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This Christmas Bible study for kids is the second in a series of Bible lessons designed to encourage children, youth and even us adults to discover the wonder of Christmas anew using our five senses.
These also correspond with the themes for the Advent Season - hope, love, joy and peace. The fifth lesson focuses on what's next - the wonder of the wisemen and may correspond with the center Christ candle which is optional.
Bring in a string of Christmas lights, but don't plug them in.
Begin talking about all the many things we see at Christmas time. Play a quick game of "I Spy" for Christmas items we see such as -
"At Christmas I spy something":
Allow kids to guess. Finally say, "I spy something with all sorts of colors" ...Christmas lights!
Show them your lights and tell kids how you love to see all the colorful Christmas lights this time of the year, but something is wrong with your string.
Act confused and frustrated allowing time for the kids to tell you to plug the lights into the socket!
Light always has a source. Electric lights must have electricity to work. A candle must have a flame to light it.
Today we're looking at the very first Christmas light - Jesus! He told us He is the Light of the World. He is our ultimate source of light, love and life!
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Have everyone close their eyes. Ask - "what do you see?"
With our eyes closed, we can't see. God wants us to open our eyes and see Him and His love. Christmas can help us do this.
Normally we read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke chapter 2 and Gospel of Matthew chapter 2, but today let's turn to the Gospel of John chapter 1.
I love looking at the Christmas story through the eyes of John because he makes sure we note that Jesus' birth wasn't Jesus' beginning. He is God and was creating with God in the beginning.
[Note this is John the disciple God used to write this Gospel and the John mentioned in these verses is John the Baptist whom we discussed in the first lesson.]
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world."
What an introduction to the Christmas story - "the True Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world."
Let's think of the main ways light helps us (allow kids to share thoughts).
God sent Jesus as the Light of the World to do the same. He helps us see God & His love for us more clearly, He guides us, and He brings beauty into our lives! He is our source of light, love and life.
Further in John is the most well known Bible verse - John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The central truth of the Christmas story is that God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world as the True Light because He loves us.
Jesus came to be our source of light, love and life!
Object Lesson Activity: Give each child a ping pong ball; ask them to write their greatest fear on it.
We all have fears. We may fear being alone or unloved. We may be afraid of snakes or spiders or being in the dark. Give kids a few moments to express their fears.
Have them put their ping pong balls in a container (the size will depend on how many children). Ask if they are able to empty their fears out of the container without touching the container or picking it up. This may seem impossible to them.
Bring out another container of water and begin pouring the water into the container until each of the ping pong balls have floated out.
Explain that sometimes it may seem impossible for we ourselves to get rid of our fears; they seem so big. When we allow God's love to fill our lives though, the fears cannot remain.
The Bible says -
"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love."
1 John 4:18 NLT
Had you ever thought about how the tiniest of lights can dispel any darkness, but darkness can never extinguish the tiniest of lights?
Go back and read John 1:5 - "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it."
Light is powerful!
Darkness cannot stay where there is light; neither can fear remain when we focus on God's great love for us. God is greater!
Let's think about what fears may have been faced that first Christmas:
Actually the only One who had no fears was baby Jesus!
Each of these others had to make a choice to focus on Jesus rather than their fear. In spite of his doubts and fears, Jospeh chose to believe what the angel told him God had said; the same can be seen in Mary, the shepherds and even the wisemen.
We can choose this too. When we are afraid, we can remember Jesus is the Light of the World. God is greater. God is with us. God loves us!
God's love came to comfort and save each of those there that first Christmas, and His Light shines for each of us as well that we might see truly how great His love is.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,2 and his own people3 did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, the gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
When we receive Jesus into our lives and trust Him as our Lord and Savior, we become a child of God. God becomes our Father, and He is a Father who loves us, protect us and is with us always. We no longer have to fear anything or anyone else.
Let's think of God's love as a strong, safe place which cannot be penetrated by fear unless we open the door. When we are afraid, let's shine the light of truth found in God's Word.
Have kids draw a house with only one door. Then have them write the following verses inside it.
"Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
1 John 4:4
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and are safe.”
Any time we are afraid, all we have to do is remember Who God is...He is our loving Father and greater than all our fears! So let's not open that door to let fear or Satan's lies inside!
That first Christmas the True Light came into the world. He came so that we might know and see God and His great love more clearly. We don't have to stay in darkness or live in fear.
© Copyright 2022 Susan Smart
Have kids sit in a circle if possible and hold your string of Christmas lights.
Lead them in prayer thanking God for sending Jesus as the Light of the World and asking Him to help each of them trust Him with their life now and forever so they may not fear anything including even death.
Have them think about all light brings into our lives and how much Jesus brings into our lives. As you say Amen, plug the lights into a socket.
Encourage kids to think of Jesus the Light of the world as they see Christmas lights during this holiday season and to remember He wants to be our source for true light, love and life eternal.
Next Christmas Bible study for kids in this series - Stinky Shepherds
Full series - "Packing Up Our Christmas Senses"
Another Christmas Bible study series - Renewing the Wonder of Christmas.
These lessons look at Christmas through the eyes of those who were there the first Christmas and include activities for kids, youth & adults.
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