WHEN GOD SENT JESUS to earth as a tiny baby, He gave us the best gift ever! Jesus came to help us understand how much God loves us. That’s amazing! Let’s explore the story of Jesus’ birth together.
During the story of Jesus’ birth, angels keep appearing in the most unexpected places. Read the stories in Matthew 1:18 to 2:15 and Luke 1:1 to 2:21, and count how many times angels spoke to people.
The angels often start by saying, “Don’t be afraid!” and then they share some really good news. Cut out the shape of an angel using this pattern as a guide. Make sure your
angel is big enough to write on. Write a good-news message on the angel and give it to someone who needs encouragement.
BRIGHT AND MORNING STARS
God sent a star to help the wise men find Jesus. What do you do to help yourself find Jesus? Search your Bible, looking for some of Jesus’ names. Cut stars from white cards. On each star write a name of Jesus in a bright, attractive way. Decorate the stars and punch a small hole in each one. Use white thread to hang them at different heights from a circle of wire or a thin branch. Hang your star mobile where it will remind you to think about Jesus.
GIVE A STAR
Make stars to share with your neighbors. These could be star-shaped cookies, folded paper stars, or any other stars you would like to make. Try rolling out air-drying clay so that it is ¼-inch or 5 mm thick and press rubber stamps, leaves, pine branches, or thick lace into the clay to make a pattern. Use a narrow straw to make a neat hole in one point of each star. Package your finished stars with encouraging Bible verses and give them to your neighbors.
ALL KINDS OF GIFTS
Match the names of the people below with the gifts they gave to Jesus. Some people gave Him more than one gift. And some gifts were given by more than one person. Can you spot the selfish person who didn’t give Him any gifts?
Joseph A shelter
Angels A place to grow into a baby
Shepherds A family
Herod A warm welcome
Wise Men A song
Elizabeth Protection and safety
EVERY STORY IS DIFFERENT
Write the name of each of these characters on separate pieces of paper. Put them into a small bag. Pick out a character and tell the story of Jesus’ birth as if you were
that person. Some of the characters are not in the actual Bible story, but you can imagine a story that they might tell.
• Mary’s mom or dad
• A young shepherd boy
• An angel in the choir
• The wife of one of the wise men
• The innkeeper
Use the story of Jesus’ birth to help you pray for different people and their needs. Here are some ideas:
• Young families and parents with new babies
• People who are traveling
• People who are searching for Jesus
• People who work at night, like the shepherds
• People who are afraid
• People who are homeless, like Mary and Joseph
• People who don’t understand about Jesus, like Herod
As you pray, welcome Jesus joyfully into your own heart and home, and thank God for His amazing gift!
MAKE A SCENE
Create a scene from the story of Jesus’ birth. Use toys, plastic brick sets, household items, natural materials, colored and folded paper, or old Christmas cards.
• The angel visits Mary
• Elizabeth and Mary greet each other
• Bethlehem—the town with no spare rooms
• Baby Jesus in the stable
• Shepherds on the hills
• A choir of angels
• The wise men and their gifts
FULL OF WONDER
“Wonder” together about the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth. Ask
• “I wonder what you like best about the story of Jesus’ birth?”
• “I wonder what the most important message in this story is for you?”
• “I wonder who you would most like to be if you were a character in
• “I wonder what this story tells you about God’s love for you?”
There are no right or wrong answers to wondering questions, but
they help us to think about the story in a different way and apply it to
THE GREATEST JOURNEY
The United Kingdom’s Bible Society has made a lovely
animation about Jesus’ birth called “The Greatest
Journey.” You can search for it on the Internet, or visit
watching it together!
SHOWING GOD’S LOVE
Jesus came to the world as a tiny baby to show us
how much God loves us. In the story of His birth
we find different ways of showing God’s love today.
Prayerfully choose one of them and work with your
family to do something kind for someone else:
• Welcome a baby in a poor family.
• Give special presents to children who are poor.
• Support a project that helps the homeless.
• Care for families who are refugees.
• Invite someone into your home who is a long way
from their own home.
• Sing to bring joy to others.
• Share the good news of Jesus with other people.
• Support an ADRA project.
WORSHIP WHILE YOU EAT
The Trans-European Division has designed some dinner placemats full of family worship ideas. You can find them at https://ted.adventist.org/family-ministries/resources.
Scroll down the page until you find the placemats. Download the designs you want. There is one about the birth of Jesus, one about generosity, one about gratitude,
and several other designs. Use them for family mealtimes during the holiday season. Print off extra sets and laminate them to give as gifts.
SO MANY IDEAS!
• Gather all your books about Jesus’ birth and read them with your family. Then write and illustrate your own mini-book about His birth.
• Write a really happy song about Jesus’ birth. Sing it with your family as if you are a choir of angels! Or use the words of the angels’ song and compose your own music.
• Act out the story of Jesus’ birth with your family. Make up your own words, find toy animals for the stable, and dress up using whatever you can find in your home. You could video your story to share with others or present it at a senior center. You can even search online for short scripts to help you to tell the story.
• Make a beautiful poster for your home or car window that shares the good news of Jesus’ birth with those who pass by.
• Make a miniature nativity scene by downloading the pattern from http://madebyjoel.com/2013/12/paper-city-nativity-scene-joyfullyexpanded.html. (Scroll down.)