Week 2 objectives: to discover that an angel said these words to Joseph and to learn a little bit more about angels.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to begin to think about angels, God’s messengers.
You will need: rolls of masking tape, sheets of newspaper, scissors, silver and gold tinsel, message textbox (see Printables), age-appropriate glow-stick bracelets (optional), glitter hair gel (optional), low tables or blankets, newspaper, ‘How to make angel wings’ (see Printables) and a list of Christmas questions (see Printables).
Before the session print a set of ‘message textboxes’ for each team. Roll the textboxes into scrolls and secure with a piece of tinsel. Make pairs of angel wings for each group.
Divide the children into two teams. Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space – this will be the ‘start line.’ At about two or three meters from the ‘start line’ place two low tables or lay two blankets on the floor. Place the angel dressing-up items on the floor/tables. The items for each team should include a rolled-up message, two newspaper angel wings, a roll of masking tape, around four or five strips of silver/gold tinsel, and if you are using them, glow-stick bracelets and glitter hair gel. Explain to the children that they are going to dress up one of their team members as an angel. Show the children how to attach a pair of angel wings to a child’s shoulders using two small strips of masking tape. Suggest how the children could use the tinsel to dress up the angel i.e. tie a strip around their middle like a belt, lay strips over their shoulder and/or make a ring of tinsel to represent a halo.
Encourage the children to sit in their teams by the start line. Ask the teams to nominate a volunteer to stand next to their table/blanket. Ask a question from the Christmas questions list. When each team has an answer a spokesperson should stand. If the answer is correct the spokesperson can go and collect a dressing-up item from their pile and help the volunteer to put it on (each wing counts as one item). Ask the second question. A different spokesperson should give the team’s answer. Continue playing the game until you run out of questions or dressing-up items. If appropriate choose the ‘best’ angel, and announce the winning team. Ask the ‘angels’ to open their scrolls and read the message to the group.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles and marker pens.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about the Christmas story. Point to the reference. Remind the children that this verse comes from the Gospel of Matthew. Quickly show the children where to find the book of Matthew in a Bible.
Next to the verse draw a stick person and a very simple picture of an angel. A stick person with triangular wings would be sufficient for the angel. Write the word ‘Joseph’ under the first stick person. Explain that an angel said these words to Joseph. Read the verse aloud. Ask the children who Joseph is in the Christmas story. Respond positively to the children’s answers and explain that Joseph was engaged to Mary. They were about to get married. The angel told Joseph that Mary was going to have a baby. He told Joseph to call the baby Jesus.
If you have time, talk to the children about angels. Ask the children what they think a real angel might look like. Listen to the children’s answers. Ask what they think angels do. Again, listen to the children’s answers. Tell the children that angels are God’s messengers. Explain that the Bible tells us that there are thousands of angels; sometimes their clothes shine, and sometimes they walk and talk just as you and I do.
With older children you 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. Spend some talking about the different descriptions of angels.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune of ‘Once in Royal David’s city’
She will have a baby son,
Name him Jesus ‘cause he’ll save,
He will save all of his people,
From the wrong that they have done.
Matthew one verse twenty one,
Matthew one verse twenty one.