Welcome to week three in our Christmas lesson series. (If you missed any of the past Christmas lessons click here). This week, we focus on Luke 2. We will look at the trip to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth in a stable, because of the lack of room in the inn.
- We need to make room in our lives for Jesus.
- Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament with His birth.
- Jesus came for a purpose.
- God is in control.
Jesus is born – Lesson Guide
There are some helpful animated videos and song ideas included in a youtube playlist to go along with this lesson.
Explain to the child that the time had come for Jesus’ birth. Talk about how Mary and Joseph did not live in Bethlehem, which is where prophecy said Jesus would be born. Explain that the leader of the country announced a census, and because of the census, Mary and Joseph would be in Bethlehem, just as the prophecies said.
Explain that a census is people being counted so the government knows how many people are living in their country. Tell your child that you will conduct a census of their toys. Ask the child to lay the toys together with their kinds (or use building blocks separating by color and size). After the child separates the toys, you can count together to determine how many dolls or toy cars they have. Complete a few other categories of toys. Point out that the king would want to know how many people there were and what jobs they did. You can also do a census of your household, such as asking the child how many mommies or daddies, or children are living in your home. For older children, you may choose to get more specific such as the number of people with a particular eye or hair color, etc.
Explain that just as you separated the toys to make them easier to count, the ruler wanted all his people to go to the homes their families came from to be counted. Even though the leader who wanted the census didn’t follow God, God used the census to make sure Jesus was born where He was supposed to be born. You can talk about where your family originally lived and if you would have to travel like Mary and Joseph did.
Talk about different jobs in the world. You can color pages, cut photos from magazines, or just mention them. Ask the child to explain what each person’s job is. A waiter serves food. A fireman puts out fires. A policeman protects people. Etc. You can ask the child what career he would like, and what job you do. Explain that Jesus came to earth to do a specific job. He came to provide the way for people to be saved from their sins.
Remind the child of the other prophecies that we read in the Old Testament during the first week of the Christmas lessons. Point out that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies. [NOTE: This is where you will open the envelope that you created in the first week of the Christmas lessons. Read it together and point out the things that happened (Is your child wearing a green shirt? Did you have carrots for dinner?) and the things that didn’t.] Talk about how we can only guess, but God’s prophecies are certain. Everything God said would happen at Jesus’ birth, happened.
Talk about how the inn was too small for Mary and Joseph. You may choose to create a “hotel” by laying out towels on the floor. Put one toy in each “room.” After they are full, bring Mary and Joseph and explain that there are no rooms left for them to sleep in. Talk about the innkeeper who agreed to let them stay in his stable. Point out that Jesus was very humble to be born in a stable. You can talk about where your child was born—hospital, home, etc. You may even be able to take them for a visit.
Think about ways that people might say they don’t have enough room for Jesus. Talk about how, even in Christmas celebrations today, people don’t want Jesus to be a part of them. Some people like Christmas trees and presents but forget that Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas. Remind the child that Jesus wants to live in our hearts. We need to make sure that Jesus has room in our lives. To make sure He has room in your Christmas, make a point to read a verse and share something with your child about Jesus in the days leading up to Christmas.
For the third week of the nativity-building project, add baby Jesus to the set. Point out that the long wait for His arrival is over.
Pray and thank God that He came into the world. Ask God to help you make your heart a home for Him.
Free Printable Bible Story
Games and Activities
Find a place to stay
Lay a number of cards face down on a table. The more cards used, the more difficult the game. Write “No” on all of the cards except one. Write “yes” on one card. For younger children, you could use colors. Red for no, green for yes.Take it in turns to pick up one card. The idea is to find somewhere to stay (The card with yes). The first person to find the card wins. Rearrange the cards on the table and play again.
Visit a live nativity
If you have a live nativity near to where you live, plan a visit with your family. Many churches hold a live nativity.
Another alternative would be to visit a farm or stable. While there, ask your child to explore all their senses. What does it smell like? What can they see? What does the hay feel like and so on.
Ask them if they think it would be a nice place to be born.
Hold a Birthday Party
With all the decorations and events that surround Christmas, it’s easy for children to forget we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Hold a birthday party to help them remember.
Blow up balloons, wear party hats, play their favorite party games, and eat some birthday cake.
It helps if you use normal birthday decorations rather than Christmas decorations. Celebrate Jesus’ birth together.
Christmas Coloring pages – Jesus is Born
Stable scene craft – Includes free template
You will need:
- Template printed on thick card
- 7 Lollipop (popsicle) sticks
- Colouring pencils
- Optional: Ribbon / stars
What to do
- Colour in the nativity scene
- Cut around outside
- Glue on lollipop sticks or colour with pencils.