Skip to main content

Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable" in Sunday School.

Post your Sunday School cooking lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable" here.

  • Please include a scripture reference, supply lists, sources, suggested age range. age modification, etc.
  • Photos are much appreciated!  Click "attachments" and upload to your post.
  • Please be careful not to post copyrighted materials. Excerpting and paraphrasing is okay. Include attribution.

Manger, Luke 2:8-20, Heavenly Host, Shepherds, Keeping Watch by Night, Glory to God in the Highest. Birth of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Nativity, Inn, etc.
Bible lessons for "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable" -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc.

The following idea was posted by member Jan Napa

Messengers of the Good News

Thought I’d share an idea my 13-year old son and I had that I'll be developing into a cooking lesson in December. In reading through the Christmas story in Luke 2, we came up with this idea to go with our theme of “Messengers of the Good News” …

Giving the kids each an empty bowl and setting all the ingredients in the middle of the table, kids will read the story in Luke 2. We’ll pause at each key person or concept and match a food ingredient with the person/idea. Foods will be …

Shepherds … candy cane (small ones individually wrapped that they’ll crush, then put in their bowl)
Flocks … whipped cream
Night … star sprinkles or white dot sprinkles
Angel of the Lord … Angel food cake
Glory … yellow sprinkles
Jesus … still thinking about this – “life saver” candy? "Treasure" candy? Or manger idea?
Heavenly host … mini marshmallows
Spread the word … stir up the ingredients and then spread it out

As they eat we’ll get their ideas of how they will be messengers of the Good News this Christmas – real ways kids their age can tell others about Jesus. May follow up with the “story of the candy cane” and have them make/decorate cards with the story and attach canes to give to those they want to share the message with.

Last edited by CreativeCarol
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable

Cooking Workshop

Candy cane cookies
Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students will bake Candy Cane Cookies to give away with a printed message, as a method of having them become messengers of the good news.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 2:1-20

Key/Memory Verse:  “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” Luke 2:10 (NIV)

Lesson Objectives:

After completing this Rotation, participants shoule be able to:

  • Name that the story is found in the New Testament. Identify the four Gospels and the meaning of the word “Gospel” as "good news."
  • For 3rd grade and up: Locate the story in Luke.
  • Retell Luke’s version of the birth of Jesus, with attention to the involvement of shepherds and angels.
  • Recognize what the shepherds did with this good news that they received. Investigate their own role as a recipient and a messenger of the good news.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Make cookie dough (see end of lesson for recipe)
  • Gather the following materials...
    • Bibles (for 3rd grade & up)
    • Story Bible for younger students: The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories
    • Extra flour
    • Cookie dough in two colors (red and white); made ahead of time and in the refrigerator
    • Aprons
    • Kitchen timer
    • Sandwich-sized baggies or Zipper baggies
    • Ribbon and Scissors, or Tape
    • Copies of “Merry Christmas” note (see end of lesson)
    • Candy canes – shaped like J’s (one per student)
    • Items in kitchen: Cookie sheets, parchment paper, spatulas, clean-up supplies

  • On the day of class:
    • Clean work surfaces.
    • Write the key Bible verse with the scripture reference on the easel.
    • Distribute Bibles around where students will be hearing the story.
    • Dust an appropriate number of work areas (one per student) on the work surface with flour.
    • Cover a cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
    • Divide up the cookie dough so that each work area has a clump of red and a clump of white. For younger students make 1-inch balls of dough to speed the cookie making process. (Two balls, one of each color = one cookie)
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lesson Plan: Opening

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.etc.

Ask:  How many of you have had something exciting and wonderful happen to you? Maybe you got a terrific grade on a test or you made a team you really wanted to make. (allow a few responses)

Say:  I know when I have something exciting or wonderful happen to me I can’t wait to tell someone!! Maybe you can’t wait to tell your parents or your best friend. But somehow when good news happens, the first thing we want to do is... SHARE! Today, we are going to be baking cookies to share with someone special today, as a way of sharing good news.

Ask:  What good news do you suppose we would want to share about the Bible, especially at this time of the year?
Say: That is right! The news of Jesus' birth is good news! Today we will talk about some particular people who first heard the good news that Jesus had been born.
Ask:  Does anyone know who those people were? (the Shepherds)
Say:  Today we are going to be baking candy cane cookies—cookies shaped like candy canes!
Do:  Show a candy cane.
 Who can tell me why we would make candy cane cookies when we are talking about shepherds and Jesus’ birth? (allow any replies)
Say:  It is because of the shape of a candy cane. In one direction it’s a shepherd’s crook—a tool used by shepherds to watch over their sheep—and turned upside down, it’s a J for Jesus! Let's prepare to bake cookies by first washing our hands.

Dig: Main Content and Reflection

Do: Have everyone move into the kitchen, put on aprons, wash their hands, and gather around the work surface.

Say:  We want to make these cookies with care, because we will be giving them away. We will be sharing our cookies.

Do:  Demonstrate how to make the cookies. Working in the floured area, roll the dough into 1-inch balls (if this step has not already been done). Next, make ‘snakes’ or ropes out of each ball of dough. Be sure to make them the same length (6 inches) and same width. Then, working flat on the tabletop, twist the two colors of ropes together, making them into a candy cane shape. [Don’t hold the ropes up in the air as they will stretch out too much.]

Do:  Have the students make their candy canes, helping those if needed. Put the cookies on the parchment-covered baking tray.

Do:  Ask the class Shepherd to place the cookies in the oven and take them out when done. They bake for 12-15 minutes. Instruct the Shepherd to allow the cookies to cool a few minutes then divide the cookies onto serving trays and bring them to the class. Meanwhile, take the class to the story-telling area.

Prayer Time (if time allows)
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Jesus, help us to listen carefully for your good news. Help us learn how we can spread the good news of your birth with others. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Dig into the Bible Story:

  • If we want to read something about Jesus’ life, where would we find it – in the Old Testament, or the New Testament of the Bible? (New Testament)
  • What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
  • What is the name we have for the first four books of the New Testament? (the Gospels)

The word Gospel means “good news.” News about the birth of God among us was very good news in those days and today. The Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Our story is in Luke; Luke is the 3rd Gospel.

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say:  This Bible Storybook has the story with a picture of the shepherds visiting Mary and Joseph.
Do:  Show them the picture on page 280 of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. Read the story on p. 280-281.

For 3rd grade and up:
Do:  Have everyone find Luke 2:1 in the Bible. [Make sure everyone remembers the quick way to find the New Testament – dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the New Testament.]
Read the story together, Luke 2:8-12. In later weeks of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.

For all students:

  • What do you suppose it was like to be a shepherd?
  • Has anyone ever been camping?
  • Is it easy to stay clean when you are camping? (no)

Say:  Shepherds were people who probably were avoided. Since they lived like they were camping, they weren’t clean and they probably smelled like sheep.

Ask:  Why do you suppose God first told shepherds and not the “important” people in town?

Say: I wonder if God choose shepherds to be the first to hear the good news because they were considered "smelly" people. God chose to tell the shepherds first, as a sign that God’s gift of his son Jesus was for everyone.

Ask: What does it mean that God’s gift is for everyone? (accept all replies)
Does that mean that Jesus came for me?
Does that mean that Jesus came for you?

Say: It is really good news that Jesus was born! Imagine the Shepherds amazement when all of the sudden the skies lit up and there were the heavenly hosts—a fancy way of saying a large bunch—of angels praising God.


  • How do you think the shepherds felt? (scared and awestruck at the same time)
  • How would you have felt if you had been there?

Say:  I am guessing Shepherd Joe did not text his friend about Jesus’ birth! Back in the days of Jesus they did not have iphones, radio, tv, computers, or even a newspaper!
Ask:  How do you suppose other people found out about Jesus’ birth? (by people telling other people)

Say:  It is certain that the shepherds shared their experience with others over the years. It is doubtful that the story would have made it into the Bible if it had never been repeated.

Ask:  Who delivers the good news of Jesus today? (take responses)
Can we share the good news of Jesus’ birth?

Say: So now, let’s repeat the good news about Jesus’ birth by sharing cookies!!

Do:  Have everyone wash his/her hands. Load 2 or 3 cookies into each bag. Use the ribbon and scissors to tie the bag closed. (Or use zipper baggies.) Attach the label by tying it on with the ribbon. (Or use tape.)

Do:  Students may take one bag of cookies home but must give any other bags away.


  • To whom are you going to give your cookies? Let’s share with people who aren’t just our family.
  • What will you say to them when you give them a cookie bag?
  • What message about the good news of Jesus' birth can you share with the person who receives the cookies?


Say:  I challenge you to be messengers, telling about Jesus just like the angels on that first Christmas. And just like the shepherds did after they had visited baby Jesus.
Ask:  Do you think anyone will be ‘awestruck’ or ‘scared’ at receiving the Good News from us?

Close with a prayer and have the children assist in the cleanup.

If you have extra time

Discuss other ways we can be messengers of the good news. Practice giving the cookies away (what will the students say). 
Write messages of Good News on slips of paper to attach to the cookies.


Attachment: Candy Cane Cookie Recipe

The dough for our lesson will be made ahead of time, as it is easier to work with if chilled.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening (NOT butter or margarine)
2 eggs (use egg substitute for egg allergies)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (or use soy milk for milk allergies)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour
red food coloring

Take half the dough and add a lot of red food coloring - mix. Wrap well and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Over night is ok)

To form into candy canes: From each color of dough, make 1” balls of dough. Use your hands to roll out the balls into snake shapes that are 6” long. Do this rolling on the tabletop; not in the air or the snakes will stretch out too long! Place on a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Attachment – Make copies of the following on red or green paper

Merry Christmas to You!

With these cookies, we spread the good news of Jesus’ birth, like the shepherds did so long ago. (Does the cookie look like a shepherd’s crook?)
Remember Jesus when you eat them... do you see the “J”?

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert, Carol Teener and Nicole Merritt from First UMC, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Copyright 2007 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material


Images (1)
  • Candy cane cookies
Last edited by CreativeCarol

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.

See lesson at this link.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Hay- small pieces of uncooked spaghetti?

Shredded wheat squares

  Cereal Bar Hay Bales

                                                     cereal bar hay bales 

5 tbsp. butter
packets shredded wheat
15 oz. marshmallows
6 c. puffed rice cereal
licorice laces
  1. Butter an 8-inch square pan. Crush shredded wheat in a bowl to make fine splinters.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir to melt completely. Stir in rice cereal. Use a rubber spatula to toss mixture and coat cereal completely.
  3. Turn mixture out into the prepared pan; use the spatula to flatten the mixture into the pan.
  4. Remove square of cereal treats from pan to cutting board. Cut in half horizontally, and then make 2 evenly spaced vertical cuts to form 6 rectangles.
  5. While the bars are still warm, pat the sides with crushed shredded wheat. Wrap each bale with licorice laces.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Angel Peace Wings

A traditional Polish friend dough called "Faworki," also known as "Chrusty"


Popular around holidays. Neil MacQueen noted that, "a lady in a former church of mine used to give them away in containers with a Xmas card she'd put in the bottom of the tupperware which you reached and read after you ate all of them and tapped the powdered sugar off of the card."


Here's a Youtube video showing how to make them.

Easy to make, quick to fry. Frying can be done in church kitchen (use thermostatically controlled fryer to be safe). Can make lots and lots. Travels well. Something that could be shared, with a message after you're done "After the sweetness of the holiday has faded..."  Ways to continue speaking the good news, giving the good news, being the good news to someone. etc.

Here's a GRAPHIC that can be used as part of a Printable Message to go with Faworki.

What is this peace that the angels spoke of?
How do you "earn your angel wings" as a messenger of God's peace?  

TeachPeaceAngels [1)


Images (2)
  • TeachPeaceAngels (1)
  • faworki
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Group Ministry has a snack mix that can be used to tell not only the story of Jesus' birth but also of our salvation through his death on the cross. Christmas Snack for Children’s Ministry: First Christmas Morning Mix

"In this Christmas snack mix, every piece tells a story—the greatest story ever told! Try this snack with kids at your church, or share it with families to try at home!"

Suggested ingredients and meaning (see the linked article for a full script describing each ingredient):

  • pretzel stick = shepherd's staff
  • mini marshmallows = sheep
  • cheerio = angel's halo
  • animal cracker = Jesus was born in a barnyard
  • M&M = Mama Mary
  • pretzel stick = break it in half and hold the pieces together like a cross; remind the children that Jesus did not stay a baby but grew up to die for our sins
  • Ritz cracker = the round stone that closed the tomb where Jesus' body was placed, but he did not stay there--he rose from the dead on the third day
  • chocolate chips = reminder of the sweetness of our salvation in Jesus who is God born in a stable, who lived a sinless life, and who died for our sins so we can have eternal life

Children could make the snack mix and then learn the story so they can share the snack mix and its meaning with family and friends.

If you want to make this a bit fancier project (perhaps for an Advent Event or evangelistic outreach), consider putting the mix in jars with labels decorated by the children that explain the meaning, and they can give the jars as Christmas gifts or distribute them to church members.



Images (1)
  • jarsForSnackMix

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource 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. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. 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.