THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
Lesson 2: Joseph's Dream
This lesson will teach the children the importance of living a righteous life and how we must always allow God to lead us through the difficult times we will encounter.
Birth of Christ, Christmas, Joseph, Righteousness
AS KIDS ARRIVE (10 minutes)
Have the memory verse written on the board. As the children arrive, give them paper and markers. Have each child select one of the five characteristics: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, or patience. Then draw a picture of someone displaying this quality. You may want to offer suggestions, for example a mom putting a bandage on a small child to show compassion, or a boy petting a small dog to show gentleness. You may also want to assign one of the characteristics for each child to draw so you will have all five for use with the memory verse activity.
OPENING PRAYER AND PRAISE (5 minutes)
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MEMORY WORK (10 minutes)
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12 NIV
The kids will be familiar with this verse from last week. This time, tape the pictures drawn during the "As Kids Arrive" activity on the wall in the correct order. Then see how well the kids can say the entire verse using the pictures as a guide.
SCRIPTURE READING AND DISCUSSION (15 minutes)
Before Jesus was born, there was a righteous man who was a descendent of King David. His name was Joseph. He was engaged to Mary, a young woman who was also a virgin. In those ancient times when someone was engaged, it was almost like they were married, except they did not live in the same house. The engagement was a serious commitment compared to today's practices. In fact, the only way to break if off was to get a divorce. Joseph loved Mary very much, but when he found out she was already pregnant, he was very disappointed. But being a reasonable and decent person, he decided not to get mad, or let anyone know what was going on. If he told anyone, Mary would be in really big trouble. So instead, Joseph quietly planned a divorce. Let's see what happened next.
Read Matthew 1:18-24
Have the kids find this story in their Bibles. Ask for volunteers to read the passage, or if you prefer you can read it to the children.
1.What happened after Joseph decided to divorce Mary? (An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.)
2. Why did the angel visit Joseph? (To tell him not to be afraid, and it was OK to keep Mary as his wife.)
3. Why was a virgin chosen by God to be the mother of His Son? (To fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet, that a virgin would give birth to Jesus.)
4. What did Joseph do after he woke up from his dream? (He took Mary home as his wife.)
5. Why did God choose Joseph to be Mary's husband? (Because he was a righteous man and a descendent of King David.)
6. If we are troubled or worried about something, like Joseph was about Mary, what will happen if our heart is right with God? (God will help us understand His plan for us, just as he sent an angel to Joseph to assure him everything would be alright.)
CLASS EXERCISE (20 minutes)
Genealogy of Jesus Wheel (Craft) Click here
Before beginning this craft, have the children look up Matthew 1:1-16 and see how many of the names they recognize. Explain that this is the genealogy of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. This passage names 38 great grandfathers to Jesus. It is hard for us to know the name of our great-great-grandfather, let alone great to the 38th time. The genealogy shows that Jesus came from a long line of royal families and kings.
APPLICATION (4 minutes)
The Bible does not tell us too much about Joseph. Besides being a descendant of King David, and a caring and considerate husband to Mary, little is said of his personality. One thing we know for sure from our Bible passage today is that Joseph was a righteous man. Proverbs 20:7 says, "The righteous man leads a blameless life, blessed are his children after him." Because of Joseph, and his willingness to be a faithful husband to Mary, all of us who are God's children have been truly blessed. Sometimes in our lives we are faced with difficult times or worries. But if we have faith, and trust in the Lord, He will always help us through the difficulties. He may send us a friend, a parent, a kind word, or perhaps even an angel. Next time you are faced with a difficult situation, stop and pray. Allow God to show you the way.
Have everyone stand up. Then ask these questions: Who has walked a mile? If you have never walked a mile, sit down. Now for those still standing, who has walked five miles? If you have never walked five miles, sit down. Do the same for 10, 15 miles etc. until all the kids have sat down. Next week we will learn of a young married couple that walked over 50 miles just to be counted and pay taxes.
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
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TAKE HOME PAGE
Give one copy to each child at the end of the class to take home. Click here for NIV or KJV [PDF]