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Dec 24

Tell the Good News! Share the Great Joy! — a free devotion for this week’s children’s ministry

Editor’s note: This devotion is the last in a series of four children’s devotions we have been sharing on this site during December—one each Tuesday in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Each devotion was written to be used by families and children’s ministers in connection with CTA’s new  Good News, Great Joy Family Activity Kit for 2013. All four devotions can be downloaded for free from our website and distributed to the families in your church. We pray this resource will draw many children closer to their Savior. 

Getting Ready

Familiarize yourself with today’s devotion. Mark your Bible at Luke 2:15-20 so you can find it quickly during your presentation.

If some children have not yet received the Good News, Great Joy puppet kits and family devotions, have some available to give them.

Introduction

(As you begin, have all five finger puppets nearby. Once again, warmly greet the children and invite them to sit down near you.) 

Think about something really good that happened this past week, something that’s very exciting, something that brought great joy to you or your family. Who wants to tell us about their good news? Remember, though, not to share any Christmas secrets! Shhhh on those, okay? (Let several volunteers share. As they do, show your own excitement and joy at their good news.) 

Getting to the Heart

When good things happen to us, we sometimes feel as though our hearts will burst unless we tell someone! That’s what makes Christmas secrets so much fun. It’s what makes Christmas secrets so hard to keep, too. We’d love to share the secret, but keeping the secret is part of the fun.

There’s one Christmas secret, though, that we do want to share. We never want to keep this good news secret from anyone. In fact, God doesn’t want us to keep it secret at all, not ever! Who knows what that secret could be? (Invite volunteers to answer, but don’t comment yourself until everyone who wants to share has done so.) 

The Christmas secret I’m talking about is the Good News that brings Great Joy. It’s the news the angels told the shepherds. It’s the news the shepherds told everyone they met. Listen to Luke 2:15-20 and see if you can learn more about what this good news is. (Read the text with as much drama as you can.)

Now, pretend you are one of the shepherds, telling someone in your family what just happened, what you saw and heard out in the fields that night. What would you say? (Let several volunteers act this out.)

You did really well with that! Good job! But there’s one problem. We’re not shepherds, are we? We’re (name some of the children in the group—e.g., Robbie, Francis, Elijah, Eva, and T.J.) and we live here in (name your town and state). We can’t talk to the shepherds’ family members or the people who live in Bethlehem. We’ve never met them, and we don’t live there. Most of us have never even visited there!

Does that mean we must keep the Good News of Christmas bottled up inside? Do we keep it a secret? Not at all. Pretend I’m one of your friends. Tell me the Good News of Christmas. (Let several volunteers act this out. Encourage them to use the Good News! Great Joy! finger puppets in telling the Christmas story itself. Encourage them to talk about what Jesus’ forgiveness and friendship means to them as they personalize the meaning of the Christmas story.) 

What Jesus did for us is the best news ever! It brings the greatest joy ever!

We’ve learned a cheer about the Good News that brings Great Joy at Christmastime and all year round. If you remember it, join in right away. If not, listen and then join in when you know what to say: 

(Clap on each X below.)

Good news! XX Great joy! XX

For every girl XX and every boy XX,

Older kids XX and grownups too—XX

Come, see what God has done for you! (Point at all the children and smile.)

 

Now, we’re going to change it up a bit. Here’s the new version:

Good news! XX Great joy! XX

For every girl XX and every boy XX,

Older kids XX and grownups too—XX

Go, tell what God has done for you! (Point at all the children and smile.)

 

Repeat several times, inviting the children to join in when they know what to say.

 

Taking It Home

(After each line of the prayer, pause while the children repeat your words.)

Dear Jesus,/ you love us so much!/ You are our very best friend!/ The good news of Christmas/ is the very, very, very best news of all!/ Teach us to share this good news/ in our family,/ with our friends,/ in our school,/ and everywhere we go./ We love you, Jesus! Amen.

(If some children have not yet received a set of the Good News, Great Joy! Puppets and the family devotions, send them with them today. Encourage them to use the puppets as they practice telling the Christmas story. Also encourage them to think and pray about friends who don’t know the Good News about the first Christmas and about Jesus, our Savior. Ask Jesus to help them tell their friends what Jesus means to them.)

© 2013 CTA, Inc. Permission to make photocopies or reproduce by any other mechanical or electronic means is granted only to the original purchaser and is intended for use within a church or other Christian organization, but not for resale.

 

 

 

 

 

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