Week 4: Love
Light the final purple candle in the Advent Wreath.
At Christmas we remember Christ’s birth, but rarely do we talk about the reason he was born. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to Earth as a baby so He could live a sinless life as a man and be the sacrifice for our sin. That’s a love greater than any love we’ve ever known. That’s the real meaning of Christmas.
Talk to the children about how Christmas is a time we show love for others. Ask them what are some of the ways they can show love for others. Don’t just talk about giving presents. We can show love by being kind to each other, helping each other, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Christmas is a great time to show love because God showed His love for us when His Son, Jesus, was born. The story doesn’t end in the manger. Jesus gave His life for us. That’s true love.
Activities: Make a chain for the Christmas tree using strips of red, green, and white construction paper glue together.
Benevolence: This would be a great time to plan a benevolence event to show love to the community. Have the children bring in canned food for the food pantry, bring a toy for Toys for Tots, or go Christmas Caroling at a nursing home. Talk about how God gave Himself at Christmas. We should also give of ourselves at Christmas.
Object Lesson: Use the following object lesson with the chain garland.
Red: Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world.
Romans 5:9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!
Green: Green is the color of the evergreens that last all year long even through the winter snow. It symbolizes eternal life that Jesus came to give. If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
White: White symbolizes the purity of Christ. He lived His life on Earth without ever sinning, He cleanses us from our sins when we become His children. Our sins become as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Bible Story: For week four of advent, read John 3:1-21. Tell the how God sent His Son to Earth because He loves us. Jesus lived a sinless life and taught us about God while He was on Earth because He is God. Then he died on the cross as a punishment for our sins. He took our place and shed his blood for us.
Talk to the children about how we’ve all sinned. We’ve all failed God. We all deserve to be punished. But God loves us so much that He doesn’t want to punish us for our sins. He wants us to be close to Him. But God is just. He’s always right. So He punished Jesus for our sins. That way we can be close to God and not worry about the punishment we deserve. God loves us that much. Invite the children who don’t know Christ to accept Him as their savior so their sins will be forgiven.
Verses: All verses in the Advent Series are from the International Children’s Bible.
John 3:16: For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
John 13:34: I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:13: The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends.
Galatians 2:20: 20I do not live anymore—it is Christ living in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God. He loved me and gave himself to save me.
Ephesians 5:2: Live a life of love. Love other people just as Christ loved us. Christ gave himself for us—he was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.
1 John 4:9-11: This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. God sent his Son to be the way to take away our sins. That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other.
1 John 4:19: We love because God first loved us.
Sermon: Remind the children God gave Himself as Jesus. Jesus is God with us. The best gift we can give God for Christmas is ourselves.