Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of Mary
Summary of Lesson Activity:
The children will learn about the birth of Jesus through the telling of a children's story (Mary's First Christmas) and a song (Mary Did You Know?).
In this workshop the learner will explore how writers view Mary in order to see the way God acts in the world and uses ordinary people.
- Read the Bible passages.
- Read over the background material included in your teacher packet.
- Read the story in the book
- Listen to the recording
- Become familiar with the questions in the lesson.
- The book Mary’s First Christmas
- A cd recording of the song “Mary Did You Know?”
- A cd player
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.
Dig- Main Content and Reflection
1. When the children are gathered around you on the floor of the library, tell them that we are not going to read the Bible story today from our Bibles, but they will hear the story the way a modern-day author tells it.
2. Ask if they have ever thought about what Jesus was like as a boy. Allow time for comments.
3. State that we know very little about Jesus’ boyhood from the Bible. The story they will hear today is how one author tells the story. Jesus is a little boy and has been injured. This is the bedtime story his mother tells him.
4. Ask them to sit back and listen to enjoy the story and the pictures and to experience the wonder and joy of Mary’s First Christmas.
5. For all questions that follow allow any answer unless otherwise directed. Be sure to take time to let the children enjoy the pictures.
6. Talk about what they think Yeshi means. It is the nickname Mary calls Jesus.
7. At the end of the second page, ask, “How do you think Mary felt knowing that Jesus was going to suffer physical pain?”
8. At the end of the 2nd paragraph, page 3, ask how thunder usually sounds.
9. Before page 4, ask how they think Mary felt.
10. At the end of page 5, remind the children that Mary was very young . . . probably no older than her early teens.
11. Continue to read page 6. At the end, ask why they think Elizabeth’s baby “jumped for joy.” After their responses, tell them that Elizabeth’s baby was a man called John the Baptist who told of Jesus’ coming.
12. At end of page 6 Mary says she laughed “because of the love of God.” Ask them what they think this means. The next page will tell us.
13. Read the last page of section 1. Discuss the song Mary sang. Tell them this is the Magnificat (a Latin word that means “glorifies" found in Luke 1:46-55 that the author has put in his own words.
Emphasize that Mary praises God for using her, an ordinary person, instead of those that are rich and well educated. Mary praises God for always remembering God’s promises to Israel.
14. After reading the first 3 pages of section 2, ask what they think of the way Mary cared for Jesus’ wound.
15. Explain that in those days a girl’s parents agreed to her marrying a man usually in their village or a nearby village when the girl was in her early teens or even as young as 12. This is what “betrothed” means.
16. At the end of the birth story Mary tells about rubbing the baby with salt. You may want to comment that newborn babies are not rubbed in salt now.
17. After reading the shepherd’s story, ask if they had ever thought that one of the shepherds might have been a woman. Remind them that we really don’t know but that this is what one author thought could have been.
18. Read to part 4. Discuss how Mary felt knowing that her son was the Son of God. Do you think she knew what was ahead of him?
19. Let the children stretch if they need to. You may even play “Mary says” (Simon Says). Have the last instruction be “Mary says sit down very quietly and get ready for one more activity.”
20. Tell the children you are going to listen to the way a songwriter wrote about Mary and the baby. Ask them to listen for things that would occur in Jesus’ life.
21. Play “Mary, Did You Know?”
22. Ask the children what they heard in the song that would happen in Jesus’ life. Ask them if they thought Mary knew these things. If time, ask them what would they ask Mary if she knew?
Remind the children that God does not always act in ways people expect. Most kings and queens come from long lines of royal families. Ask them if they would think a plain, ordinary person would be the mother of a “king”?
Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Thank you, God, for Mary and the way she cared for her son and most of all thank you for Jesus who showed us the way you want us to live. Help us to show others your love as we go about our daily lives. Amen.
A lesson written by Jan Marshall from: Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church
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