“The Light Has Come”: An Advent Bible Lesson written by Pastor Mike Cosperfor Creative Worship Sunday, December 6th John 1:5; Isaiah 9:2, 6; Luke 2
THE BIG IDEA: An Introduction for the Teacher and Liturgist: For a long time, Christians have celebrated the weeks before Christmas with a season known as “advent.” Advent is a word that simply means “coming” or “waiting.” For many, many years, God’s people were eager to meet Jesus. He was a king and a warrior that was coming to set them free from their sins. The Bible tells us that ever since sin came into the world the whole world has been waiting for Jesus to come and bring redemption both to his people and the fallen world (Romans 8:18-25). The prophet Isaiah describes the fallen world as a place of darkness into which the light of Jesus would come to shine. The good news of advent season is that the one whom the world has been waiting for has come and is coming again. Today, we will introduce our children to the Light who has come to shine in the darkness, and we will challenge them to look for and wait for him in worship. Here are our keys for this lesson. When the lesson is through, each child will know:
- Advent means “coming.”
- Before Jesus came, God’s people waited eagerly to meet him.
- Jesus came as a king and warrior to set his people free from sin.
- The world now waits eagerly for Jesus to come again.
WELCOME (5 minutes) During the WELCOME portion of each lesson, greet each child warmly as he or she comes into the classroom and encourage him or her to gather at the activity area. Ask the children to help you set up supplies and do “prep” for the art project. Use the following introductory paragraph or a variation of it to introduce each child to the lesson:
Does anyone know what time of year it is? (Pause). That’s right, it is Christmas time. For a long time, Christians have celebrated the weeks before Christmas with a season known as advent. Advent is a word that means “coming” or “waiting.” When we’re really excited about something that’s coming, we say, “I can’t wait.” What are some things we say, “I can’t wait,” about? (Birthdays, Visitors, Vacations, Presents, Christmas, etc.) Celebrating advent is a way of saying, “I can’t wait” for Jesus to come.
TELL THE STORY (5-10 minutes): Don’t just read it. Know it and bring it to life! Does anyone know what time of year it is? For a long time, Christians have celebrated the weeks before Christmas with a season known as “advent.” Advent is a word that simply means “coming” or “waiting.” For many, many years, God’s people were eager to meet Jesus. He was a king and a warrior that was coming to set them free from their sins. The Bible tells us that the whole world was waiting for Jesus to come, ever since sin came into the world.
When we’re really excited about something that’s coming, we say “I can’t wait.” What are some things we say “I can’t wait” about? (Birthdays, Visitors, Vacations, Presents, etc.)
Celebrating advent is a way of saying, “I can’t wait” for Jesus to come. One way that we celebrate advent is to light candles, lamps, and lights in honor of Jesus. The apostle John tells us that when Jesus came into the world:
What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out (John 1:5, The Message).
Isaiah says it like this:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 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 (Isaiah 9:2, 6 NIV).
The whole world was living in a kind of spiritual darkness. They were lost without Jesus, but when Jesus came, it was like someone switched on the lights. Suddenly, in Jesus, we had light, we had truth, we had hope. Part of what makes Christmas so special is remembering advent – remembering the time of darkness before the light came into the world.
GAME: Light in the Darkness (2-3 minutes) Let’s play a game to celebrate advent. Advent celebrates the light that came to the darkness. So let’s pretend that we’re in the dark, (lights turned off), we’re scared, and we’re anxious for hope. Let’s all find a hiding place, and we need to be as quiet as we possibly can. Quick go hide! Now when the lights come on, we need to celebrate that it’s GREAT news. So when the lights come on, you need to jump up, bounce up and down, and shout for joy. Ready?
The people walking in darkness have seen a great… LIGHT (lights on)!!!! 1st time – Now is that how excited you’d be on Christmas? Come on let’s try again. (Repeat game) 2nd time – That’s a little better, but I need to hear more excitement. One more try. (Repeat Game) 3rd time – Great Job! Let’s gather together over here and sing.
Tomorrow we will preview the Advent Music Liturgy that will immediately follow this lesson on Sunday.