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.
Praise God for His Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. 4 God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us. 5 So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. 6 All those things bring praise to his glorious grace. God freely gave us his grace because of the One he loves. 7 We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Because he bled and died our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. 8 He poured his grace on us. By giving us great wisdom and understanding, 9 he showed us the mystery of his plan. It was in keeping with what he wanted to do. It was what he had planned through Christ. 10 It will all come about when history has been completed. God will then bring together all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose. 12 We were the first to put our hope in Christ. We were chosen to bring praise to his glory. 13 You also became believers in Christ. That happened when you heard the message of truth. It was the good news about how you could be saved. When you believed, he stamped you with an official mark. That official mark is the Holy Spirit that he promised. 14 The Spirit marks us as God’s own. We can now be sure that someday we will receive all that God has promised. That will happen after God sets all his people completely free. All these things will bring praise to his glory.
10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Supplies: Clip art of three wise men (this will complete our shoebox nativity).
- Wise man 1 - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Clipart%20Wiseman%201%20BW.pdf
- Wise man 2 - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Clipart%20Wiseman%202%20BW.pdf
- Wise man 3 - https://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Clipart%20Wiseman%203%20BW.pdf
Playlist song: “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
Happy New Year! We have arrived at the last Sunday of this worship series. In the process, we have completed a shoebox nativity scene that after today will be complete. We started with a plain, empty shoebox. Who can tell me what we have added to our empty shoebox nativity to make it complete over the past few weeks? We cleaned it up some, got it all ready for a very special guest. That guest arrived as a baby on Christmas Day. We were so excited with this good news we even burst into song. We received the greatest and most important gift this Christmas and that is the birth of God’s Son. Does anyone know what John 3:16 says? That’s right, God loved the world (that’s us and everyone we meet) so much that God sent God’s only Son. Knowing that, we each have listened to God, like Simeon, and know that God has blessed us and adopted us into God’s family. That is such exciting news that we want to sing it and shout it everywhere we go. We go forward to praise God for sending Jesus to the world.
Paul writes of this in the opening lines of his letter to the people of Ephesus. We need to give God praise because of God’s blessings on our lives. God loves us. God has adopted us into God’s family. God has covered us with the grace of God. God has marked us with the Holy Spirit, and this is who we are now. Everything we do should be to bring honor and praise to God. We should act the way that God wants us to act. We should show others the love that God has for them by the way we love our neighbor. We need to always remember to praise God and thank God for everything that God has given to us.
Today we add the last three people to our shoebox nativity. Does anyone know who the last three might be? That’s right: the three magi or wise men. Those three traveled a great distance to show their honor and praise for what God had done.
We began this shoebox nativity with an empty shoebox. I chose a shoebox for a reason. As we put all the animals and characters in our shoebox, we can be reminded that this scene, the love of God for this world, should be taken out into the world and shared with others. Shoeboxes usually contain shoes that help us walk for miles and miles. Imagine if in all those miles of walking and talking with others, we shared the good news with them. How many people could you tell and show the love God has for them?
Prayer: God, you love the world so much that you gave us an incredible gift. The gift that was born in a manger. Because of Jesus, my life will never be the same. Thank you! Amen.