't have a wrapping on it)
  • Snack Mix Recipe--to put in children's gift bags (see end of lesson)

Advance Preparation:

  • Make copies of the recipe and cut apart--one for each student. 
  • Cut the fruit roll-ups into smaller pieces.

Before Class Starts:

  • Wipe the tables down with all-purpose cleanser and paper towels.
  • Put the various ingredients--each into a different bowl.  You will be teaching this class multiple times during the afternoon, so ration the ingredients a bit so that they will last (if you put ALL the Hershey's kisses out for the first group, they might not leave many for the later groups!)
  • Make sure that all of the children (and helpers) wash their hands with the hand sanitizer. 

Bible Story / Monologue 

The Bible story will be told by one of the persons in the Bible story (a volunteer in costume).  This may or may not be the same person as the teacher.  They need to get their costume before the day of the event.  Practice the script so that you can tell it with meaning and emotion.  It would be nice to have it memorized, but it is OK to have it there to refer to. 

 If the storyteller is NOT the teacher, then they will remain in the class as one of the helpers.

 The story for this activity station will be told by an angel: See end of lesson for the monologue.


Activity

If you were NOT the storyteller, then introduce yourself to the children.  Open with a prayer:  Dear God.  Thank you for giving us the Bible so that we can learn all about your message of good news--that Jesus came to be our Savior.  Amen.

Say:  An angel is a messenger from God, which means that they have something to say that God wants them to tell.  We are going to be making a snack mix and IT is going to be a message.  Every ingredient has something to tell about the story of Jesus' birth and life.

Note:  As you talk about one ingredient and its meaning, you will have one student come up and get the bowl with that ingredient.  They will put that ingredient in each of the other students' sandwich bags while you are talking.  It will be easier to have the students use their hands (as opposed to serving utensils) so have the student doing the distribution put on a plastic glove before they do their part (unless that ingredient has a wrapper--like the Hershey kisses).  If you have more students than ingredients, you might want to assign two students to share in some of the ingredients.  If there are more ingredients than kids, perhaps the classroom helpers could hand some of the ingredients out.

Go in this order with the ingredients:

  1. Hand out a sandwich bag to each student.
  2. Hand out one sour gummy worm per student.  Say:  When God first made the world, everything was good and sweet and perfect.  Including the first people--Adam and Eve--who lived in the Garden of Eden.  Then the devil--in the form of a snake--came into the garden and tempted Adam and Eve to do the wrong thing.  Ever since then people have been doing bad things called sins.  Things were no longer sweet but sour, like these gummy snakes.  Because of our sins, we are lost.  But God wants us to be back in His family, so God came up with a plan.  He sent Jesus to save us!
  3. Hand out several Bugles.  Say: These bugles are like trumpets.  In olden days, they might play a trumpet before making an important announcement.  One day, an angel came to a young lady named Mary with a VERY important announcement.  The angel told Mary that SHE was a part of God's plan to save us from our sins.  She was going to have a baby who would be both God AND human.  His name would be Jesus.  People had been waiting thousands of years for this to happen.
  4. Hand out one piece of fruit roll-ups.  Say:  Mary and her husband Joseph traveled to a town named Bethlehem.  It was time for Mary to have her baby, but all of the inns were full.  So they ended up in a stable--kind of like a barn.  Baby Jesus was born right there.  They didn't have any baby clothes, so Mary wrapped her baby in some cloths--maybe not as colorful as these fruit roll-ups.
  5. Hand out several shredded mini-wheats.  Say:  If you crumbled these up, they might look a little like hay.  There was no crib in the stable.  So Mary put the baby Jesus in a manger filled with hay.  A manger is what cows and oxen would eat out of. 
  6. Hand out a few mini-marshmallows.  Say: That night, there were sheep out in the fields.  These marshmallows look a little like sheep.
  7. Hand out a mini-candy cane.  Say:  The sheep weren't out there by themselves.  There were shepherds taking care of them.  Shepherds often carried a crook, shaped a bit like these candy canes.  Shepherds were not very important people, but they were about to receive some VERY important news.  If you turn the candy cane the OTHER way, it looks like the letter "J" which stands for Jesus.
  8. Hand out a few more Bugles.  Say:  Yes, the trumpets again.  An angel appeared to the shepherds and said "Fear not!  I am bringing you good news! For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  The shepherds were so excited that the Savior Jesus--who would save them from their sins--had been born.  They rushed off to find the baby Jesus, so that they could worship Him. 
  9. Hand out a Starburst candy piece.  Say:  Mary and Joseph and Jesus lived in Bethlehem for a time.  God wanted to make sure that even MORE people knew that the Savior Jesus had been born.  So God put a special star up in the sky.  Some Magi--or wisemen--saw that star up in the sky and knew that it meant something very special.  They traveled for a very long time.
  10. Hand out three Hershey's kisses.  Say: When the wise men reached Bethlehem, the star led them to the house where Jesus was living.  They came in and bowed down and worshipped Him.  They also brought him some gifts--although they probably weren't wrapped up like these kisses or the gifts that we give at Christmas. 
  11. Hand out several pretzel sticks.  Say: Jesus did not stay a baby.  God had sent Him to do a job--to save us from our sins. We all sin and do bad things.  Jesus NEVER sinned.  Even though He never sinned, He took the punishment for OUR sins.  [Hold 2 pretzels in the shape of a cross]. He died on a cross, which is a horrible way to die.  Three days later, He became alive again.  He did all this for you and for me.
  12. Hand out several Lifesaver pieces.  Say:  Jesus is our Lifesaver--He died and rose again to save us from our sins.  Everyone who believes in Jesus is saved from their sins and is a part of God's family.  Everyone who believes in Jesus will be in heaven one day with Him. 

Say:  So there is the story of Jesus and what He did for you and for me.  You can take these snacks home and use all of the ingredients to tell your family about Jesus.  If there is time, the children may have a little bit of their snack.  Hold up various ingredients and ask the children what it stands for.


Gift Bag

Each child has their own gift bag to put the various items they collect in each of the stations.  The group's helper will have all of the bags on a tray.  At the end of class have each child put the following item(s) in their own gift bag:

  • The remainder of their snack (sealed up!)
  • The recipe explaining what all of the ingredients represent

 


Age Adaptations

  1. Older students:  None
  2. Younger students:  The teacher and helper may want to hand out most of the ingredients.  Perhaps the students could come up and take those ingredients that don't require a glove.

 


Turnaround Time

(You will have just a few minutes before the next group arrives.)

  1. Wipe up any spills.
  2. Refill ingredient bowls as needed.

 


Resources/Bibliography

Moore, B. "Birth Narrative - Cooking Lesson." December 2006. https://www.rotation.org/topic...8#295011598215979188

 A lesson written by Cathy Walz and Amy Hodges from
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL. 2014.

 



 Script for Angel

 

When performing these, the most important thing is to speak slowly.  Practice in front of someone and have them time you. It should NOT be any shorter than 3 minutes (or much longer than 5).

(note to guides:  you may pretend to be startled as you enter the room, when you see the angel.  Though the Bible shows people responding in initial fear upon encountering an angel, particularly if there are younger children we don't want them to be afraid.)

(responding to the surprise of the people entering)  Did you not expect to see an angel here?  There is no need to be afraid.  I know that seeing an angel could be a frightening thing; in fact, that is how people usually respond when they see an angel.  But do not worry; I will do you no harm. 

Did you know that the word angel means messenger?  Angels carry out God's commands, many times they are recorded in the Bible bringing God's messages to His people.  I am God's messeger Gabriel.  My main job was one of preparation--getting people ready for the birth of a very special baby -- King Jesus. I was sent to give messages to several people you may have heard of before; in fact, I think a few of them are even here today.  I had to tell them not to be afraid too, and to share with them the promises of God.  I could start by telling you a bit about some of these preparations.

Let's see; the preparations started long before the baby Jesus was born.  They started all the way back in the beginning when people first sinned against God and needed rescuing by a Savior in the first place.  God told the first people, Adam and Eve, that he would send One who would defeat sin and Satan, and restore the relationship with God that had been broken by Adam's sin, and the wrongs of all people who would be born after him.  From that promise long, long, ago began all of the waiting.  Waiting for the One who would rescue people and make things right again between God and man. 

There were many prophets along the way, men who spoke from God to tell the consequences of sin and the need each man has to turn their hearts from wrong to follow God . . . prophets whose job was to get people ready for Jesus.  I was given the job to tell a man that his child was to be the last of these prophets before Jesus was born.  Like others who see me, he was afraid.  I told him not to fear and that Jesus was sent "to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  How exciting to see God preparing the world for the birth of His Son Jesus!

 I also went to visit a young woman named Mary, to tell her that she would be the mother of God's Promised One.  I explained that her pregnancy wouldn't come about from anything she had done, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.  She would have a son, and was to name Him Jesus.  She responded just like the others; she was afraid too.  Perhaps you'll hear from her later, if you have not already.  You might hear from Joseph too, how I needed to give him the message not to be afraid as well.  So much fear, doubt, and questions . . . yet the words of God were coming true--the Word became flesh and dwelt among us  -- that is Jesus!  God was coming to earth as a baby! 

I wonder if you would have doubted the birth of this very special baby?  I wonder if you would have recognized what it was that He was doing.  Because God's plan didn't look like what everone might have expected.  It wasn't just to have a little baby born into the world, but to send a Savior, a rescuer. 

As the baby Jesus grew up into a boy, and then a man, many people forgot, or missed, what it was that God was doing.  Jesus NEVER sinned or did wrong.  When he grew up he did amazing things among the people, healing the sick, performing miracles, and seeing multitudes of people beginning to follow him.  Some forgot the amazing birth, and denied that Jesus could be anyone special.  Yet there were many who saw what he did and began to wonder if this WAS the great Messiah, the Rescuer that God had promised from back in the beginning.

Just as many were beginning to follow Jesus, things began to look as though they were going wrong.  You see, this amazing miracle worker, Jesus, was accused by the Jewish religious leaders and arrested by the Roman government . . . and then he was crucified.  He DIED on a cross and was laid in a tomb.  This is not what people expected of the one they were looking to save them. So people wondered, and they were afraid.  We angels were given another job to remind people not to be afraid, and to trust in God. 

 Three days after Jesus was killed, some women came to the tomb to visit the grave site, and were afraid when they found that Jesus' body was not there.  So the angels asked them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen.  Remember how he told you that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?"

The message we proclaimed about this special baby and his birth, wasn't really complete without the message of what the child would do when he grew up.  Part of defeating sin meant that someone would need to die for the wrongs of all people.  And just like when he was a baby, people were afraid at first. 

The angels came to tell people not to be afraid, and to remind them that God's work was being done, this time to point out not the little baby, but the grown Savior who died and rose again.

Dear ones, we need not fear, and know that God keeps His promises.  Know that the waiting for God's Messiah to appear is over!  He was born, died for the sins of the whole world, and rose again. 

But the story still isn't over.  The waiting has begun again.  This time the world is waiting for him to return, to bring to heaven all those who have trusted in his promises, and put a final end to sin.  I wonder if you will believe, and wait with me and all the other angels? 

 I must go, but thank you for hearing some of my stories.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Drama Station

Station Summary

A shepherd will tell the story from his point of view.  The children will then act out several scenes from the Nativity story while the teacher narrates the action. 


Preparation

Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.

 Materials List:

  • Shepherd Costume for the storyteller
  • Shepherd's crook 
  • Script for storyteller (see lesson)
  • Bible
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Children's Bible costumes 
  • Stuffed animal sheep
  • Baby doll wrapped in cloth
  • Manger 
  • Star
  • Drama Prop Boxes
  • Large boxes as scenery
  • "The Best Gift" Christmas Tract--one per child

 Advance Preparation

  • Pull out props from the Drama Prop Boxes that you think would be appropriate for skits about the Nativity
  • Set the large boxes to the side--the children might decide to use them as props
  • Label the popsicle sticks:  #1 (two); #2 (four); #3 (four); #4 (four)

 Before Class Starts:

  • Lay out the costumes and the props.
  • Decide if you will assign the parts (see lesson) or if you will use the labeled popsicle sticks to assign the parts.

Bible Story / Monologue  

The Bible story will be told by one of the persons in the Bible story (a volunteer in costume).  This may or may not be the same person as the teacher.  They need to get their costume before the day of the event.  Practice the script so that you can tell it with meaning and emotion.  It would be nice to have it memorized, but it is OK to have it there to refer to. 

 If the storyteller is NOT the teacher, then they will remain in the class as one of the helpers.

 The story for this activity station will be told by the Shepherd (see end of lesson for script).


Activity

If you were NOT the storyteller, then introduce yourself to the children.  Open with a prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for helping us to learn about You and how much that You love us.  Amen.

 Say: We are going to be acting out different scenes from the story.ÂThis story really happened over 2000 years ago.  It is written down in this book--the Bible (show them the Bible).  I will be reading the Bible story, taken from the books of Luke and Matthew, while you act out the story.  A second option is to have the children make a frozen tableau (showing the actions and facial expressions) of each of the scenes.

Assign parts OR Have the children choose a tongue depressor with a number 1, 2, or 3 written on it (use the "4" ONLY if you know that you will have enough time to do the Magi story). 1s will be the characters in the manger scene (Joseph and Mary), 2s will be the angels, and 3s will be the shepherds, 4s are the Magi.

 After parts are assigned, help the children QUICKLY find costumes and props (see lesson for prop suggestions). Tell the children they are going to act out several scenes in the story. Briefly explain each scene (see below). Encourage the children to come up with appropriate actions and facial expressions for each scene. As you are reading the story, make sure to pause so that they have time to do their actions.

Scene 1 (Travel to Bethlehem; the Birth of Jesus)

  • Characters:  Mary, Joseph
  • Suggested Props:  Manger, doll, cloths, sign saying Nazareth and another saying Bethlehem
  • Suggested actions:  Walking to Bethlehem, wrapping baby, looking down at baby

Read Luke 2: 1-7

 Scene 2 (Angels tell the Good News to the Shepherds)

  • Characters:  Angels, Shepherds
  • Suggested props: shepherd crooks, stuffed animal sheep
  • Suggested actions:  Shepherds caring for sheep, one angel appears and shepherds react with awe and fear, other angels appear and say 'Glory to God"

Read Luke 2: 8-14

 Scene 3 (Shepherds Travel to Stable and Worship Jesus)

  • Characters:  Mary, Joseph, Shepherds
  • Suggested Props:  nothing new
  • Suggested Actions:  Shepherds travel, shepherds bow down to Jesus, Mary thinks, shepherds leave saying "Praise God"

Read Luke 2: 15-20

 Scene 4 (Magi Come to Worship Jesus)

  • Characters:  Mary, Magi, Star (someone who carries the star)
  • Suggested Props:  Star, something to represent gifts
  • Suggested Actions:  Magi point to star, Magi follow star to Jesus, Magi bow down to worship and offer their gifts

Read Matthew 2: 1-2, 9-11

 Conclusion

What was your favorite part of the story and why?


Gift Bag

Each child has their own gift bag to put the various items they collect in each of the stations.  The group's helper will have all of the bags on a tray.  At the end of class have each child put the following item(s) in their own gift bag:

  • "The Best Gift" Christmas tract

Age Adaptations

Older students:

 Younger students:  They will need more help with costumes.  We do have smaller costumes for younger children.  They may also need a little more direction with their actions.


Turnaround Time

(You will have just a few minutes before the next group arrives.)

  1. Get the costumes and props organized for the next group.

Resources/Bibliography

St. Elmo's Choir.  Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable: Drama Workshop.  https://www.rotation.org/topic...5#295011598215979735

 A lesson written by Cathy Walz and Amy Hodges from
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL. 2014.



Script for Shepherd

 When performing these, the most important thing is to speak slowly.  Practice in front of someone and have them time you.  It should NOT be any shorter than 3 minutes (or much longer than 5).

(Shepherd is waiting behind the half wall, unseen, until the group enters. When the group has arrived, he runs in, shouting, coming up to the children and perhaps touching one of the children he may already know on the shoulder with a nudge when asking the first questions.  His attitude and expressions should be of great excitement throughout)

Have you heard the news?  Did you hear what happened?  Praise God for His amazing gift!

(pacing, and continuing in his excitement) Oh, this has been the most exciting day I have ever had!  Nothing like this has ever happened, or ever will happen again!  Oh! I have to tell you about it!

(takes several deep breaths to calm down before continuing)

Okay.  I suppose I should start by introducing myself.  I'm a shepherd, one of several that spend our days and nights in the fields watching the sheep, keeping them safe.  It's not a very exciting job usually; a good night for us is a quiet night.  But last night it was definitely not quiet.

It started when one angel appeared to us. He was glorious and full of light; we were terrified when we saw him.  He said to us, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  A Savior!?  Someone who would make right all that was wrong between God and man?  What good news indeed!

The angel continued, "And this will be a sign unto you:  you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

What a message!  Before we even had time to take it in, or think about what it all meant, the sky was filled with a multitude of angels, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."

We shepherds were amazed at this, and began to talk amongst ourselves.  These angels had brought a message of good news.  They said that it would be good news for ALL people; that a SAVIOR had been born!  We still hadn't really understood it all, but decided that we should go to Bethlehem and see this thing that had happened, that the Lord had made known to us.

It was just as the angels had said.  We found a young couple, Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

This little babe, so small, a son of David--yet himself David's King.  His birth was indeed good news, for all people.  Not just my little band of shepherds, or Mary and Joseph, or even the people who lived so long ago when he was born.  His birth is good news for you too!  For he is a Savior to all people. 

He grew up as the true Shepherd of his people, and he lay down his life for them.  He wants to be your Savior too.  He knows your name and will lead you.

Now that I've caught my breath again, I need to go and share this news with more people.  Won't you help me in sharing it too? 

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Art Station

 Station Summary

Joseph tells the story from his point of view.  The children will then create a Christmas ornament.  They will get to keep one of the ornaments that they make.  The other ornaments will be given to people receiving Christmas baskets from the Food Pantry.


Preparation

Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.

 Materials List

  • Costume for the storyteller (Joseph)
  • Script for storyteller (see lesson)
  • Hammer, wood, nails, sandpaper
  • Ornament kits (someplace like Oriental Trading would be a good source)
  • Sample ornament
  • Scissors (12)--to cut the kits open
  • Baskets for the children to put their garbage scraps into (4)
  • Box to put the completed ornaments into

 Advance Preparation

  • Make an ornament with the kit so that you are familiar with the process/product.

 Before Class Starts:

  • At each table, set out a pair of scissors for each place, several baskets for garbage scraps, and a pile of ornament kits (we will need to make around 140 ornaments for the food pantry baskets--divide the number of ornament kits up amongst your groups so that you don't run out of kits before the last group).  
  • You could consider cutting open the kits with the scissors so that the children don't have to take the time to do that (might be helpful if you have younger ones).

Bible Story / Monologue  

The Bible story will be told by one of the persons in the Bible story (a volunteer in costume).  This may or may not be the same person as the teacher.  They need to get their costume before the day of the event.  Practice the script so that you can tell it with meaning and emotion.  It would be nice to have it memorized, but it is OK to have it there to refer to. 

 If the storyteller is NOT the teacher, then they will remain in the class as one of the helpers.

 The story for this activity station will be told by Joseph:  See end of lesson for monologue.


Activity

If you were NOT the storyteller, then introduce yourself to the children.  Open with a prayer:  Dear God.  Thank you that You love us so much.  We are glad that You want us to be part of your family.  Amen.

Joseph's story started out with some worries, but ended up with a lot of joy.  The joy of knowing that Jesus had been born so that He could save us from our sins.  The joy of knowing that Jesus is always with us. 

 We are going to make an ornament to remind us of this joy--in fact, the ornament says "JOY" (show them the sample ornament).  Not only will you have this ornament to remind you of the joy and good news of Jesus' birth, we will also be making ornaments for other people who might need this joy and good news in their lives.  Every year in Forest Park, which is the village that we are in right now, the Community Center puts together food baskets at Christmas time for people who might not have enough money to have a nice Christmas meal. They have a ham and potatoes and vegetables and dessert and other good things.  This year, every food basket will have one of these JOY ornaments in it as well.  We're going to have to make a lot of ornaments, because the food pantry gives out around 140 baskets!

 Making ornaments

Each kit has all the materials that you need, as well as some simple instructions with a picture of what it should look like.  Show them how to put one of these ornaments together.  Tell them that they can put their garbage scraps in the baskets on the table (there will be a lot of little paper scraps).  The older students could cut the bags open with the scissors.  The children can then start putting the ornaments together. Remind them that they will only take one ornament home with them.

 You and your helpers can circulate around the room and help the children--and make sure that they are putting the ornaments together somewhat neatly. 

 Filler Activities

If the children get done with their allotted ornaments--or if the younger ones need a different activity for a few minutes--here are a few suggestions on what you could do:

  • Let them play some of the musical instruments for a few minutes (on the PreK cart in the room) while you sing a song.
  • Have them do a relay back and forth across part of the room.  Each leg of the relay has to travel like a different part of the story (angels flying, Joseph walking to Bethlehem, shepherds running to see Jesus, sheep walking, wise man servant pulling a camel along, etc)

 ***If there are still ornaments to be put together after the last group has come to your station, take those materials to the gathering room (room 102).  The children can put together more ornaments while they wait for their parents.


Gift Bag

Each child has their own gift bag to put the various items they collect in each of the stations.  The group's helper will have all of the bags on a tray.  At the end of class have each child put the following item(s) in their own gift bag:

  • Their JOY ornament (only one per child--the rest are for the food pantry)

Age Adaptations

  1. Older students:  Consider having older students help with the younger students, as they should be fairly independent with these simple kits.
  2. Younger students:  They may need help peeling off the sticker backs to the ornament parts.  They may need help putting on some of the smaller pieces. 

Turnaround Time

(You will have just a few minutes before the next group arrives.)

  1. Place completed ornaments in the box.
  2. Place more ornament kits out on the tables as needed.
  3. Empty out scrap baskets if needed.

 

 A lesson written by Cathy Walz and Amy Hodges from
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL. 2014.




Script for Joseph

 

When performing these, the most important thing is to speak slowly. Practice in front of someone and have them time you. It should NOT be any shorter than 3 minutes (or much longer than 5).

(has a hammer and some wood; he is obviously engrossed in working on his project when the children enter).

(looking up) Oh, hello there!  I didn't hear you come in because I was hammering on this here little bed I'm making.  Maybe I can have one of you help me here with this nail?  (calls up a volunteer to help him hammer in one of the nails.)  Thanks!  I'm a carpenter--I make things out of wood for people all the time, but I haven't had any children of my own to make things for, as I was just recently married.  Yet here I am, with a new little baby to care for, and making a bed for him.  It's quite a story.  Would you like to hear it while I work?  (perhaps he is sanding while talking)

Well, I mentioned that I was just recently married.  I had been engaged to a young woman named Mary.  Before we came together in marriage, I found out that Mary was going to have a baby!  As you might imagine, this was pretty upsetting to me.  I knew that I wasn't the baby's father.  Though I was upset and felt betrayed, I still cared about Mary, and didn't want to draw any more attention to her situation than was already happening.  So I decided that I would end our relationship in a quiet divorce, and just move on without involving anyone else.

Well, after I had decided this, while I was asleep an ANGEL came to me in a dream.  Angels can be frightening when you don't expect them.  Yet this angel knew that my main fear wasn't of him, but that I had been afraid of Mary's unexplained pregnancy.  Speaking to this the angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." 

So he put the truth right in front of me, that I could trust Mary; that this baby she was going to have wasn't a betrayal of our relationship, but an act of God.  He called me "son of David", reminding me of the famous King David, one of my distant relatives, and the promise God had made to him.  God told David that one of his descendants (or great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren) (insert a long list of "greats", moving the hand to visually display the distance in geneology) would be a king like no other, One who would bring healing, peace, and salvation to our people.  It was hard to think about this promise now, as our nation was under occupation by the Romans and we had no king from David's family ruling now (aside) well, except for this imposter Roman-placed ruler, Herod. 

Being a descendant of David myself, I was often dreaming about when our nation might again have a king.  Yet the angel was saying that the one who would be king was this baby, not a child of my doing, but a son of God!  He went on, "you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 

Oh my!  It was hard enough to begin thinking that this baby Mary would have was from God.  But that He was the Savior, the King we were looking for?  The angel used the words from an Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, "behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us."

What amazing news!  My heart was made glad, not just to know that my relationship with Mary had been healed and redeemed, but that God was making right things with the whole world!  Through this little baby.  This little baby king. 

So when I woke up, I did as the angel had told me; I did not leave her and went ahead with plans to make Mary my wife.  The Roman government was requiring all to go to their home towns to be registered, or counted.  Mary and I needed to take this journey too, along with all of those who had been born in Bethlehem.  Because of all the commotion in the city, there was no room for us in the local inns!  So when the time came for the baby to be born, we weren't in a room of our own, but in a small place with the family's animals.  We placed the child in a manger for his bed. 

It was all happening, just as the angel had said.  We had visitors soon after the baby was born . . . a group of shepherds who had been told of his birth.  Can you guess who told them?  You're right--angels!

Those angels were filling the night sky and praising God.  They told the shepherds that they would find the babe wrapped tightly and lying in a manger, a bed of straw. 

But now that he is growing, here I am working on a bed just for him now.  This little boy that will grow up and be our King.  He can be your king too.  And what an amazing thought . . . that this little baby king, the king of All, is Immanuel, God with us.  He will be with you too.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Games Station

Station Summary

Mary will tell the story from her point of view. The children will then go through an obstacle  course, which will help them remember the events of the story. 


Preparation

Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.

 Materials List

  • Mary Costume for the storyteller
  • Script for storyteller (see lesson)
  • Angel wings--2 sets
  • Large Hoops--2 
  • Large Boxes 
  • Pillows, large 
  • Baby doll (a soft cloth one)--4 
  • Bullhorn or megaphone (one can be made out of poster board )--2
  • Stick Horse (donkey)--2
  • Box for manger--2
  • Cloth strips--2
  • Large tub filled with beans 
  • Paper Hearts - one per child
  • Obstacle course signs (see lesson)
  • Tape
  • Coloring sheets or mazes/puzzles related to the Bible story 
  • Crayons, markers
  • Small boxes wrapped up in gift wrap in such a way that they can be opened without tearing the paper
  • Parts of a Nativity scene--ONLY pieces that can't be broken (plastic or fabric)--must be small because the boxes that we have are small
  • Stable (to put the nativity pieces in)
  • Boom Box
  • Christmas CD
  • Brochures about St. John--one per child
  • Brochure about Sunday School--one per child

Advance Preparation

  • Make 2 megaphones from posterboard
  • Make stick horse (horse heads with 2 broomsticks to put the heads on)
  • Cut out paper hearts
  • Make copies of coloring sheets or puzzles
  • Make the obstacle course signs
  • Place the nativity pieces in the various boxes

 Before Class Starts:

  • Set up the obstacle course in a gym or other large space if possible. Make the instructional signs and tape them to the wall near the activities. Add directional arrows if necessary. (see end of lesson for description of obstacle course)

Bible Story / Monologue 

The Bible story will be told by one of the persons in the Bible story (a volunteer in costume).  This may or may not be the same person as the teacher.  They need to get their costume before the day of the event.  Practice the script so that you can tell it with meaning and emotion.  It would be nice to have it memorized, but it is OK to have it there to refer to. 

 If the storyteller is NOT the teacher, then they will remain in the class as one of the helpers.

 The story for this activity station will be told by Mary (see end of lesson for monologue).


Activity

If you were NOT the storyteller, then introduce yourself to the children.  Open with a prayer:  Dear God, we are so glad that you wanted nothing to come between you and us.  Thank you for sending Jesus to be our way to heaven to all who believe in Him.  Amen.

 Say: We just heard from Mary, the mother of Jesus. We heard about how she hears some exciting news from an angel, accepts God's plan for her, praises God, and ponders what her baby's life will be like. We are going to relive her story--in a way--as we go through this obstacle course.  One part of our obstacle course tells a part of the story that Mary did not just tell us.  After Mary learned that she was to have a baby, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was also going to have a baby named John, who would one day be a part of preparing people for Jesus.

Obstacle Course

Walk the children along the obstacle course and explain what should be done at each stop (this is a good way of reviewing the story!) Line the children up in order, for example: oldest to youngest, shortest to tallest, etc.  You have several options on how to go through the obstacle course (depending on number of children, age of children):

  • Have the children go one at a time through the course. This would be good if there are small numbers of children
  • Divide the children into 2 teams.  This would be good if there are large numbers of children.  Have one child from each team go through the obstacle course together.  Do not start the next twosome of kids until the previous two are done.

The children may want to watch the other children going through the obstacle course.  If they tire of watching, you could have some coloring pages or puzzles for them to work on. 

 Closing:  Explain that while some of the obstacle course activities were a bit silly, they were reminders of some of Mary's experiences.  Ask some questions, such as:  Which activity/event stood out in your mind? Why? How do you think Mary really felt during that event?

 Pass the Gift Game

Have the children sit in a circle. Now we are going to play a game something like "Hot Potato"  Each of these wrapped boxes has a person or thing from the Christmas story in it.  You will pass it around in a circle while the music plays.  Whoever is holding it when the music stops gets to open the lid (you don't tear the paper--show them how the lid opens).  Then that person can put the person or thing in the Christmas scene here.

 You will need to gauge how long to play the music for each box--depending on how many boxes there are and how much time that you have.


Gift Bag

Each child has their own gift bag to put the various items they collect in each of the stations.  The group's helper will have all of the bags on a tray.  At the end of class have each child put the following item(s) in their own gift bag:

  • Their heart from the obstacle course
  • Their coloring sheet (if done)
  • Brochure about St. John
  • Brochure about Sunday School

Age Adaptations

Older students:  None

 Younger students:  Extra helpers should be at the stops along the obstacle course to remind pre-readers what they should do.


Turnaround Time

(You will have just a few minutes before the next group arrives.)

  1. Return the obstacle course to its original starting position.
  2. Put the Nativity pieces back into the wrapped boxes.

 


Resources/Bibliography

This was based on a lesson (no longer available) written by Amy Crane.

 A lesson written by Cathy Walz and Amy Hodges from
St. John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL. 2014.


 
Obstacle Course Description (you will need 2 setups--one for each team)

ANNUNCIATION

  • Sign: Angel flies in window and says "Greetings!"
  • Setup: Helper holds up a large hoop to serve as a window (or you could tape a hoop between 2 chairs). Put a set of angel wings next to the "window"
  • Instructions: Student puts on wings, climbs or crawls through window, says "Greetings!" to an imaginary Mary, climbs back out of the window, and takes off the wings and leaves them for the next person.

 MARY HURRIED TO VISIT ELIZABETH

  • Sign: Mary went to visit Elizabeth in the hill country; climb over the hills.
  • Setup: Arrange boxes and pillows to make hills.
  • Instructions: Have the students crawl or climb over the hills.

 GREETED BY ELIZABETH

  • Sign: Elizabeth's baby leapt: throw the "baby" up and catch it.
  • Setup: Put a soft doll at this station
  • Instructions: At Mary's greeting, Elizabeth's baby jumped in her womb. The students should throw the baby straight up, catch it, and put it down before moving on. If the baby is dropped, try again.

PRAISE THE LORD

  • Sign: Magnify the Lord by singing "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior" through the megaphone.
  • Setup: Put the bullhorn or megaphone at this station.
  • Instructions: The student should praise God as Mary did by singing (or saying) "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior" using the bullhorn or megaphone.

 TRAVEL TO BETHLEHEM

  • Sign: Ride the donkey to Bethlehem, as Mary did.
  • Setup: Put the stick horse at this location. (Someone will need to move it back to the starting point, or set up a circular course so that the donkey ends up where it started and is ready for the next student.)
  • Instructions: Travel to Bethlehem on the stick horse donkey.

 BABY JESUS IS BORN

  • Sign: Mary wrapped Jesus in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger.
  • Setup: Baby doll, manger or box, and strips of cloth.
  • Instructions: The student should wrap the baby in the strips of cloth, give him a hug, and put him in the manger. (Someone will need to unwrap the baby for the next student, or the student can do that as part of the activity.)

 PONDER

  • Sign: Mary treasured these words and pondered them in her heart; find one heart in the tub.
  • Setup: Fill a tub with red beans several inches deep and bury the paper hearts in the tub.
  • Instructions: The student should search until he finds one heart and take it with him to the finish line.


Script for Mary

 When performing these, the most important thing is to speak slowly.  Practice in front of someone and have them time you.  It should NOT be any shorter than 3 minutes (or much longer than 5).

Children enter room to find Mary rocking, and possibly singing to a baby doll in her arms. She is intent in her interaction with the child, and acts startled when they come in)

Oh!?  Visitors!  Shh!!  I just got him to go to sleep, and don't want to wake him up.  (looking lovingly at the baby)Â What a beautiful baby he is.  So precious.  So small.  Yet what a big story He has already!  If you can be really quiet, I'll sit here and chat with you while he sleeps.

(She sits near the children, or in some other way draws in close to begin her story)  It all began with a visit from an angel.  Well, I suppose the story all really has been woven all through history, but the most likely place for me to begin telling the story is when the angel Gabriel came to visit.  You may have never seen an angel, and I hadn't seen one before either.  I knew that angels were something to be feared, and was quite troubled when he appeared and began to speak to me.  But the angel told me not to be afraid, and that I had found favor with God!

I wondered what this was about, and he told me that I would become pregnant and have a baby boy, and that I should name him Jesus.  He said that  this boy would be great, and called the Son of the Most High. That he would reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there would be no end.

Well! Imagine an angel telling you something like that, right after he tells you not to be afraid!  I was still caught up in the announcement that I was supposed to have a baby, and the other things hadn't begun to sink in yet.  Though engaged to a man named Joseph, I was not yet married; it couldn't be possible for me to have a baby at this time.  So I asked,

"How will this be, since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered that this baby's arrival had nothing to do with me, or my relationship to my fiancee Joseph.  He would be placed in my womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He would be the son of God!  I was still amazed at all of these things, but finally had collected myself enough to respond to the angel,

"Behold, I am the servant of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word."

When I had said this, the angel left me. Though I still had lots of questions, in my heart I knew that my life had forever changed, and that these things would indeed take place.  "For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name!"

In time, my stomach began to grow, and I could feel the feel the child within me. I looked forward to His birth, and seeing all that God would do.

The baby wasn't born in my hometown, Nazareth, because I needed to go with Joseph to Bethlehem for a census.  The time came for the baby to be born while we were there.  It seemed fitting, as Bethlehem was the city of David, and the angel had told me that this child would end up a king on David's throne.  I couldn't understand how that would be, as we Jews were currently under Roman rule, and David's throne was empty.  But my heart did race within me to think that this miracle baby would be born in Bethlehem.

When he was born, it was a whirlwind of events.  As if just having a baby in a strange town wasn't enough excitement!  We had visitors who found us --  can you imagine!  We were in the middle of a crowded town, and certainly weren't trying to draw attention to our arrival, or the baby's birth.  But shepherds came; who said the angels had come to them --and were praising God for the baby. 

Angels again.  It makes me think back to the beginning of my story, and the angel Gabriel telling me that I would have a baby, a baby king.  It makes me think of all the questions I had that day, and still have.  But I trust God that He will do all that He has said.

Oh, there are so many more stories . . . but I think I need to take care of the baby right now.  I want to sing to him some more.  Babies grow up quickly, you know, and you can never sing to them enough.  I do hope you'll get a chance to hear from Joseph more of these things.

Thanks for listening to my story.

  

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Gift of Christmas Event

St. John Lutheran Church

Guide Information

 General Information

  • You will stay with one group of children the entire time.
  • Each child will have a gift bag that they will be putting various things in from each station.  Make sure that they get this item and put it in the bag.  You will be carrying a metal tray with all of the bags on it from room to room. 
  • See the schedule for where to take your group for each time slot.
  • The teacher for each station will let you know how you can help.
  • Check to see if they need a bathroom break.
  • You MUST walk the child down to the bathroom--you can't just send them down the hall.
  • ONLY the adults from the Welcoming Table can release a child to their parent.

What is happening at each station--And what You can Do

  • Cooking: An angel will tell the Bible story from his/her point of view.  The children will then put together snack bags where each ingredient stands for a different part of the story--you may pretend to be startled as you enter the room, when you see the angel.  Though the Bible shows people responding in initial fear upon encountering an angel, particularly if there are younger children we don't want them to be afraid.
     
  • Art:  Joseph  tells the story from his point of view.  The children will then go on to make a JOY ornament from a kit (one for them and the rest will go to people receiving Christmas baskets from the Forest Park Food Pantry)--you might need to help the children as they make the ornaments and to make sure that they are doing it "right" and somewhat neatly

  • Drama:  A shepherd will tell the story from his point of view.  The children will then act out several scenes from the Nativity story while the teacher narrates the action.--Don't go into this room too early as the shepherd needs to be hiding.  You may need to help kids into and out of costumes.)

  • Games:  Mary will tell the story from her point of view.  The children will then go through an obstacle course, which will help them remember the events of the story.  They might also play a game like "Hot Potato" but they will be passing little presents that have parts of a Nativity scene in them--You may need to help non-readers know what to do at each station of the obstacle course.)

  • Gift Station:  One of the Magi will tell the story from his point of view.  The children will then make a gift for their families:  brownie mix in a bag--You may need to help the younger kids to get their ingredients into the bag and MAKE SURE that the bag is sealed.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource

Rotation.org Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service.
Rotation.org is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×