Supplies needed for this series:
- Construction paper
- Clip art printed and ready to be colored
- Playlist of songs to listen to while creating a “shoebox nativity”
This series is designed for either an in-person worship experience or a virtual online experience. The shoebox nativity will be built throughout the Advent season, with additions added each week as we prepare for Christmas.
Each week, a playlist song will be recommended to accompany the child and family as they create the artwork to place in the shoebox. These songs will reinforce each week’s scripture text.
If providing in-person worship, the children’s message leader can build a shoebox nativity in front of the children and encourage them to continue this at home during the weeks of Advent. The in-person leader should prepare each week’s item in advance and present it during the weekly children’s message. The leader should encourage the children to work on their own box at home during the week.
25 In Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was a good and godly man. He was waiting for God’s promise to Israel to come true. The Holy Spirit was with him. 26 The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 The Spirit led him into the temple courtyard. Then Jesus’ parents brought the child in. They came to do for him what the Law required. 28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,
29 “Lord, you are the King over all.
Now let me, your servant, go in peace.
That is what you promised.
30 My eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You have prepared it in the sight of all nations.
32 It is a light to be given to the Gentiles.
It will be the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them.
Supplies: There isn’t a free printable clipart for Simeon. I recommend using this image of Jacob - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Mini%20Jacob%20BW.pdf
Playlist Songs: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”; “Joy to the World”
Have any of you had to wait a very long time for something? How long did you have to wait? A few hours? A day? A week? A month? Even a whole year? What do you think it would feel like to wait your whole life for something?
Simeon was a man who lived a long time ago in Jerusalem, and he waited his whole life—eighty or ninety years—for something very special to happen. He was waiting to meet someone very important. Do you know who that person was? (Allow children to respond.) That’s right, and we have been preparing for him as well.
Simeon was waiting to meet Jesus. God let Simeon know that before he died, he would get to see Jesus face to face. Simeon waited his whole life to meet Jesus, and when he was an old, old man, it happened.
When Jesus was just a baby, Mary and Joseph brought him into the temple in Jerusalem. They wanted to thank God for sending them this very special son. On that same day that they were in the temple, Simeon felt that God told him to go quickly to the temple. Simeon knew that when he arrived at the temple, something very special was going to happen. He was very excited. In fact, he was more excited than you were on Christmas Eve! Remember how hard it was to go to sleep that night because you were so excited?
When Simeon got to the temple, he knew who that baby was! He asked the baby’s parents if he could hold him. He took Jesus in his arms, and he was so excited that he burst into song. Have you ever been so happy and excited you just began to sing? Imagine what Mary and Joseph must have felt seeing this dignified old man come up to them, ask to hold their baby boy, and then felt such excitement that he sang.
Simeon waited his whole life to meet Jesus, the savior of the world, God’s Son. He listened to God and knew when it was time to go to the temple and meet Jesus. We’ve created the nativity scene with animals, shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the manger. Now that Jesus has come, how do we, like Simeon, listen to God? (Let children respond.) This week we will add Simeon to the scene, but he doesn’t go in the nativity. Let’s place him outside the shoebox waiting to meet Jesus. This will remind us that Simeon waited to meet Jesus and spent his time waiting by going to the temple. What are some things that you can do to help listen to God? (Go to church, pray, read the Bible.)
When we are excited, sometimes it’s hard to listen. The days after Christmas are filled with excitement as we play with our new toys or play a new video game that we received. I am sure there have been many times already this week that someone has asked you what your favorite Christmas gift was this year. Maybe, you have even asked someone else what they got for Christmas. When someone asks you about your favorite Christmas gift, give the answer that Simeon did: Jesus! And who knows, maybe you are so excited that you too will burst into song!
Prayer: Dear God, we praise you for filling our hearts with songs to sing. We praise you for sending Jesus to us and giving us something so wonderful to sing about. Remind us of Simeon as we listen to others and tell them our favorite Christmas gift this year, your Son Jesus. Amen.
Let’s all burst into song today and sing as loud as we can, “Joy to the World.”