The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy.” Luke 2:10

Week 4.jpg

Week 4 objectives: to think about what the word ‘joy’ means and to discover why the angel’s message would bring joy to everyone.

Game - 7 mins
Aims: to remind the children that when people heard that the Messiah had come they were filled with joy.
You will need: approximately one length of tinsel for every child.

Organise the children into groups of three or four. Divide the tinsel between the groups making sure each group has the same number of strands. Explain to the children that they need to spell out the word ‘joy’ on the floor using the tinsel...however they can make the letters bigger by using any other items they can find. For example they could take off their shoes or even use themselves to form the letters. The group with the biggest ‘joy’ is the winning group.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or large sheet of paper, marker pens, a Bible, a ‘message sign’ and ‘Messiah sign’ (see Printables), a piece of A4 card and a glue stick.

Before the session stick the ‘message sign’ to one side of the piece of card and the ‘Messiah sign’ to the other.

Write the verse on a sheet of paper or white board. Circle the word ‘Luke’ and remind the children that Luke was writing about a group of shepherds watching their sheep. Tell the children again that an angel suddenly appeared and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy’. Point to the verse as you read it aloud.

Circle the word ‘message’. Ask the children if they can remember what the angel’s message was. Respond positively to the children’s answers. Quickly show the children the ‘message sign’. Explain that the angel told the shepherds that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. Briefly show the children the ‘Messiah sign’. Remind the children that the Messiah was the special person God had promised to send to his people. Later the shepherds would find the baby lying in a manger just as the angel had described. They would discover the baby was called Jesus and they would pass on the message to others that this tiny baby was the Messiah.

Remind the children that last week we looked at why Christians believe the angel’s message is such good news. We discovered that they believe Jesus did many great and wonderful things, he showed people God’s love and taught them how to live; he healed the sick, fed the hungry and comforted the poor. We also discovered that the Bible tells us that the greatest thing Jesus did was make a way for people to become close friends with God.

Circle the word ‘joy’. Ask the children what the word ‘joy’ means. Respond positively to their answers. Explain that one way of describing ‘joy’ is ‘a feeling of great pleasure and happiness’. Explain that Christians believe that being close friends with God brings them great joy, it makes them feel really, really happy.

Recap by explaining that the angel told the shepherds that his message would fill everyone with joy. Underline the words: ‘message’, ‘everyone’ and ‘joy’. Point to the words as you explain that the angel’s message was that Jesus had been born. The Bible teaches that when Jesus grew up he made a way for everyone to become close friends with God. Christians believe being friends with God brings people great joy.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune of ‘The big ship sailed through the alley-alley-o’.

The angel said ‘now don't be afraid’,
‘Don't be afraid’, x 2
The angel said ‘now don't be afraid,
I have some good news for you.’

It’s a message that will fill everyone with joy,
Everyone with joy, x 2
It’s a message that will fill everyone with joy,
Fill everyone with joy.

You could do some simple actions: wag your finger as you sing ‘don't be afraid’. Hold your hands to receive a gift as you sing ‘good news for you’. Squat down then jump up as you sing ‘fill everyone with joy’.

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