December 13, 2020 Post

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Greetings,

I hope you and your family are staying healthy and well as we inch ever closer to Christmas and to being able to gather again.

Following, you will find the Sunday School lesson to be offered on December 13th via Zoom at Noon. I hope that your child/ren will be able to join us.  If they are unable to join, I hope you take the opportunity to utilize the lesson sometime during the week.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Peace & Blessings,

Pastor Cheryl Schalm

 


 

Sunday School Lesson: An Angel Appears to Mary

 

Teacher Enrichment

If you’re reading through Luke 1, you find that today’s story of the foretelling of Jesus’ birth to Mary interrupts the story of John the Baptist. At the end of today’s story, Mary runs off to visit Elizabeth. After Mary’s song of praise (Luke 1:46-55), the story of the birth of John resumes.

We’re told very little about either Mary or Joseph in this passage. We only know that they were pledged to be married (a pledge that’s more binding than an engagement today), that Mary was a virgin, and that she apparently was chosen to be Jesus’ mother by virtue of being “highly favored” by God. Of all the Jewish men and women of all time, God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly guardians of his Son. These were humble, ordinary people who must have had an extraordinary relationship with God. They were willing to be used by God in whatever way he saw fit. And God used them in an extraordinary way!

Use this lesson to help your students see how God uses ordinary people—like them—who are committed to serving him.

Other Scriptures used in this lesson are Matthew 1:18-21 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Teacher’s / Parent’s Prayer

  • Read Acts 4:13.
  • In what ways did God use these ordinary men? What made them different?
  • How willing are you to be used by God in whatever way he sees fit?
  • Pray: Lord, use me. Help me to be the person you want me to be in the lives of my students so that they will…

Welcome

Before class, photocopy the “Will You Risk It?” handout (see the bottom of this post). Cut the assignments apart. Make enough copies so that each child will have an assignment. Put each assignment with one rubber band in a separate envelope. Seal the envelopes.

Say:  You’re invited to take a risk today. You don’t have to take the risk, but if you do you must agree to do whatever the instructions inside the envelope ask you to do. If you take this risk, you may also be rewarded. I have an envelope for each of you. Who wants an envelope?

Have child/ren open their envelopes, complete their assignments, and then give you their rubber bands. As kids turn in their rubber bands, give each one a treat.

Will You Risk It? Debrief

Ask:

  • What thoughts went through your mind when you took an envelope? (I was curious to find out what was inside; I was afraid it might be a trick.)
  • If you took an envelope, why did you decide to take a risk? (I thought it would be fun; I hoped there was a good reward.)
  • If you didn’t take an envelope, why did you decide not to take a risk? (I thought it might not be worth it; I didn’t care if I got a reward.)
  • What other risks do you take sometimes? (Volunteering to do a job for someone; trying to be someone’s friend.)
  • How was this activity like other risks you might take? (You never know exactly how it will turn out; if you don’t take the risk, you might miss the reward.)

Say: In our activity, you had to take a risk before you got a reward. At first, some of the opportunities we have to serve God may seem a little risky to us. But the rewards of doing what God wants us to do can be wonderful. God uses ordinary people like you and me to do important things for him. Today we’ll learn how God used an ordinary young woman to bring his Son into the world.

Bible Exploration

You don’t have to be rich or famous for God to use you. Listen while I read Luke 1:26‑27. This passage tells about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Read Luke 1:26-27 aloud. Say: Jesus’ mother, Mary, wasn’t very old—possibly a young teenager. Most people didn’t know Mary or her family. But God chose Mary for the special purpose of giving birth to Jesus.

An angel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus. Read Luke 1:28-29 aloud.

When Mary first saw the angel, she was confused and wondered what was going on. Imagine that an angel just appeared to you.

Ask:

  • What’s the first thing you might think if you saw an angel? (I’d be scared; I would wonder if it was a dream.)

Read Luke 1:30-33 aloud. Then ask the class:

  • How do you think Mary might have felt after hearing the angel’s message? (Excited; happy to be chosen; curious about how it would happen; scared.)

Read Luke 1:34-38 aloud.

Ask:

  • Do you think you would have agreed to do what the angel said as Mary did? Explain. (Yes, I’d do what God wanted me to do; no, I might have said, “Let me think this over first.”)
  • Why do you think God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother? (Because she followed God; because she was nice; God knew she’d make a good mother.)

Read Matthew 1:18-21 aloud. Then ask:

  • Why do you think God chose Joseph to act as Jesus’ father? (Because he was a kind man; because God trusted him.)

Say: God could have chosen someone famous, someone important, or someone wealthy to bring his Son into the world. But he didn’t. Instead, God chose an unknown young woman who was willing to be his servant. God knew Mary would be a wonderful mother for Jesus and that Joseph would be a good earthly father. God didn’t care how famous or important Mary and Joseph were because God uses ordinary people.

Not only did God choose ordinary people to be Jesus’ parents on earth, but God also chooses ordinary people to be Jesus’ spiritual brothers and sisters. That’s right—Jesus was born on earth so that any ordinary person could become a child of God and have a relationship with him. Jesus loves ordinary me and ordinary you!

Say: We’ve already heard how God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. But how did Mary react to the news? Let’s look at Luke 1:28-29 again to find out.

Say: In these verses, Mary is confused about why God has chosen her and what the angel’s message might mean. Mary might have felt too young or unimportant for such a special task. Tell us about a time you thought you were too young to have something special happen to you. (My sister said summer camp was really fun, but I was too young to go; my brother gets to drive, but it’ll be zillions of years before I can drive.)

Say: God uses ordinary people, and his choices are often surprising. Let’s find out why. Read 1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then ask:

  • What ideas does this verse give you about why God chose Mary? (Mary was just an ordinary girl, but God knew her heart; she was nothing special, but God can use anyone whose heart is right.)

Say: God uses ordinary people like Mary, and God can use kids, too.

Breaking News Activity

Form teams if possible or have child invent, write and report a news story that could happen to someone their age who wants to make a difference for God.

Have one person on begin with a sentence such as “Today a 9-year-old girl made the news.” Then take turns adding sentences to your story until everyone has had at least one turn to add a sentence. After everyone has contributed to the story, you can agree to change the details if you want. Have the Writer in your group write down the main ideas of the story for the Reporter to present to the class.

Breaking News Debrief

When the “newscast” is over, thank everyone for “tuning in.” Then ask:

  • Do you think the stories you invented could really happen? Why or why not? (No, we just tried to make a good story; yes, people can make a big difference if they try and their hearts are right.)
  • Would you be willing to do something like the characters in your stories did? Explain. (Yes, I’d love to help people in a special way; no, I wouldn’t know what to do; I’m not sure I could do that.)

Say: Like Mary, we may wonder why God would want to use us. We may feel awkward and nervous about doing something like [INSERT: the stories you made up]. But if we’re willing to get involved, God can use us in amazing ways. We know that God uses ordinary people—people like you and me. Let’s explore how God might use ordinary you and me in his plan.

Ordinary People Activity

Have child/ren draw a gingerbread-style person outline on a piece of white paper. Give each child/ren another piece of paper and then have them cut out the person shapes.

Say: God used Mary, an ordinary young woman, to bring Jesus into this world. God uses ordinary people, even ordinary kids, to do great things for him.

You each have an ordinary person—a plain, white paper person. This ordinary paper person represents you, an ordinary person. Go ahead and glue your ordinary paper person to the middle of your piece of paper.

Pause as kids follow instructions. Then say: There you are, an ordinary person in the middle of an interesting world. Let’s add some features to make this ordinary person look more like you. Using any craft supplies you may have, add facial features, hair, clothes, and anything else that would make this ordinary person look more like you.

As kids add their unique features, say: From the minute God created you, you were anything but ordinary. God had plans for the way you would look, act, feel, think, talk, and interact with others. He knows the hairs on your head­—in fact, each one has a number! God made every aspect of you unique.

Give kids time to finish adding their features. Then say: But God has even bigger plans for you than just for your looks, thoughts, and feelings. God wants to use you to do amazing things for him, to encourage others, to help other Christians grow closer to Jesus, and to help people who don’t know Jesus have a relationship with him.

Activity Debrief

Ask:

  • What are some extraordinary ways God can use you in your ordinary life? (God can have me invite non-Christian friends to church; I can encourage people when they’re feeling down.)
  • What is it like knowing that God can use you in amazing ways? (It surprises me; it feels good to know that God is powerful enough to use me.)
  • What are some big things God might be preparing you to do for him in the future? (I might become a pastor; God might be preparing me to go to another country to share about Jesus; God might want me to open a shelter for homeless children.)

Say: On the outside of your person, draw or write ways you can serve God. These can be ordinary ways in your ordinary world, such as at school, with your family and friends, or in your neighborhood. They can also be huge ways to serve God in the future. No one knows exactly how God is going to use him or her, but remember that God can use you in extraordinary ways, so be creative.

Have Children Share What They Wrote or Drew

CLOSE IN PRAYER

 


 

 

Will You Risk It? Handout

Cut on the dotted lines:

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Your assignment is to tell one person why you’re glad they’re in your family.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

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Your assignment is to pat one person on the back and give them a big smile.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

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Your assignment is to say to one person, “It’s a great day to be alive! Gimme five!” and give them each a high five.

Congratulations on taking this risk!

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Your assignment is to shake hands with one person and say, “It’s a special day, and you’re a special person.”

Congratulations on taking this risk!