Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
Mary gasped in fear as a bright light filled the small room. Before her stood a shining angel whose face was filled with love. Mary fell to her knees and bowed her head.
“Do not be afraid, Mary. I am Gabriel. God has sent me.”
Mary’s heart pounded as she asked, “Why did God send you here?”
“I have a very special message for you,” answered Gabriel.
Mary was speechless. I must be dreaming, she thought. She rubbed her eyes to see if she was really awake. Gabriel was still there, his glory shining even brighter. Mary looked at him in awe, then whispered, “Oh! What message could God possibly have for me?”
“Mary, God is very pleased with you. He has chosen you to have a special Baby. You will call Him Jesus.”
Mary’s eyes widened and her voice trembled as she asked, “How can this be? I do not understand.”
Gabriel said, “God can do anything, Mary. This baby is God’s Son.”
Mary’s heart beat faster. Then the angel was gone and she was alone … alone to think about the amazing message the angel had given to her.
* * * * *
Joseph lay upon his bed, troubled thoughts tumbling through his mind. He wondered about the news Mary had given to him. Should he and Mary still get married? What should he do? He turned restlessly and, as he fell asleep, he drew the blanket closer about him.
While he slept, God sent him a special dream. An angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Joseph. Everything Mary told you is true! The Baby is really from God—He is God’s Son. You are to name Him Jesus because He will save people from their sins. He is God’s Gift of love to the whole world.”
When Joseph awoke he felt peaceful. All his doubts were gone, and his heart was full of God’s love. He had received the message also. And it was true!
Joseph and Mary were happy that God had chosen them to be the parents of His Son, Jesus.
This lesson in our Christmas unit tells of the time an angel was sent to announce the birth of God’s own Son to Mary and Joseph.
For an activity with your child, let him make an ornament as a Christmas decoration for your home, or as a gift for someone special. Help him cut an angel shape from a piece of light cardboard. Using a glue stick for adhesive, outline the entire design in one color of yarn. Use the same color of yarn to cover the lines making the details of the angel. Using one or more additional colors of yarn, and working from the outside edges, fill in each area with a continuous strand of yarn swirled around to completely fill outlined areas.
When one side is finished and dry, turn the angel over and repeat on the reverse side. (Or you may choose to cover the reverse side with felt.) Use a needle to add a thread loop for hanging the decoration.