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.
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth will have a child even though she is old. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. 37 That’s because what God says will always come true.”
38 “I serve the Lord,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me just as you said it would.” Then the angel left her.
Supplies: Clip art to print and color to add to shoebox nativity:
- Male angel (Gabriel) - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Mini%20Angel%20BW.pdf
- Mary - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Clipart%20Mary%20BW.pdf
- Joseph - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Clipart%20Joseph%20mary%20BW.pdf
- Male volunteer to read Scripture text.
Playlist song: “Mary, Did You Know?”
Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent. Christmas is very near. In the middle of all this excitement, do you remember who we are getting ready for? (Allow children to respond.) We’re waiting for the baby Jesus.
Have you ever had good news to share? We might be told good news by a friend or hear good news on TV or with a text message. When a woman named Mary needed to know about some good news, an angel visited her. I don’t sound much like an angel, but I have found someone who does sound a lot more like the Angel Gabriel.
(Have an “angel” volunteer stand and face the children and say), “Mary! Mary! I have good news for you! You’re going to have a baby. And there’s more: Your baby will be called God’s own Son, and he will change the world forever!” (Have the volunteer sit down. Wonder with the children if that is what they thought an angel looked like. Remind them of the passage that names Gabriel as the angel who spoke to Mary.)
Wow, that is good news for Mary! She is going to have a baby, and her very special baby is the Son of God. When this baby arrives on earth, some incredible things are going to happen!
We like to share good news with others, don’t we? We like to hear good news as well. Jesus’ birth was the best news ever, and God wanted to share that news. Do you know how God shared the good news of Jesus’ birth? God used angels to tell a group of shepherds; remember we placed them in our nativity last week. The shepherds told everyone they could find the good news. The angels told Mary and Joseph the good news about God’s Son. The angels wanted to share the good news with EVERYONE!
This week, let’s put an angel, Mary, and Joseph into our shoebox nativity.
Look what we have done so far to this shoebox. We have cleaned the mess, decorated, and prepared a place for God to give us the most important gift ever given on Christmas. The baby Jesus is the Son of God, and with God, all things are possible.
Before we pray, turn to two other people and share the good news that God loves them, and tell them that anything is possible with God.
Prayer: Praise to you, O God, for sending your only Son Jesus to earth as a little baby. Thank you for giving us a voice to share the good news of your love with others. Amen.