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This season is the busiest time of the year. With family obligations, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with ministry obligation. In case you need some help with lessons for the next couple of weeks, here’s a few older posts with free messages that work for an emphasis on the New Year.
Ready to Serve Complete Lesson:
Happy New Year!
Revival Fire for Kids Blog won’t post any more until 2016.
Jesus, Light of the World
Light the white candle in middle of the Advent Wreath.
Advent ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. There are three advents in Scripture. The first happened 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now. Jesus wants to come into our lives now. The third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.
Activity: Talk to the children about the meaning of advent. Make this a special time by talking about the real meaning of Christmas. Sing Christmas carols and eat Christmas cookies. You might want to exchange gifts. It would also be a nice touch to have the children act out the Nativity with costumes.
Bible Story: Read Matthew 4:16, Luke 2:25-38. Simeon and Anna were two prophets who lived a very long time. The world was in darkness because of sin. But they knew that when the Messiah, Jesus, came, he would bring light into the world. With that light came hope, peace, joy, and love. When these prophets saw the baby Jesus after He was born, they knew He was the one they were waiting for. They told His mother, Mary, what God had shown them. Jesus is the light of the world.
Verses: All verses in the Advent Series are from the International Children’s Bible.
Matthew 4:16: These people who live in darkness will see a great light. They live in a place that is very dark. But a light will shine on them.
Luke 2:30-32: I have seen your Salvation with my own eyes. You prepared him before all people. He is a light for the non-Jewish people to see. He will bring honor to your people, the Israelites.
John 1:1-5: Before the world began, there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him. Nothing was made without him. In him there was life. That life was light for the people of the world. The Light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overpowered the Light.
John 3:19-21: People are judged by this fact: I am the Light from God that has come into the world. But men did not want light. They wanted darkness because they were doing evil things. Everyone who does evil hates the light. He will not come to the light because it will show all the evil things he has done. But he who follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things he has done were done through God.
John 8:12: Later, Jesus talked to the people again. He said, “I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness. He will have the light that gives life.”
John 9:5: While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 12:46: I have come as light into the world. I came so that whoever believes in me would not stay in darkness.
Ephesians 5:8: In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light.
1 John 1:5: Here is the message we have heard from God and now tell to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
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.
Light the pink or rose colored candle in the Advent Wreath.
Christmas is a joyful time for most children as it should be. The Bible talks a lot about joy and how Jesus being born was a joyful occasion.
Talk to the children about how Christmas is a time of great joy. Ask them what makes them joyful at Christmas. There are other things that cause people to be joyful like the birth of a baby. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a baby. But this baby was different than any other child. Jesus is the son of God, and He came to Earth to be our saviour. Because of this, He has brought joy to the world.
Activity: Continue decorating the Christmas tree. Use these object lessons while decorating the tree.
Tree Top: The tree top is usually an angel or a star. Both were in the sky the night Jesus was born. The angels proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The star lighted the way of wise men traveling to Bethlehem. When they saw Jesus, they were filled with joy. (Matthew 2:10)
Ornaments: Jesus wants us to have joy in our lives. Round bulbs represent Jesus coming to Earth. Jesus coming to Earth gives us joy by reuniting us with God. That’s why it is called Good News. Other ornaments represent that God wants to give us good things.
Siver Ornaments or Garland: Silver has two meanings. It symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed. But it also symbolizes shepherds who rang their silver bells in Bible times to help the sheep find their way. When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds so they could worship Him. Jesus as our Great Shepherd. Jesus came to Earth to help us find our way back to God.
Gold Ornaments or Garland: Gold symbolizes the three wise men. Some called them kings. They brought gifts Jesus when he was born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh to show Jesus was born a king. He came to this Earth as a baby, but He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Optional Activity: A great idea to help children focus on other people at Christmas is to have them make their own Christmas cards. Receiving Christmas Cards can give people joy. Here’s some ideas of who they could send them to.
Missionaries: Missionaries have a hard time at Christmas. They’re away from their families, many times in places that don’t celebrate Christmas.
Shut Ins and Nursing Home Residents: Some of our senior members feel alone at Christmas especially if they have no family nearby.
Widows and Widowers: Those who have lost their spouses have a hard time during the holidays.
Parents: Parents are usually the ones who give to their children at Christmas. Sometimes it helps to give a little something back.
Pastor: Pastors love to be appreciated too. Getting Christmas Cards from all the children would make their day.
Bible Story: (Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 2:1-20)
Tell these stories of the visitors after Jesus was born. First talk about the angels who appeared to the shepherds and told them that a baby was born that would bring joy to the world. The shepherds went to see baby Jesus and were filled with joy. Some time later wise men arrived from the East. They had followed a star to Bethlehem and wanted to worship the new born king of kings. They were filled when great joy when the found Jesus and gave him gifts.
This would also be a good story for the children to act out. Assign some children as angels, some as shepherds, and some as wise men. Don’t forget Mary and Joseph.
Luke 2:10 (NrIV) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people.
Philippians 4:4 (ICB): Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.
End the lesson with encouragement for the children to be filled with joy because Jesus Christ is Lord. If they struggle with joy, pray for God to fill them. Sing Joy to the World.