Toddler Nativity Lesson

Lesson 1 of 4 - God's Promise of Love! - Week 40

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Concepts Children Learn:
God loves me and wants to be near me.
God promises to love me always.
God wants to be my best friend.
Prep: Mark your Bible with the memory verse, which is used in the lesson: Jeremiah 31:3. Note: You'll need Adobe Reader 6.0 or later on your computer to print the new story pages. Its free from the Adobe website: Print story pages in either b&w, color, or both of Mary, Joseph, the angel. I recommend using the standup characters to tell the story, use the color illustrations to decorate the bulletin board, and use copies of the black and white pages for coloring pages and craft pages. See instructions for crafts on Craft Page. The black and white pictures are all on one PDF document, the color illustrated pictures on another: Week 40 black and white Pictures, Week 40 color illustrated pictures. Only read the words in bold. The words in parentheses tell you what character to hold, or what actions to do while you are telling the story.
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 31:3. Scripture used as reference for lesson: John 3:16, Luke 1:26-56.

Where will your family celebrate Jesus' birth this year? Would any of you like to share? (Give children a chance to answer). Some of us will be home with our families. Some of you may go to your aunt's house or your grandparents' house. We like to be near people we love when we celebrate Jesus' birth, don't we? I know I do. Did you know that there is someone who loves you so much that he wants to be near you, no matter where you are on that special day? Let's listen to our story and we will find out who that is.

(Mary) This is Mary. Mary was a young, teen-age girl in Bible Times. Mary loved God. Mary was going to get married soon to... (Joseph) Joseph! Joseph was a carpenter. Do you know what a carpenter is? (Give the children a chance to answer). A carpenter builds things like houses and furniture. Soon the the two of them would get married.

Then one day, all of a sudden, an angel came down from heaven to visit Mary! (Bring the Angel down from high above). Mary was afraid when she saw the angel! But, the friendly angel said, "You don't have to be afraid, Mary. God is being very kind to you! You will have a baby! His name will be Jesus! He will be the Son of God, and he will be great! And he will rule forever and ever! Wow! That was great news! Mary believed the angel, but she was still a little confused. She asked the angel, "How will all this happen"? God loved Mary, so he had the angel explain. He said to Mary, You will have the baby by God's Spirit. Mary said "yes" to God's plan. She told the angel, "I love God, and I want what God wants.!" And, so the angel left Mary. Do you think Mary was happy? I think she was probably very excited and happy! She was not going to have just any baby. (Shake head no). She was going to have a baby sent by God! - A baby from heaven! Mary probably wondered why God picked her over all the other women to have the most special baby of all - baby Jesus - who is God's own Son. I bet that made Mary feel very special. Do you think Mary thought of God as her best friend? I do. (Shake head yes).

Mary was so happy that she sang a beautiful song to God. She said, "Thank you God for being so kind to me. Let's open our Bibles and see what else Mary said. (Read Luke 1:6) That means that God is so kind to everyone who loves him - and he is also kind to their children!"

(Joseph) I wonder what Joseph thought when he heard that Mary was going to have a baby? Joseph was upset. He thought and thought about what to do. But, God cared about how Joseph felt. God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream. The angel told Joseph that the baby that Mary was going to have was a special baby sent from God. The angel said the baby's name would be Jesus because he would save the people from their sins! The angel told Joseph that he should still get married. Now Joseph felt better. Now he was not afraid anymore. He knew God loved him so much, and he trusted God. I bet God was Joseph's best friend too.

Next week we hear the next part of the story, but right now, let's talk about the part of the story we heard today.

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Do you remember the name of this baby that God sent from heaven? (Give children a chance to answer). This baby's name was Jesus! He was God's own Son. Another name for Jesus was Immanuel. Do you know what that name means? That name means "God With Us". God wanted to be near us. I wonder why he wanted to be near us? Our Bible tells that God loves us so much that he sent his only Son! God sent his Son, Jesus, to be near us because he loves us so much! Isn't that wonderful? But, did you know that God still wants to be near you today too? He wants to be your best friend, just like he was Mary's best friend, and Joseph's best friend. He wants you to talk to him about anything and everything. He loves for you to spend time with him. When we pray and listen to Bible stories, we are spending time with God. When we sing songs of praise, we are spending time with him too.

Did you know that God promises to love you always. Let's listen to this Bible verse: (Read Jeremiah 31:3). That means forever! God will always love you. That means he will never leave you; and he will never take his love away! That is a great reason to be happy, especially at Christmas time!

No matter who you spend your special day with, you can still spend time with the one who wants to be near you the most! -- You can be near God just by praying to him! Isn't that wonderful? I hope and pray that all of you grow up to know Jesus better and better as you spend more and more time with him. And, I hope all of you have God as your very best friend - just like Mary and Joseph did!

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.
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