To examine the ways of sharing Jesus’ presence with all people
The children will be able to explore the ways in which we can share Jesus' presence with others.
- Ask the children to join you in a circle and then say: When Jesus was born, the angels sang "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14).
- Invite the children to share their interpretations of this passage.
- If necessary, remind the children that this passage identifies the union of heaven and earth that occurred with the birth of Jesus. Feel free to read to the children the FYI: Peace: The meaning of peace in the Bible sheds light on our understanding of peace during the Christmas season and on World Peace Day (January 1). In the Bible peace is more than the absence of violence. It is the harmony that comes when heaven and earth are united. When Jesus was born, the angels sang "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14), meaning that, through the birth of Jesus, heaven and earth have been united for those who recognize him as the Son of God. When we pray for peace during the holiday season, we are doing more than praying for an end to wars and violence. We are praying that all people (starting with ourselves) may live in the harmony that comes when heaven and earth are united in our hearts.
- Next, provide the children with Bibles. Allow them to work in pairs or small groups for this activity.
- Assign one of the following passages to each group: Psalm 29:11; Psalm 34:14; Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 5:9; 1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:18. Try to have no more than six groups so that no passage is repeated twice.
- Have each group read their assigned passage and practice reading it aloud. Also encourage the children to share what the passage means to them.
- Invite the groups to form a large circle once more.
- One at a time, ask each group to recite their passage aloud.
- When the passages have all been recited, invite the children to share one way that they plan to share peace with others during the Christmas season.
- Invite the children to squeeze the hand of the child to their right after sharing their plan to bring peace. Go once around the circle.
People Smart, Word Smart
You might want to mark some of the Bibles at each passage so that the children have an easier time finding them.