Monday, December 17, 2018

The Christmas Story

Paraphrased from Luke

A long time ago, in the town of Nazareth, lived a young woman named Mary.  Mary loved God very much.  She was engaged to be married to Joseph, who was a carpenter.
One day, while Mary was at home, an angel suddenly appeared.  Before Mary could say anything the angel told Mary that she was favored by God, and that God was with her. Mary was surprised.  The angel quickly tried to reassure Mary, "Do not be afraid!"  the angel said.  "God has found favor with you.  You will have a baby boy, and are to give him the name Jesus."
Mary was confused, she was not yet married to Joseph, so how could she have a baby?  The angel thought that this might concern Mary so he said, "The Holy Spirit will perform a miracle, and because of this your baby will be called  the Son of God."
To Mary's surprise the angel had more exciting news;  "Even your cousin Elizabeth is going to have a son in her old age.  Many thought that she couldn't have children, but she is already pregnant.  Nothing is impossible with God."
Mary couldn't believe what she was hearing, she didn't know what to say.  She realized that she was trembling, and knelt down.  When she was finally able to speak she said, "I am the Lord's servant, and I hope everything you have said will come true."   The angel then disappeared, and Mary was left alone.
Soon after, Joseph found out that Mary was going to have a baby.  Joseph was confused and upset by this. But an angel came to him in a dream and said, "Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.  The child Mary is going to have is God's son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."
When Joseph woke up he remembered what the angel had said.  He knew that everything was okay, and he wasn't upset anymore.  
In those days the government decided that they should count everyone that lived in that area of the world.  So Joseph had to take Mary to his town, Bethlehem to register.  It took Mary and Joseph a long time to get to Bethlehem.  They didn't have cars back then, so it probably took them a lot longer to get there.  This was very tiring for Mary because she was soon going to have a baby.
When they reached the town, all the inns were full and there was nowhere that they could stay.   Someone offered a stable for them to stay.  Mary and Joseph were thankful that they at least had a place to lay down.  It was warm, and there was plenty of straw to lay on.  That night an exciting, wonderful thing happened.  Mary and Joseph had a baby!  But it wasn't just any baby, it was Baby Jesus!  The creator of the whole world, the King of Kings, the one who would save the world.  The little baby boy fell asleep in Mary's arms and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger.

Discussion Questions

  • Where did Joseph go to be counted?  To Bethlehem
  • Who went with him? Mary, because she was engaged to him.
  • What happened while they were in Bethlehem? It was time for Mary to have the baby.
  • Did she have a bed for him? No, she laid him in a feed box.
  • What was the baby’s name?     Jesus!


Dear God,
Thank you for the story of Baby Jesus.  Thank you for teaching us that you do what you promise, and you help us to always be happy.

Bible Verse for December

“I bring you great news; Jesus is born.”
Luke 2:10-11

Home Connect

Sit down as a family and talk about family birthdays.  What do you do to celebrate the birth of each child in the family?  What made each child’s birthday good news?  What makes Jesus’ birthday good news?  It is so awesome Jesus was born to save us from our sins!  What a gift we have in Jesus!

My Recipe Center

Remember Jesus' birth by making “babies” in swaddling clothes.  Remind your child to wash his or her hands.  Open a can of breadstick dough, and have your child pull the breadstick apart.  Help your child wrap a hot dog in each portion of the dough, leaving the top of the hot dog unwrapped as the baby’s head.  Bake according to the package directions.  Say a prayer of thanks with your child, and enjoy the snacks.   

  • Tell about what you think is exciting about Jesus’ birth. 
  • Who can you tell that Jesus was born?

 Daily Challenge

This week, your child learned that Jesus was born.  Encourage your child to commit to one of the following  challenges to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Help your child weave faith into life this week and follow through on the challenges.

  • Make a present for Jesus such as a craft, picture, or card.  Tell Jesus that the present is for his birthday and that you are glad he was born to help us.
  • Sing “Silent Night” with your family.
  • Sit in a circle with your family and tell each other why you’re thankful for Jesus’ birth.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Angels Tell the News

Luke 2-8:20

On the night Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep.  Suddenly, an angel stood before them, and God’s light shined all around.

The angel said, “Do no be afraid, I bring joyful news to all people.  Today, in the town of Bethlehem, a Savior has been born!  He is lying in a manger.”

Then a choir of angels appeared.  They sang, “Glory to God in the highest!  Peace and goodwill to everyone on earth!”
The shepherds rushed to Bethlehem.  There they found baby Jesus.  They told Mary and Joseph what the angels said.
As they returned to their sheep, the shepherds told everyone what they had seen and heard.  All along the way, the shepherds shouted praises to God.

Discussion Questions

  • Who told the shepherds about Jesus’ birth? The angels
  • Where did the angels tell the shepherds they would find the baby? Lying in a manger
  • What was the first thing the shepherds  did?   They rushed to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus.
  • Was Mary going to have a baby?  Yes
  • What did the shepherds do after they visited baby Jesus. They returned to their sheep and told everyone what they had seen and heard.


Dear God, thank you for the story of the angels who told the good news, and for the shepherds who went to see baby Jesus.  Thank you for sending your son, baby Jesus.  Amen 

Memory Verse

“She will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

Activity:  Which Animal

Choose one family member to be a stable keeper. The stable keeper stands on one side of the room, and the rest of the family stands on the other side. Ask the stable keeper to think silently of an animal that might have been in the stable the night Jesus was born. Then the stable keeper should make the noise of that animal. The other family members now pretend to be that animal and make its sound while moving like that animal, across the room to the stable keeper. Once all the animals have made it to the stable keeper, the stable keeper goes to the opposite side of the room. Play continues as the new stable keeper thinks of an animal and makes the sound. (If your stable keeper needs help thinking of an animal, whisper a suggestion to her: cow, horse, donkey, dog, cat, chicken, sheep, bird, mouse, etc).

Talk About: 

  • What is a stable?
  • What kinds of things might you see in a stable besides animals? 
  • What might a stable smell like?
  • Why was Baby Jesus born in a stable?
  • Who visited him at the stable? 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Jesus Is Born

Luke 2:1-7

Mary loved Joseph.  Mary and Joseph were going to be married soon.  Joseph lived in Nazareth, but his family lived in Bethlehem.
A new leader named Caesar ordered all people to go back to their homeland.  He wanted to count all the people in his kingdom.  So Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem.
Mary was going to have her baby soon.  When they arrived in Bethlehem, they looked for a safe place to sleep, but all the inns were full.
Finally, a man was able to help them.  He said, “I do not have any rooms left, but you are welcome to sleep in the stable.”
Joseph made a warm place for Mary to rest.  While they were there, little baby Jesus was born.

Mary wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth and gently laid him in a manger.

Discussion Questions

  • Where did Mary and Joseph live? Nazareth
  • Why did Caesar want all people to return to their homeland? He wanted to count them in his kingdom
  • Where did Mary and Joseph go?   Bethlehem
  • Was Mary going to have a baby?  Yes
  • Where did they sleep? Stable
  • Did Mary have the baby in the stable? Yes
  • What did they name the baby boy?  Jesus


Dear God, thank you for birth of Jesus.  Your love is such a gift!  Amen 

Memory Verse

“She will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

Craft:  Baby Jesus in a Manger Handprint

  1. Paint your child’s hand with brown washable paint. Push it against a white piece of paper and let dry.
  1. Take some yellow paint and make a circle with outward strokes. This is going to be the hay that the baby will lay on.
  1. Cut out an oval and a circle from white paper. Color the face skin color and the body with a blue crayon. Draw the eyes and a mouth with a black marker. Glue them on top of the yellow paint and you’re done!

Baby Jesus Song

To the tune of "Are you Sleeping Brother John”.

Baby Jesus, baby Jesus,
please don't cry, please don't cry.
Don't you know I love you, Don't you know I love you,
Very much, very much.

Baby Jesus, baby Jesus,
born to us, born to us.
Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore Him.
Joyously, joyously.

Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus   (cup and rock your arms) 
Born to us, Born to us
You came to save us, You came to save us   (raise hands to heaven)
Amen, Amen.           (prayerful hands)

Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus   (cup and rock your arms)
We love you, We love you   (hug yourself)
We're going to heaven, going to heaven  (point upwards)
Thank you, Thank you   (prayerful hands)