Week 2: Peace
Light the second purple candle in the Advent Wreath.
Read Isaiah 9:6: A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
If hope has a different meaning in the Bible then it does in the world, then peace also has a different meaning. Jesus talked a lot about the peace He came to give. His peace isn’t the absence of conflict, war, or trials, but it is a calm assurance that Christ is in control even when the world around us is in chaos.
Ask the children what peace is. Talk to the children about how Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He’s not called that because everything becomes peaceful when we get saved. He brings us peace in the midst of our troubles. Tell a story about a tragedy in your life and how God gave you peace in it when you trusted in Him.
Activity: Have a Christmas tree in place, and let the children decorate it.
Make sure you have the following ornaments for the tree. Talk to the children about what these ornaments represent.
Red Apples: (You can have the children cut apples out of construction paper is you like. Save other ornaments for later weeks. This will be an ongoing project.)
We hang apples from the Christmas tree because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the apple. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.
Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world. That gives us peace.
Stories about the Christmas Tree:
Here are two stories you can tell the children about the Christmas tree. One is from church history. The other is a legend.
The Paradise Tree: From the eleventh Century, religious plays called “Mystery Plays” including the popularParadise Play depicting the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, their sin, and thier banishment from Eden. An evergreen tree was used for this winter festival and decorated with apples symbolizing the forbidden fruit.
Verses about Peace: All verses in the Advent Series are from the International Children’s Bible.
Isaiah 9:6: A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
Mark 4:39: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
John 14:27: I leave you peace. My peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid.
Bible Story: (Luke 2:1-7;
Object: Show a picture of a clean nativity scene where everything looks angelic. Then show a picture of a smelly, dirty cave with lots of animals.
Tell the story about Mary having the baby, Jesus. Emphasis how she didn’t have it easy. While she was very pregnant, she had to ride miles on a donkey. Talk about the hardships they must have faced on the trail. Talk to the children about camping outside. Talk about the bad things about camping.
Then when Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem, they couldn’t even stay at an inn. They had to stay in a smelly old cave. They didn’t have barns today. They kept their animals in caves. She gave birth in a manger filled with straw. A manger is a feeding troth for animals.
This is where Jesus was born. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but He was born in a stable.
They didn’t have a doctor or a midwife or even Mary’s mother there. Neither Mary of Joseph knew what was going to happen, but they had peace in the midst of it because they trusted God.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He can give us peace even when things aren’t going well. He came to give us peace with God. How do we feel at peace when everything goes wrong? The Bible tells us how.
Isaiah 26:3.(ICB) You, Lord, give true peace. You give peace to those who depend on you. You give peace to those who trust you.
End the lesson with a Christmas hymn. I suggest O Holy Night.