Nov 28

FREE resource! Children’s object lesson for the first Sunday in Advent, Year C

The rest of our Children’s Advent Lessons (Year C) can be found by clicking this link!

Objects needed: A seedling, branch, or picture of stump/seedling/nursery log
Theme/Main Idea: Even when things seem hopeless, God gives us hope. When nothing is left of the tree but the stump, there is still life there… just waiting for the right season to spring up again.sprouts-out-of-the-tree-stump

“How are you this morning, children? Can I be honest with you about how I am feeling? I am a little sad… disappointed.

[what would be best here is for you to share a personal story about a time you felt let down… what I include here is for illustrative purposes]

I was really hoping that I had made a friend the other day at church. We made plans to meet for lunch, but when the day came, she said she had too much going on at work and had to cancel. I had my hopes up, and they just fizzled. So, I am feeling pretty low. Anyone else here ever feel that way?

Well, I guess I better get on with the lesson. You want to see what I have for the object lesson today? [let kids respond] Yes? Okay… here we go, I am so excited!

[pull out a seedling/stick or picture of a stump]

Isn’t it beautiful? [kids will likely give you puzzled looks] What? You don’t agree?

I think it is beautiful because I just read about what this means in the Bible… In Jeremiah, chapter 33, God promised a branch—or a little seedling—that would grow up and save everyone! Isn’t that amazing? I really like trees, and that must mean this will be an amazing tree!

Hmmm… you guys don’t look convinced. Do you suppose this is one of those places in the Bible where it’s like a word picture—and maybe God wasn’t really talking about a branch, a seedling, or a stump? I think that might be right, especially since this passage comes up on our first day of Advent.

Do you know about Advent? Advent means “the arrival of an important person or event.” It’s the start of the church year, and throughout the season of Advent we recognize the coming of Jesus as a baby. We celebrate that particular miracle on what day that is coming up? Do you know? [let kids respond] That’s right! Christmas! So, Advent is the time leading up to Christmas.

Well, with that in mind, let’s take another look at this promise of a branch that was going to come and save everyone.

Do you know what God was actually talking about? Or, maybe I should say… Do you know WHO God was talking about? [kids guess] That’s right… Jesus!

Jesus was the branch Jeremiah wrote about. That’s kinda weird, isn’t it? It gets a little less weird if you understand why God promised that branch in the first place.

Back then, the people of Israel were pretty discouraged. They had messed up big time, and they were suffering the consequences of some pretty bad choices. They had turned their backs on God and decided to do things their own way. It didn’t work out very well for them. So, like a big beautiful tree getting cut down, all of their amazingness of being God’s people was taken away. They had to leave the places they were living and go live somewhere else.

They were sad. They had gone from feeling like a big, important and beautiful tree to a lowly little stump. And, as they felt lowly like that stump, without any hope, that’s when God told them that out of that stump they had become a new tree would sprout! At first it would be so small, it would just be like a little branch coming out of the side of the stump!

Wow… incredible! When they felt their worst and felt like maybe God would just throw up his hands and be done with them, God gave them a promise. God told them that they would have a future leader, a great great great (you keep going on and on for a little while…) grandson of King David, who would help make them the type of people who are ‘right with God,’ close to him, and part of God’s family! That’s a wonderful promise to look forward to.

So, here we are in Advent, just starting out. Let’s remember how God kept his promise to send the branch—the seedling from the stump of Israel—known as Jesus, and that he still keeps all his promises today. In our own small way, we can help extend the hope that God gives us by supporting the work Intermountain does with kids and families. We’re handing out change cans today, and we’re hoping you fill them up between now and Christmas. You’ll hear a little more about Intermountain as we move through the Advent season. But, for now…

Let’s pray:

God, thank you for your presence in each of our lives. Help us remember the promises that have come true and those that will come true in the future. Give us patience to wait for all the good things you promise to those that love you and place their trust in you. Help us hold out for the best, YOUR best God—for us, and for our church and our community. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Key Text: Jeremiah 33:14-16, New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

14 “The days are coming,” announces the LORD. “At that time I will fulfill my good promise to my people. I made it to the people of Israel and Judah.
15 “Here is what I will do in those days and at that time.
I will make a godly Branch grow from David’s royal line.
He will do what is fair and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved.
Jerusalem will live in safety.
And it will be called
The LORD Who Makes Us Right With Himself.”