TWO ADVENT CHILDREN’S SERMONS
Advent Children’s Sermon 1:
A Picture of Baby Jesus’ Friends
by Rev. Neil MacQueen
I love this children’s sermon! Years ago on vacation my kids had a great time playing in front of a PAINTED horizontal mirror in a restaurant playground. On the mirror were painted crazy hair-dos and beards that the kids could walk up to and position themselves so they looked like they were wearing them.” My kids loved it.
(Ever since, I’ve always wanted to put a LONG MIRROR in a hallway of my Sunday School with the same effect, only this time with costumes/hair/beards and titles of Bible heroes, …so they could “see themselves in the picture” and realize that “they were the Bible heroes the world needed now.”)
All I’ve done so far is turn the mirror into a children’s sermon, which the kids loved. We did hang the mirror in the hallway at kids’ height. Always wondered what a WALL of mirrors would have been like where even the adults could “see themselves” in the story. I call this idea a “LIVING MURAL.”)
So here’s the children’s sermon:
One Sunday in Advent, after preparing it, wrap up a long rectangular picture mirror, —one of those non-glass ones you can buy for the back of your kids’ bedroom door.
Paint some crazy hairdos and beards on it, and some titles like “Bible Hero”. Wrap it in Xmas paper and ask the kids to guess what it is. After some preliminary guesses, tell them that it is a PICTURE that’s hidden in this wrapping, OF BABY JESUS’ FRIENDS…. people who wanted to grow up just like he did and obey God, and change the world!
Let them unwrap the mirror and have fun letting them ‘try on’ the hairdos and beards. Turn it around so the congregation can see it too. Walk up to old Mr. So-and-So and say, “Look, Mr. ____is a friend of Baby Jesus too!”
Point to Make: God came into the world as Jesus at Christmas so that we might be saved and made into the FRIENDS of Jesus, …people who started out as a baby just like he did, people who grow up just like he did, people who love God as he did, and are willing to try and change the world just like he was willing. I’ll leave it at that. Feel free to word-monger to suit your needs.
Note: In one church I used to go to, I ‘gave’ this children’s sermon to a pastor to do with the kids. He pulled out a PLAIN HAND MIRROR and showed the kids their reflection. The kids were unimpressed.
Advent Children’s Sermon 2:
What Would Jesus Give our Sunday School for Christmas?
by Rev. Neil MacQueen
This Advent children’s sermon could be a one-off, or an Advent series (which is how I originally did it).
In brief: The children “unwrap” several things for their Sunday School that Jesus has given THEM for Christmas. Kids (and adults) love the anticipation, the humor, and the poignancy. After each gift is unwrapped by the kids and passed around, the pastor asks, “Why would Jesus give us THIS for Christmas?” The setup up is that some of the things are mundane and merely useful. Markers and toilet paper, how thoughtful of Jesus! (Point: Jesus cares about our every need. Nothing is too little for Jesus.)
On the third Sunday in this “What Would Jesus Give?” Advent series, I gave the kids a small gift “from Jesus”. We had found these inexpensive “Jesus dog tags” in a catalog (back when wearing dog-tags were trendy). We talked about “who Jesus belonged to” (his parents, to God, the world), and who we belong to.
On the fourth Sunday in Advent, Jesus gave the kids a new popcorn machine. Then I brought in a big box with a really important gift: a teenager who was volunteering to help teach in January. Great gift! At that point we had THAT TEEN start wrapping up one of the kids in wrapping paper. As the fun unfolded, I asked, “What are you doing?”
And the teen replied, “Jesus wants us to GIVE THE GIFT OF OURSELVES…to be here and learn about his life and teachings.” Quite effective!
THE POINT: Think of things your kids and program might appreciate or you want to highlight, and turn it into a message.
A few Misc things Jesus would give your kids:
-new Bible picture book (because Jesus wants us to learn more about him than just about his birth)
-a new Bible video series for January classes
-a framed “frig photo magnet” of your welcoming church/congregation for each child (take it the week before with everyone smiling and raising their hands).
-a teenage helper who we brought in wrapped in a box (wonderful! see note above)
-MONEY. What would Jesus want us to do with money during this season?
Buy more presents? (offer to mission!) (I once did this “give them money” bit
as a different children’s sermon. Every single kid put their money in the offering basket after I showed them some pictures of kids in need.