Jesus is Born in Bethlehem: Christmas Sunday School Lesson

Notice the chairs? They’re set up for more than just a game of musical chairs – they mark the path to the heart of Christmas.

Teach this lesson and kids will enjoy:

• A TOP SECRET mission unveiling the real story of Jesus’ birth.
• Decoding mysteries with magnifying glasses and hidden messages.
• Tracing the steps, from Nazareth to Bethlehem, experiencing every twist and turn of Joseph and Mary’s adventure.
• A unique puzzle experience, piecing together the story of Jesus’ birth.

Come and discover with us why the birth of Jesus is not just an end… it’s the true beginning.

Group Worship

Joy to the World

A familiar favorite! Kids sing about that Jesus’ arrival brought joy to the whole world and that every heart should prepare room for Him. It emphasizes rejoicing and praising God for the gift of His Son.

 

Lyric & Motions Video

Angels We Have Heard on High

This Christmas classic highlights the joy and mystery of the Christmas story, inviting everyone to sing praises to God for the birth of Jesus. A savior is born!!

 

Lyric & Motions Video

Song 3
Song 2

Group Worship

Joy to the World

A familiar favorite! Kids sing about that Jesus’ arrival brought joy to the whole world and that every heart should prepare room for Him. It emphasizes rejoicing and praising God for the gift of His Son.

 

Lyric & Motions Video

Song 3

Angels We Have Heard on High

This Christmas classic highlights the joy and mystery of the Christmas story, inviting everyone to sing praises to God for the birth of Jesus. A savior is born!!

 

Lyric & Motions Video

Song 2

Opening Activity | Guess the Animal

Christmas Situation 4 - Opening Activity

Objects Needed: None

The Christmas story involves a lot of animals, so let’s play a game about animals!

Start the game by having all the kids sit on the floor in a circle. The leader can start first by thinking of an animal and the kids take turns asking yes or no questions to guess the animal.

Like the game, 20 questions, you could limit their questions to 20 total, or just decide when the kids are tired of guessing 🙂

Do this until every student has had a chance for their animal to be guessed.

Christmas Situation 4 - Opening Activity

Craft | Nativity Stones

Objects Needed: Stones, paint, mod podge, paintbrushes, cups, and water

Have each child paint something from the story of Jesus’s birth on a stone. When they have finished painting and the stones have dried paint mod podge over each stone to make them shiny and seal in the paint.

Tell the students they can pass these stones out to others to tell them the good news of Jesus’s birth.

Lesson Script

Luke 2:4-20

Materials Needed:

  • A nativity-themed puzzle, preferably one with the shepherds seeing Jesus in the manger. Alternatively, you can print out a scene and cut it into puzzle pieces (make sure there is at least one piece per student). Tape the puzzle pieces to the bottom of the chairs. If there are few students or a lot of pieces, tape more than one to each chair.
  • The TOP SECRET envelope from previous lessons in this series (see entire series). Place a note inside that says, “A series of unfortunate events” printed in teeny-tiny letters.
  • A magnifying glass.

Arrange the chairs in a circle the way you would for a game of musical chairs. (All chairs facing outwards).

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the chairs are set up in an odd way today. That’s because today is all about a journey. A journey to the end of our Christmas story. But this “end” is really just the beginning.

Let’s open today’s TOP SECRET envelope. Hmm. I don’t see anything here. Is this another invisible ink message?

Oh, wait, there it is. But I guess my eyesight isn’t good enough to make out what it says. (Student’s name), can you come over here and try to read it?

(Give the student a magnifying glass) Here, this might help. Read it out loud, please.

A series of unfortunate events? That sounds like that book series they made into a movie a while back. No, we’re not going to watch a movie today in class. But don’t worry, we are going to have fun!

What do you think this phrase has to do with Jesus’ birth? (Allow for answers)

…a series of “unfortunate events”

 

Luke is now going to tell us about a series of “unfortunate events” that happened before Jesus was born.

We already know one. Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem while she was pregnant, all because proud Caesar decided to tax everyone and make them go back to their hometowns so he could count them.

So now let’s jump into their journey. Let’s travel with them, musical chairs style. Except without the music. (Remove one chair).

Walk around the chairs while I tell you the story. Every time I say the word, “Joseph”, you must STOP and sit on the chair behind you. If there’s no chair for you to sit on, you’re “out”, but that means you get to look under your chair for a surprise. I’ll take out one chair each time.

(Read Luke 2:4-5)

Luke 2:4-5

“So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant.” (NCV)

 

(The kids that get “out” must take the puzzle pieces to the center of the chair circle and start putting them together. If you have few students, tape several puzzle pieces under each chair and repeat the game several times until all or most of the pieces have been removed. If you have a large number of puzzle pieces, don’t tape them all to the chairs. Put them in the center, and the first kid to be “out” can start building the puzzle with them.)

Now the word to listen for is “baby”.

Luke 2:6-7

“While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.” (NCV)

 

This was such a humble way for Jesus to be born. Mary, Jesus, and the baby had to go through the unfortunate event of going from inn to inn, and being turned away EVERY TIME.

They ended up sleeping where people kept animals. It was probably a cave or some sort of stable. So Mary put her baby in a manger, which is a box that animals eat out of! Why would Jesus want to go through that as a baby?

Now the word to listen for is “Lord”.

Luke 2:8-12

“That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.” (NCV)

 

Shepherds? Why were they the first to hear about the King and Savior of the world? Shouldn’t the news be announced to someone more “important”, like, kings or emperors or something? Well, Jesus wanted to show his humility. He didn’t come to be served, but to SERVE us. That’s why he was born in a manger. That’s why he had his birth announced to shepherds first.

Now listen for the word “angel” or “angels”.

Luke 2:13-15

“Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God. When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.” (NCV)

 

What do you think happened next? Let’s complete this puzzle now.

 

Well, the shepherds did what they said they were going to do. They went and found Jesus! They told Mary and Joseph about the angels and what they had said.

This AMAZED Mary and Joseph. Now, all the puzzle pieces fit together! Everything made sense! Their child really was the Son of God. All these unfortunate events that happened to them worked out for good. Everything went according to God’s plan, the way he had said it would hundreds of years ago.

Luke 2:20

“Mary treasured what the shepherds had said, and kept thinking about it later. And the shepherds? They “went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.” (NCV)

 

Will you praise and thank God for everything you’ve seen and heard today? We weren’t there when Jesus was born. But we know it was real!

And thank God that it was. Everyone on earth was doomed to be punished for their sins. But Jesus’ birth changed that! He is the Savior who can rescue us.

Let’s sing and praise Him right now!

What does it mean to FOLLOW Jesus?
Free 6-week curriculum:

Play games, laugh together and teach your elementary class what it means to be a "disciple" - to follow Jesus with their whole heart.

Followers-Series

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Group Game | No Room in the Inn

elementary-kids-min

Objects Needed: Masking tape

Choose one child to be the Traveler. Have the rest of the children form a circle, standing arm’s length apart. Give the children in the circle two strips of masking tape each and have them create an “X” on the floor beneath their feet. The X represents their inn. To stay at their inn, they must keep their feet on the X. Have the Traveler stand in the center of the circle.

To play, have the Traveler approach a child in the circle and say, “I need a place to sleep tonight.” The child responds, “There’s no room here! Ask (child’s name) and (child’s name).” When two children’s names are called, they must switch places before the Traveler can take a spot. Whoever’s left in the center becomes the Traveler. If the original Traveler is still in the center, he or she claps and says, “I still don’t have a place to stay!” That’s the signal that everyone must run to find a new inn.

Memory Verse

Christmas is exciting for many reasons. But there is one reason we find that beats all the others. Christmas is a celebration of God coming to earth as baby Jesus on a rescue mission. The one and only Savior was born in Bethlehem for you and for me.

Luke 2:10-11

"The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. "

Small Group Questions

What happened when Mary and Joseph went to each in?
They were turned away each time.

What is a manger?
A box that animals eat out of.

Who was the first to hear about the King and Savior of the world?
Shepherds

Why was Jesus born in a manger and announced first to shepherds?
He wanted to show his humility. He came to SERVE us!

Who told the shepherds of Jesus’s birth?
Angels.

What did the shepherds do after hearing about Jesus’s birth?
Went to see Jesus.

Who was baby Jesus?
The Son of God!

Why is Jesus’s birth so important to us today?
Everyone on earth was doomed to be punished for their sins Jesus’ birth changed that! He came to earth to save us!

Small Group Activity | Cotton Shepherds

Christmas Situation 4 - Small Group Activity

Objects Needed: Cotton balls, straws, bucket

Divide the students into two teams. Give each team a table and put a number of small cotton balls on it. Give each student a straw. Put a bucket, on it’s side, at the other end of the table.

Students will take turns (one at a time) racing against the other team. The objective is to “herd” all cotton balls into a bucket at the edge of the table by blowing through the straw.

Players can walk around the side of the table, but must keep hands behind their backs.

First team to get all of their cotton balls in the bucket wins.

Tie-In: The cotton balls are sheep, and the children are shepherds, guiding the sheep where to go.

Christmas Situation 4 - Small Group Activity

Words For This Week

Today’s Scripture: Luke 2:4-20

Memory Verse: The angels said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. Luke 2:10-11(NCV)

—————–

Today our Christmas story concluded in amazing fashion!

What seemed like a series of unfortunate events with having to travel for a census and then getting there only to be stuck with the animals turned out to be God’s amazing story!

It all fit together perfectly. The prophecies that had promised these events long ago were all true. Every single detail was exactly correct, just as God had promised.

God gave us the greatest gift we could ever imagine, Jesus. He came into this world as a baby so that one day he could pay for our sins by dying on the cross.

Without Christmas we could have no hope and no future. Thank you God for sending us Jesus!

Key Thought:

Thank you God for sending us Jesus!

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