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This Christmas object lesson using jingle bells teaches a lesson on joy which is applicable any time during the year, but at Christmas, jingle bells seem to be everywhere!
Christmas isn't a "happy" time for everyone. Adults, youth and children alike may experience sadness, loneliness, disappointment, grief, etc. that hinders their enjoyment of the season. And when everyone around them is "feeling" the Merry Christmas vibes, it makes them feel that much more out of sync.
Unlike happiness though, joy comes from within. Help others realize that even when life shakes us up, we can ring a joyful tune because of hope in Jesus!
Photo credit: Pexels - Any Lane
Jesus often taught with parables. A Bible object lesson is similar in that it takes an earthly object and uses it to teach a spiritual lesson.
Bible Lesson: Joy comes from within because of Jesus!
Lesson Title: Jingle Joy!
Object: Jingle Bells
Primary Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:8-9, James 1:2-3, Romans 15:13
Main Point: Circumstances in life may shake us up, but if we have Jesus within, we can still ring out with joy!
To begin this Christmas object lesson, have everyone close their eyes and listen; ask what things they hear and how these make them feel. (If you are in a quiet place, then have them imagine being outside, in the shopping mall, on a beach, in their home, etc.)
Have everyone close their eyes again while you ring some jingle bells. Ask what they think they heard and how this made them feel. What things did the sound make them think of?
Explain: How we feel many times is influenced by things around us - circumstances, people, smells, noises, etc. If we see someone we love or a cute, furry puppy, we may sense the feeling of being happy. If we hear a sad story, we may feel sorrow. If we step into a dark room, we may feel afraid.
So the sound is caused because of something on the outside, but is made by something on the inside!
Relate: Life can shake us up sometimes. Let's think of some ways it may do this. One example may be a change like moving or losing someone. Another may be relationships like when someone is unhappy or angry or mean to us. Others may include when we don't get what we want or are hurt.
When our life is shaken, we may feel empty and lost and silent, but if we have Jesus in our heart we can ring with joy!!!
[Note: Jingle bells could be a choking hazard for very small children; you may want to just allow them to ring jingle bells that you hold for them.]
Give each person a jingle bell and ask them to shake it every time they hear the word "joy" as you read the Bible verses together:
1 Peter 1:8-9 "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
This verse tells us that Jesus fills us with a wonderful joy!!! When we ask Jesus to come into our lives, He can help us ring with joy even when life shakes us up!
[Here you can share the plan of salvation or your own salvation experience.]
One of Jesus' half-brothers wrote the Book of James. He went through some really hard times, but he tells us to count all as joy even when life is hard:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." - James 1:2-3
“When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.” Luke 1:44
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10
“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” Matthew 2:10
Jesus' life was shaken a lot too! The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us even when Jesus was facing death on the cross, He was looking toward joy.
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
We are Jesus' joy! You are Jesus' joy! He faced pain, suffering, dying on the cross and paying the punishment for our sin because He wanted us to be with Him in Heaven!
Instead of looking at our circumstances, we can fix our eyes on Jesus. He desires to fill us with His joy!
Pray Romans 15:13 over your group -
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Make a circle and allow each student to hold a jingle bell while leading them in a time of prayer:
Rejoice over Jesus! Let’s take time and focus our thoughts on Who Jesus is and all He has done for us!
Pray for others! Let’s take our eyes off our own circumstances and place our focus on praying for others and their circumstances.
Tell God "Thank You!" An old hymn tells us to “Count your blessings; name them one by one.” This will place our focus on all that we have and not on what we don’t have or may have lost.
Thank Jesus for coming into the world that we can see and know Him. Thank Him that He is with us and no matter how life may shake us up, we can ring out with joy because of our hope in Him. Ask God to help us share this joy and hope with others this Christmas season.
© Copyright 2021 Susan Smart
Encourage each to remember this truth of this Christmas object lesson as they see and hear jingle bells during the season.
More Christmas object lessons can be found HERE!
The basic idea for this Christmas object lesson came from Sermons for Kids.
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