Week 2 objective: to discover that the words in this verse were spoken by the angel visiting Mary.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about angels before explaining that the words in this verse were spoken by an angel.
You will need: the ‘Angel-by-numbers’ sheet (see Printables), enough pencils for one per child and as many dice as you can find.
Before the session print or photocopy sufficient ‘Angel-by-numbers’ sheets for one per child.
Give each child a sheet, a pen and a dice. If you don’t have enough dice for one per child encourage the children to share - but ensure that each dice is shared by the same number of children. Explain to the children that they need to draw an angel in the first box on their sheet; however each part of the angel they draw is decided by the number that they roll on the dice. For example to draw the angel’s body they must first roll a six. Make sure the children understand the rules printed in the top right hand corner of their sheet. When you shout ‘go’ the children should begin to roll their dice. If children are sharing a dice they need to take it in turns to roll, but they should take their go quickly so as not to slow down anybody in their group. Play continues until somebody completes an angel. On completing an angel the child shouts ‘angel’ and the game stops. If you have time, play a second game. Everyone should draw a second angel in the second box on their sheet. After eight minutes allow the children to finish the game they are playing. Ask the children to count all the angel-parts they have drawn on their sheet. The child that has drawn the most is the winner.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens and a Bible.
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or a large sheet of paper.
Underline the word ‘Luke’ in the reference. Remind the children that last week we learnt that this verse comes from the book of Luke in the New Testament part of the Bible. ‘Luke’ is one of the four Gospels in the Bible that tell the story of Jesus’ life. Ask the children if they can remember the names of the other Gospels. When Luke wrote this verse he was talking about when Jesus was born. Ask the children if they know which part of the Christmas story Luke is writing about. Explain to the children that Luke is talking about when the angel appeared to Mary. The angel told Mary that she was going to have a baby. Point to the verse as you read it aloud ‘... you will have a son and you will call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High’. Tell the children that during the next couple of sessions we’ll be thinking more about what the angel said.
Hold up one of the ‘Angel-by-numbers’ sheets. Explain that these are cartoon drawings of angels, something you might find on a Christmas card or wrapping paper. Ask the children what they think a real angel might look like. Listen to the children’s descriptions. Tell the children that angels are God’s messengers. Explain that the Bible tells us that there are thousands of angels; sometimes they have wings, sometimes their clothes shine, and sometimes they walk and talk just as you and I do.
Encourage younger children to think about how it may have felt for Mary to suddenly see and hear an angel. Explain that the Bible tells us that when Mary heard the angel speak she was frightened, but the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, God thinks you are very special’.
Older children might like to look up some additional passages about angels. Isaiah 6:1-3; Matthew 28:2-3; Mark 16:5; Psalm 103:20-21. If the children are happy to do so ask them to read the verses aloud to the group.
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.