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Zephaniah 3.14-20; Isaiah 12.2-6 (Canticle); Philippians 4.4-7; Luke 3.7-18

Very young children's session

John tells those who have come to be baptized that their faith needs to make a difference to their everyday living. He shares a warning to the crowds not to rely on their religious pedigree, advice on some simple ways to live justly, and a promise about the greatness of the one who is to come. His listeners ask what they need to do. John’s response is not without cost to the individual. He speaks directly to the situations of those asking the questions – and of how they can relate to others.

This week we explore being a sign of the good news in our everyday lives.

Prepare
Very young children's Session

Provide the following play materials for very young children throughout the session: play food, dolls’ clothes and dolls/teddies.

Gather
Very young childrens Session

 Gathering song

Sing to the tune: One more step along the world I go

One door open on my calendar,
one step closer now to Jesus’ birth.
Stir your hearts, adventure’s near,
travel with the story through the year.

Share the Word
Very young childrens Session

Encourage the children to copy your actions as you tell the story.

There was a man called John, who told people to get ready for Jesus.
One day some people asked him,
‘What shall we do to get ready for Jesus?’
(put arms out as if asking a question)
‘You need to share,’ said John.
(gesture around the group with one hand)
‘If you have two shirts, give one to someone who doesn’t have any clothes.
(touch your clothes and then mime handing them over)
If you have lots of food, share it with people that are hungry.
(mime eating, and then again sharing with others)
This will be a sign that you have heard the good news.’
(give a thumbs up)

Explore and respond
Very young childrens Session

Relay race

Play and explore signs of good news

Divide the children into teams and have a relay race, passing on a ‘thumbs up’ to the next person in each team.

 

Make a heart

Create and share a sign of good news

Make salt dough hearts (see recipe below) which can be left to dry, and then shared with other members of the congregation as a sign of good news that they can use to decorate their Christmas trees.

Play dough recipe

(see also gluten-free play dough recipe)

Ingredients: 150g plain flour, 75g salt, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, a few drops of food colouring, 300ml water in a jug.

Method: Sieve the flour, salt and cream of tartar together into a saucepan. Add the oil and food colouring to the water and add this slowly to the dry ingredients, stirring over a low heat. Mix until it forms a mass. Take the resulting play dough out of the saucepan and knead for a couple of minutes. This will keep in an airtight container for a week.

Very young childrens Session
Very young childrens Session

0-5s song(s)

Good news, Jack Hartmann

Pray in a circle

Stand or sit in a circle and pass a smile from one person to another, adding the words ‘Good news’ as you smile. Say ‘We are the good news’ and all respond 'Come, Lord Jesus'.

Very young childrens Session

Talk to God: What should I do?          E S A

Pray about taking the good news everywhere

You will need: signs that read 'school', 'home', 'church', 'park', 'sports', 'afterschool clubs'.

  • Place the signs around the room and say that you are all going to walk round the room, stopping in each place to pray.
  • Walk to each sign in turn. Stop and pray: ‘When I am at XXX, help me to be a sign of the good news. What should I do?’ Pause for a moment, allowing the children to pray quietly.
Very young childrens Session
Childrens Session

Activity sheet

Go with God
Very young childrens Session

Sing

To the tune: Hakuna Matata (chorus)

The season of waiting, what a wonderful chime.
We think of the prophets, Mary, John and signs.
We’ll wait for Jesus, make the most of this time.
These are special days, to sing God’s praise,
enjoy your Advent!

Spiritual styles abbreviations
WWordEEmotionSSymbolAAction
Read our Spiritual Styles articles
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