This children’s sermon on Luke 2:1-20 was going to come out in time for people to use it on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Well, it’s a busy season. I worked on it in bits and pieces, but the days slipped past before I had time to give it a polish and send it out.
So I offer this children’s sermon on Luke 2:1-20, dear reader, as a gift in the 12 days of Christmas. It may be a bit long to use in worship anyway. But it will still be there next year. The Lectionary appoints this text for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning every year. And if you have kids or grandkids, you can use it at home any old time.
I’ve shifted the emphasis slightly to feature the children. That’s the baby Jesus of course, but also the shepherds, who were, I suspect, also kids.
So with this children’s sermon on Luke 2:1-20 as my gift, I wish you and those you love a holy, a healthy, and a joyful Christmas.
A Children’s Sermon on Luke 2:1-20
Good morning kids! I’m so glad to see you. Thanks for coming up to hear the children’s sermon.
This is one of the most special times in the Church year. Today (actually for twelve whole days) we celebrate Christmas. Christmas is when Jesus was born. God saw that so many people were lost and alone. God wanted to heal our broken hearts, bring us close, and show us how much he loves us. So God decided to be born as a human baby, Jesus, to fix what is broken in us. That’s why we celebrate Christmas.
The Birth of Jesus
You probably know the first part of the story. Mary was expecting a baby — God’s baby. She and Joseph had to travel to the town of Bethlehem. They couldn’t find a room to stay in, so they had to sleep in a barn with the animals.
A new baby needs a lot of attention. Mary needed to feed the baby Jesus. Then she needed to change his diaper. Then she needed to feed him again.
Finally Jesus looked sleepy, so Mary wrapped up her newborn baby in soft, soft cloths. She laid him down to sleep in the animals’ food trough, on the soft, soft hay.
Then Joseph said “Mary you just lay down and sleep too. We won’t tell anybody the good news tonight. Just rest.”
And she did.
But God wanted to tell about Jesus being born right away.
So God called Gabriel and a whole bunch of other angels and said “Go down and tell people the good news! My Son is born! Maybe they’ll want to go see him!”
And so, quick as a flash, the angels were off. Down to earth they went, to tell the good news,
By this time it was late at night. Out in the fields, not too far from Bethlehem, there were some kids. What were kids doing out in the fields at night? Well, I’ll tell you: they were working. In these days a lot of kids didn’t go to school. They had to do things to help their families.
It was these kids’ job to take care of their family’s sheep, day and night. They led the sheep to grassy fields to eat. They led the sheep to streams and ponds to drink. And they kept the sheep from getting lost or into danger.
Once evening came, they made a little fire to keep warm. Then one of the kids slept — but one kid always had to stay awake to make sure the sheep were okay.
On this particular night, the one keeping watch was a girl named Miriam. She was sitting by the fire. She was watching the sheep. And she was trying to stay awake.
Then suddenly the angel Gabriel was standing right there in front of Miriam. Gabriel was huge! Gabriel was wearing flowing white robes that shone like the sun! Gabriel actually looked like he was on fire.
Miriam’s eyes went wide. Then she said—well, she said exactly what you would have said. She screamed, “AAAGGGHHH!!!”
Well, when Miriam cried out her brother Isaac woke up. They looked up and they saw Gabriel, giant, glowing with holy fire. And what do you suppose Isaac said?
(All together) “AAAGGGHHH!!!”
But Gabriel said “Don’t be afraid, kids! I have good news for you: God’s own son was born tonight.”
“Wait —” sad Isaac “What do you mean ‘God’s own son’?”
“God wants to bring everybody back close to his heart,” said Gabriel. “God loves you all so much that he came in person. He’s been born as a regular baby! He’s the messiah everyone has been waiting for!”
“That’s so cool!” said Miriam. “Can we go see him? Where will we find him?”
“Sure! You should definitely go,” said Gabriel. “He’s in Bethlehem in a barn.”
“Wait —” said Isaac. “God’s kid is in a barn? That can’t be right.”
“Yep,” said Gabriel. “They couldn’t find a room to rent. His mom put him down to sleep in the hay in a food trough.”
“Thanks for coming to tell us!” said Miriam. “What was it like when you told the king?”
“I haven’t told the king,” said Gabriel.
“Oh, right,” said Isaac. “You probably went first to the High Priest. It’s a religious thing.”
“Nope,” said Gabriel. “I didn’t go to the High Priest, either.”
“You must have gone to our parents first, right?” asked Miriam. “They must have told you where to find us.”
“Nope,” said Gabriel. “I haven’t told anybody else. I came to you first in all the world.”
“But we’re just kids,” said Isaac. “Why’d you come all this way to tell us?”
“We wanted you to be the first to know,” Gabriel said.
“Wait —” said Isaac. “You said ‘we’ but there’s just one of you.”
“Watch this!” said Gabriel, and he snapped his fingers.
Then suddenly there were other angels. Dozens of angels. Hundreds of angels. The kids and their sheep were surrounded by a bazillion giant glowing, flaming angels!
When the kids saw the multitude of angels they said — well you know what they said.
(All together.) “AAAGGGHHH!!!”
But Gabriel said “Don’t be afraid. Listen to this!”
Then the angels all started to sing. I dont know the tune but the words went
Glory to God on the highest!
And peace to all the people!
God really loves you a lot!
And then all the angels disappeared. Just like that
“Well that was weird,” said Isaac.
“That was amazing!” said Miriam.
“What should we do?” asked Isaac.
“I wanna go see the baby!” said Miriam.
And so they did. They woke up all their sheep, and everybody went together into the little town of Bethlehem.
They went up and down the streets, looking in all the barns and back yards until they found Mary, and Joseph, and the baby Jesus, who was lying in the manger.
“How did you know where to find us?” asked Mary.
“Angels told us,” said Isaac.
“It was amazing!” said Miriam. “Can I hold the baby Jesus?” she begged. “Please?”
“Oh honey,” said Mary, “I just got him to sleep. Maybe you could just come close and look at him.”
So they did that.
And Mary gave them each a hug. Then, back they went to their fields, with all their sheep, talking about the amazing things they’d seen.
But Mary lay awake thinking about these children who had come to visit, and their strange story about the angels.
And she thought about the sheep. So many sheep they had brought along. “How many were there?” She started to count them in her mind. And finally she dozed off.
- I wonder how the children felt when they heard the message of the angels?
- I wonder how it felt to be the first people in the world to know the good news that Jesus was born?
- I wonder how they felt when they saw the tiny baby who they heard was God’s very own?
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