December 4, 2016
Theme: Preparing for Jesus
Bible Reference: Luke 2:1-20
I. Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)
II. Church Practice: (light altar candles)
We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world, and we are Christ’s light in the world. On our altar table today, we have a purple cloth.
III. Opening Prayer: Let us Pray, “Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen”
IV. Introduction: Who can remember what the special season is called that helps us to prepare for Christmas. Yes! It is called Advent. Remember, during Advent, we are watching and waiting and preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. During Advent, we also remember that we are waiting for Jesus to come again. We remember to “Stay Awake! and to “Keep Alert!” In this season of Advent we also have a very special symbol. It is round like a circle and has five candles. Who remembers what this is called? Yes! It is an Advent wreath. There are three purple candles, one pink candle and the center candle, the Christ Candle, is white. Each week of Advent we light a candle until all four are lit. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas. Today is the second Sunday in Advent so we may now light two of the candles.
V. Prayer and candle lighting: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe.
You sent your Son to be the Light of the world and to
spread his light of love to all.
As we light the candles of this wreath
May its growing brightness remind us of the approaching
nearness of your Son
So that the day of His coming may find us prepared and
filled with joy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
VI. Bible Story: (Read aloud.) Luke 2:1-20
2In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.3All went to their own towns to be registered.4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
VII. Response: The angels announced to the shepherds that the Christ child had been born. The shepherds, who were amazed, took up their flocks and sought out the babe lying in a manger who was the Savior, the Messiah. But did Jesus’ story end here. No, you are right, it didn’t. This was just the beginning of the wonderful things Jesus would do on Earth. In this season of Advent, we wait, and we prepare, and we keep alert. We prepare our hearts in remembrance of the glorious gift God sent to us through the birth of Jesus as an infant child, and we prepare our hearts in waiting for Jesus to come again.
VIII. Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for this season of Advent that allows us to prepare our hearts, to watch and wait for your Son Jesus. We thank you too for the gift of Jesus whom you sent to us as a baby through his mother Mary at Christmas, Amen.
IX. Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.) For the next several weeks we will be practicing songs for the pageant. Today we will practice “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Song lyrics will be provided for you in each Children’s Chapel room.