The teaching truths from our lesson in Starting Blocks this week make me want to sing and shout: “Jesus is the Promised One who rescues us from sin” and “God always keeps His promises.” This is the culmination of what the kids have heard over and over through our Old Testament lessons: “God had a plan to rescue the world from sin.” Take some time to celebrate with your little ones this week the wonderful truth that God truly did come to earth to rescue us from sin. There is even an opportunity to share with your kids how God did that in your life. Don’t miss out!
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
This week your child learned that God sent his son to earth as a baby. Joseph took his wife Mary, who was expecting a baby, from his hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem where he was to register for a census that was commanded by Ceasar Augustus. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have the baby and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She named him Jesus just as the angel Gabriel had instructed her. She wrapped Him in cloths and laid him in a manger because there was not room for them in the inn. Jesus is the greatest gift ever given. (Luke 2)
- Jesus is God's Son.
- Jesus is a gift from God.
"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." John 3:16 (NLT)
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us that Jesus is a Gift From God:
1. Manger Ornament
Continue to make ornaments for the tree to remind your child of the story of Christmas. This week you will make Jesus in a manger. Grab two popsicle sticks and let your child color each of them brown. Cut a small rectangle from a piece of cardstock or cardboard and glue the popsicle sticks in an X on the paper. Go outside and let your child pick up about a handful of dry grass. Water down glue and let your child paint the glue on the top opening of the X and then glue down the grass. Cut a small rectangle from an old t-shirt or sock and glue this slightly above the grass. Lastly, cut a circle from manila colored paper, draw a simple face on the paper and glue it beside the small rectangle. Punch a hole in the top and loop string through so your child can hang it on the tree.
TALK about it ...
- Why is Jesus God’s greatest gift to us?
- What do you do when someone gives you a gift? (you take it - "receive” it)
- What does it mean to receive Jesus - God’s gift? (to trust that He died to pay for your sins)
- Tell them a simple version of your testimony, how you received Jesus.
2. Birthday in a Bag
Create a birthday in a bag to help celebrate Jesus’ birthday. So, when at the store let your child pick out cake mix, icing, candles and some party decorations. But instead of using it for your own celebration, place it in a gift bag and deliver it to friend. It is fun to do it at night. Leave the bag on the doorstep, ring the bell and run & hide so your friend doesn’t know who it came from. See the attachments on the playbook email for more details on how to start this tradition in your neighborhood.
3. Snack Manger
For snack time, let your child create baby Jesus in the manger. Use a piece of bread, peanut butter or honey, a few stick pretzels, a forth of a graham cracker, one large marshmallow and one small marshmallow. Spread the peanut butter or honey over the slice of bread. Let your child create a stable frame on the bread using two pretzels for the sides. Break one pretzel in half and use it for the roof. Place the graham cracker on the bread for the manger. Use the large marshmallow for Jesus’ body and the small marshmallow for the head and place these over the graham cracker. While your child eats his snack, read to him the story of Jesus’ birth.
Jesus, thank you so much for coming to earth for us. Help us remember that celebrating the gift of Jesus is the most special part of Christmas!
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Image via Desiring God