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Looking for the Real Jesus

While even young children can know the facts of the Christmas story it is another thing altogether to comprehend it.  This series helps all of us explore the reality of Christ’s birth a little further, to see a rough manger, not a soft bed, the king’s crown next to the crown of thorns, to begin to grasp the glory and the peace that he brings.
 

Week 1: Jesus, Our Good News

Colossians 1:1-8, 28-29

Lighting of Advent Candle

Prophecy from Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. (Isa. 61:1-2a, NLT)

We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

(Reader lights the first Advent candle.)

Response:
Come, Lord Jesus, our light and our salvation.
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Song: “He Came Down” SFL 136, SNC 92, SWM 91, WR 402

Children’s Message

Because the message followed baptism, it focused on what people do to get ready for a baby. One question to ask the children is “Where could a baby sleep in your house if you didn’t have a crib?” Because Jesus’ parents were away from home and Jesus was born in a stable, Mary and Joseph put baby Jesus in a trough that animals ate from. That was his bed! The children helped to put some hay in the manger.

Week 2: Jesus, Our King

Colossians 1: 9-17

Lighting of Advent Candles

Prophecy from Isaiah 9:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.  (Isa. 9:6-7)
We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

(Reader lights two Advent candles.)

Response:
Come Lord Jesus, our light and our salvation.
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Song: “He Came Down” SFL 136, SNC 92, SWM 91, WR 402
1 that we may have hope
2 that we may have light

Children’s Message

Pick up the crown and ask the children what it is and who would wear it. Ask the children what color the cloth is, and point out that blue is the color of kings and queens. Then point out the prickly plant under the crown called “crown of thorns,” and wonder with them why that would be there. After they give their ideas, remind them that when Jesus died, soldiers made a crown of thorns to put on his head.

Week 3: Jesus, Our God

Scripture: Colossians 1:15-20

Lighting of Advent Candles

Prophecy from Isaiah 7:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and will call him Immanuel [which means, God with us]. (Isa. 7:14)

We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

(Reader lights three Advent candles.)

Response:
Come Lord Jesus, our light and our salvation.
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Song: “He Came Down” SFL 136, SNC 92, SWM 91, WR 402
1 that we may have hope
2 that we may have light
3 that we may have life

Children’s Message

Ask the children about opposites: What is the opposite of dark? Of big? Of strong? Jesus came to live among us as a weak and tiny baby, but he was also the all-powerful God. At that point a light behind the manger is turned on to represent the glory of God in the humble manger.

Week 4: Jesus, Our Peace

Colossians 1:21-23

Lighting of the Advent Candles

Prophecy from Isaiah 11:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. (Isa. 11:1-3, 6)
We light this candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

(Reader lights four Advent candles.)

Response:
Come Lord Jesus, our light and our salvation.
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Song: “He Came Down” SFL 136, SNC 92, SWM 91, WR 402
1 that we may have hope
2 that we may have light
3 that we may have life
4 that we may have peace

Children’s Message

Pastor Dave showed some slides of lions and tigers that he took in Africa and talked about how ferocious they are. Then he showed the picture of the lion and the lamb and talked about how Jesus would come again and bring peace on the earth so that even a little lamb would be safe with a lion.

Christmas Eve Service

(See “From Darkness to Light”)