Week 3 objective: to discover that Jesus is great and has done great things.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about being knighted before talking about the great things people have done.
You will need: a blindfold and a rolled up newspaper secured with some tape.
Briefly explain to the children that hundreds of years ago when a squire became a knight, a king or queen would ‘dub’ him on the shoulder very lightly with a sword. Demonstrate this with one of the children, ask them to kneel down, dub them on the shoulder with the rolled up newspaper then say ‘arise sir (say their name)’.
Ask the children to sit in a wide circle with a distance of approximately half a metre between each of them. Ask for a volunteer to pretend to be the king or queen. Explain that they will need to be blindfolded.
Ask the volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle. They should have a good look around and try to remember who is sitting where. The volunteer should then be blindfolded and given the rolled up newspaper. Call out who is to be knighted. For example shout ‘Knight Ella’. The volunteer should carefully walk towards where they think Ella is and try to dub her on the shoulder. If the volunteer thinks they have dubbed Ella they should say ‘Arise Sir Ella’. If it is Ella who has been tapped (even if not on the shoulder) she should stand and say ‘Your Majesty’. She should then be given the option of becoming the queen. If it is not Ella that has been dubbed everyone should try and remain silent. The volunteer can have one more go at guessing where Ella is before it is someone else’s turn to be king/queen.
For a quieter activity print the ‘Find the words’ sheets (see Printables). Help the children to find all the words that mean ‘great’.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens and a Bible. If you can, find a recent picture on the internet of somebody receiving a knighthood but beware of copyright regulations.
Before the session write the verse on a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper.
Show the picture of somebody receiving a knighthood and explain that people are still knighted today. Make sure the children understand that this is not so that they become an olden-day-knight that rides a horse, but it is to show that they have done something great. If a man is knighted for something he has done he can be called 'Sir' instead of Mr, like Sir Bradley Wiggins who was knighted for his great cycling or Sir Quentin Blake who was knighted for his great children’s picture books. If a woman is knighted for something she has done she can be called 'Dame' instead of Miss or Mrs, like Dame Sarah Storey who was knighted for her great cycling and swimming in the Paralympics.
Underline the word ‘great’ in the verse. Tell the children that the angel told Mary that Jesus would be great. Talk to the children about all the great things that Jesus did when he lived with people: he healed the sick, fed the hungry, comforted the poor, taught about God's love, brought the dead back to life. However Christians believe that the greatest thing Jesus did was make a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with God. The Bible teaches that when Jesus was a grown up he died on the cross and on the third day God raised him back to life. Christians believe that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody, everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with God.
Explain that Mary did not yet know that her Son would one day do all these things, but she knew that he would be great. When we think about Jesus as a Baby this Christmas let's not forget his greatness.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune 'The Farmer wants a wife'.
The Son of the Most High,
The Son of the Most High,
He will be great and he will be called,
The Son of the Most High.
When the children are familiar with the words, you could divide the group into two and try singing the song as a round. Older children may prefer to say the words to a simple beat rather than sing them.