Christmas-Celebrating Jesus, God's greatest gift
December 2020 • Week 1
Today's Bible story: High Hopes (Jesus Is Promised) • Isaiah 9:6
Monthly memory verse: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIrV)
Life Application: Christmas-Celebrating Jesus, God's greatest gift
Suggested songs: The Friendly Beasts, Carol Medley, Happy Birthday Jesus and The Camel Song
Praise & Pray: Sing along with the provided worship videos and pray. Access songs here
What you might pray: "Dear Lord, your prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus' birth hundreds of years before Jesus' arrival. Thank you for your plan to send Jesus to be the Savior of the world, amen."
Family Devotional & Discussion
What you do: Watch the complementary video together as a family and discuss today's question.
What you discuss: "I'm really excited about this month-I mean, it's Christmas! Christmas might look different this year than it has in the past, or maybe it'll mostly feel like Christmas always does, [Transition] but no matter what, we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior all month long! Did you know that God always fulfills-or keeps-His promises? What are you hoping for?
Bible Story Review
What you need: Bible
What you do: Review the Bible story with the kids using the questions below.
- Name one prophet from today's story. (Elijah or Isaiah)
- Name the prophet who shared the message that God's Son, Jesus, would come to Earth as a baby? (Isaiah)
- At Christmas time, how did God show us that He always keeps His promises? (By sending His Son, Jesus, to Earth)
- Who is Jesus? (God's only Son)
- Why did God send Jesus to Earth? (To fulfill His promise / to rescue us.)
- After hearing this verse, what do you think the people in the Old Testament expected Jesus to be like?
- What's your favorite thing to do during the Christmas season?
- What brings you joy and fun at Christmastime?
- What are you hoping for right now? (Not just in terms of what are you hoping to receive for Christmas, but is there something you're hoping will happen or how do you hope Christmas will turn out this year?)
- Why is hope important? How can we stay hopeful, especially with everything going on in our world right now?
Pray and bless your family
What you need: Craft sticks from "Promise Jump" Activity (if you did the Promise Jump Activity), pens
What you do: "Today you heard how God promised over and over that He would send a Savior to rescue us from our sins. He made lots of different promises about Jesus coming to rescue us years before Jesus was even born. God promised His people that He would send Jesus, and He did! That's because God ALWAYS keeps His promises. Because God has kept His promises in the past, we know that He will keep His promises to us now and in the future. [Bottom Line] We can have hope because God keeps His promises. Now, that's something to celebrate at Christmas!"
- Encourage the kids / family members to take a few minutes to think about two things they're worried about.
- Invite them to write each of their worries on a stick or paper.
- Ask for prayer requests.
What you might pray: "Dear God, thank You for reminding us today that You are a promise keeper. Remind us that we can always trust You to keep Your promise to listen and help us deal with our concerns, worries, and disappointments. Please help us with these specific worries and stresses that we hold in our hands. [Bottom Line] We can have hope because God keeps His promises. Pray for prayer requests. Amen."
What you need: Small craft sticks (If you don't have craft sticks use 2 spoons, 2 pencils etc.)
What you do: Show the kids / family two craft sticks.
- Promise the kids / family that you will place the sticks two feet apart and jump over both sticks with just one jump.
- Ask the group if they think you can keep your promise.
- Jump over the sticks to demonstrate that you kept your promise.
- Move the sticks farther apart, and make the same promise. (Make sure you can jump the distance you moved the sticks so you can keep your promise.)
- Again, ask the kids / family if they think you can keep your promise.
- Jump over the sticks successfully.
- Next, move the sticks so far apart that it's obvious you can't jump over them in one jump.
- This time, don't promise to jump over the sticks.
- Ask the kids / family how they'd feel if you promised to jump over the sticks with one jump.
- Attempt to jump over the sticks.
- Give each kid / family members two sticks.
- Instruct them to figure out how far apart they can place their sticks to fulfill a promise to jump over them with one jump.
- Ask the kids / family to demonstrate their jumps.
What you say:
"Good job figuring out how far you could jump to keep your promise. When my sticks were close together, was it easy for you to trust that I would keep my promise? How would you have felt if I had promised to jump over the sticks when they were very far apart? Even if I had made a promise that I could jump over the sticks that were far apart, would you have trusted me to keep my promise? It really makes sense to only promise things that you know you can do. And yet, there are times when you and other people you know, might not keep their promises. The good news is that when God makes a promise, He always keeps it. God always does what He says He will do. God promised His people over and over that He would send a Savior to rescue them. At Christmas, God sent Jesus. He kept His promise like He always does.
"When you remember that God kept His promise to send Jesus at Christmas, it can help you have hope in any situation. Since God always keeps His promises, that means that He will always keep His promises to you. What has He promised you? He has promised that He will always be with you. He has promised that He is always working for good, even when things are hard. Because God always keeps His promises, you can have hope that God will keep those promises, too. Maybe your family was impacted by COVID-19. That might mean that your Christmas will look different this year. You might not get all the gifts you want, or you might not be able to celebrate Christmas with your family and friends like you have in the past. No matter what happens, it's important to remember that we can have hope because God keeps His promises." [Make it Personal - Share s a time when you saw God keep His promise to you when times were hard. What did He do, and were you surprised at how He did it? How did it bring you hope for the future?)
What you need: "Bookmark" Activity Page (DOWNLOAD HERE), Bibles, pencils, markers, hole punch, yarn / ribbon, decorating supplies
What you do: Look up this month's memory verse (Luke 2:11).
- Find the verse and read it out loud as a group.
- Pass out the bookmarks and pencils, one bookmark and one pencil for each kid.
- Explain to the kids that this month's memory verse is supposed to be written on their bookmarks, but there are words missing.
- Tell them that the missing words are written under each blank line, but the letters are scrambled.
- Instruct the kids to unscramble the letters to figure out the missing words.
- Punch a hole at the top of the bookmarks.
- Pass out a piece of yarn / ribbon to each kid and demonstrate how to loop it through the hole and tie a knot.
- Encourage kids to decorate their bookmark with markers and any decorating supplies you have at home.
What you say: "This verse is a great reminder that God promised to send the Messiah which means 'Savior.' Many years before Jesus was born, God promised that the Savior He would send would be a relative of King David. This verse is what the angel said when He told the shepherds that Jesus had been born. The angel was telling the shepherds that God had sent a Savior who was a relative of King David. God kept His promise because God always keeps His promises. Place your bookmark in a special place-in your Bible or a special book that you're reading-anywhere to remind you that God is a promise keeper and He is always working behind the scenes to keep His promises. Remember, no matter what happens, we can have hope because God keeps His promises."