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John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11
1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Mark 12:29-31; 1 John 4:7-8
- Conversation Heart candies
- Large paper hearts
- Display board or corkboard
How many of you guys got some Valentines this past week? Maybe you got some at school or at sports or scouts. When I was a kid, I loved to make one of those Valentine mailbox thingies to collect all of my Valentines in. After a Valentine party at school, I always counted how many Valentines I got and had fun reading all of the silly messages and I especially loved looking at all of the good candy that I got. I especially loved those little Candy Conversation Hearts with love messages written on them (take some out and eat one). It made me feel good too, to know that my classmates liked me enough to give me a little card and let me know that I had a friend. Did you guys know that there is someone that loves you even more than your friends love you? And there is someone that loves you even more than your parents and grandparents love you. This Guy sent you a Valentine and it isn’t one of those little cards with a lollipop attached. It’s not a dozen roses that cost $100 or a 5lb box of chocolates. God loves you so much that he sent the most expensive Valentine in the world to you. We are going to read about the Valentine that God sent you.
John 3:16 says “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
So, who sent you a Valentine? (God)
What was the Valentine? (Jesus)
Let’s read some more about this wonderful Valentine: Romans 5:6 says When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
What was God trying to tell us with his Valentine? (He loves us so much that he was wiling to send his only Son to die for us).
So God’s Valentine to us is Jesus and the forgiveness that he bought for us. God really loves us more than anyone else could.
Do you love him back? God has shown us how much he loves us and he loves to hear from us that we love Him too. (Ask the kids to give a reason why they love God. He provides, forgives, cares for us, gives us joy, etc.). Work together as a class to write some “Conversation Hearts” to God on colored paper hearts. Attach them to a display Board with thumbtacks. Here are some ideas:
Call On Me
UR My God
3 Turkeys, 1 Farmer
3 Turkey disguises (we used turkey hats), a bucket, A hat and plaid shirt for Farmer Perdue.
(The Turkeys are grazing on “grass”)
Tom: This is the worst grass I have ever eaten. It is green and I hate the color green.
Frankie: Mmm, mmm, mmm, this is the best grass I have ever eaten.
Tom: That’s because it’s the only grass you’ve ever eaten. See I was born at Farmer Jim Bob’s farm before I came here and he had the most delicious grass over there.
Hector: I think this grass is just delightful. When I was at Farmer Butterball’s farm I had nothing but a dirt patch to graze on. Thank you, God for letting me come here!
Tom: Farmer Jim Bob’s field was full of buttercups and clovers, so it was!
Frankie: I’m so thankful to be at Farmer Perdue’s with you two great friends. Good food, good friends, good times. That’s what I always say.
Hector: Here comes Farmer Perdue now and it looks like he’s got something else for us.
Tom: Well, whatever it is, it’s got to be better than this here turf.
Farmer Perdue: (Enters with a bucket and offers a handful of “grain” to each turkey)
Here you go, boys. Eat up!
Frankie: Thank you, Farmer Perdue!
Hector: Thank you kindly, Farmer Perdue!
Tom: Thanks for nothing, Farmer Perdue! (He spits the grain out) I can’t eat this stuff. I’d rather be cooked in my own juices.
(Farmer Perdue leaves).
Frankie: What a great farm! That guy gave us grain too. Yummy corn grain! Thank you God!
Hector: It doesn’t get any better than this does it! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!
Tom: It could be a whole lot better than this. I’m going on strike! Im not gonna eat anything else until we can get some better grub around here. Where’s the buttercups, where’s the filet mignon, where’s the shrimp cocktail?
(Farmer Perdue comes back, the Hector and Frankie continue to peck at the grass, while Tom won’t eat.)
Farmer Perdue: Now I need to choose a couple of you to enter into the county fair. I am fixing to win the blue ribbon this year. It will be all the candy apples and corndogs you can eat, too. (The turkeys start to get excited, raising their hands and hopping).Hmmm, let me look you guys over. Frankie, you look nice and plump and so do you Hector. Tom, you are starting to look like a thin, scraggly old thing. I don’t think I could win a prize with you. C’mon, Frankie, c’mon Hector, we are off to the fair.
Frankie: Bye Tom!
Hector: See ya later Tom, enjoy your grass!
Frankie & Hector: Praise the Lord, we are going to the fair. This is going to be great!
Tom: Hey, guys, don’t leave me! Please! Bring me a candy apple at least…
- 2 bags of candy corn
- 6 straws
- 2 cups
- 3 boys and 3 girls
How To Play
Make two teams of 3 boys and three girls. Give each child 1 straw and each team a pile of candy corn and a cup. Teams have one minute to pick up as much candy corn as they can by sucking through the straw and placing the candy into a cup. Kids may not touch the candy corn with their hands. The team with the most candy corn in the cup at the end of the game, wins.
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1 Corinthians 7:23; Galatians 5:13; John 3:16
- American Flag
(Show the American Flag).
Do any of you know what this is? Yes! This is the flag of the United States of America. This flag reminds us of the freedom citizens of America enjoy but it also helps me to remember what Jesus did for me.
On June 14, 1777 the founding fathers of America decided that the flag should have stripes with red, white and blue. When I look at these things is reminds me of Jesus.
The stars that are on the flag reminds me of the very first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1. It says that in the very Beginning God created everything. Even the stars. Can you imagine how big and powerful God must be to be able to create the stars!
The stripes and the red color remind me about the stripes from the whip that Jesus had on his back. He bled and died for me. He wanted to take my sin upon him and he gives me forgiveness. He was beaten and whipped so that I could have healing.
The white stripes remind me that once Jesus died and rose again he cleaned my heart. The Bible says in Psalm 51:7 that God will clean us and make us whiter than snow.
The last color of the flag is the Blue. Blue is a very royal color that kings and queens wear. This reminds me that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He rules everything from His throne is Heaven.
When we see the flag let is remind us of the great country that we live in, but also let it remind us of the sacrifice that Jesus made and the love that He has for us.
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1 Corinthians 7:23; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 5:13
- American Flag
Do you of you know what holiday we are celebrating this weekend? (Wait for responses.) That’s right we are celebrating Memorial Day. Do you know what memorial means? It means that we are supposed to remember something. But I can’t seem to remember, what we are supposed to remember.
(Take out the American Flag).
Maybe this will help me to remember. This is the flag of the United States of America, and it does help me to remember. On Memorial Day we remember the soldiers who fought and died so that we can live in a free country. Many of them sacrificed their lives so that we could gather together and worship Christ without being afraid of being punished.
There are many countries around the world that cannot worship God freely. They have to meet in secret so that no one can find them. If they were caught they would get throw into prison and sometimes even killed.
On this day we remember the men and women who fought for our freedom. But we also remember Jesus Christ who fought for our freedom. He died so that we could have freedom from our sins.
As we remember the patriots that died for our country, let us also remember our Savior who died for us. But the great thing is that Jesus did not stay dead! He rose from the dead on the third day!
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John 12:9-19; Matthew 21:5; Mark 11:1-11
- Palm branch
Do you know what today is? It is Palm Sunday! This is the day that we celebrate when Jesus rode into Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified. They call it His Triumphal Entry. That mean he rode in victoriously! Like a king!
(Show the palm branch)
One day Jesus was going into Jerusalem. He was riding in on a donkey which no one had ever ridden on before. As he rode into Jerusalem people started cutting down palm branches and throwing them on the road in front of him. Some people even took off their coats and threw them on the road for the donkey to walk on.
(Throw the branch and your coat on the ground and walk across them)
Jesus rode over the coats and palm branches and as he did the crowd starting shouting. They said “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Let’s say that together!
When a king would come riding into town everyone would gather around for the great parade. Even though Jesus was not the earthly king, people realized that He was the King of Kings.
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1 John 4:19
Matthew 14:31; John 3:16; Romans 5:8
- A Christmas tree. You can use a full-sized one or just a small one.
Many of us will put up a Christmas Tree in our homes and decorate it for the holidays. Some people use an artificial tree and some people will cut down a living tree to use. I always prefer a real tree because it reminds me that Jesus is alive and powerful.
As we look into the tree we see the trunk in the middle and branches that are extending out from it. When I see the branches of a Christmas Tree it reminds me that Jesus is reaching His arms out to us. He loves us so much that he came to the earth so that he could give us eternal life in Heaven.
The tree also reminds me about the cross that he was crucified on. It was made out of the wood of a tree. As Jesus hung on the cross his arms were still spread out wide. Open to us.
In 1 John 4:19 it says that we love Jesus because he first loved us.
Jesus loves us and offers us the free gift of eternal life. As you see your Christmas Tree this season let it remind you of Jesus and that he loves you so very much!
Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Acts 1:8
- Bell. You can use a large bell or Christmas decoration bells. If you want you can get small Christmas bells and tie them to a piece of ribbon to give out to everyone.
(Shake the bell loudly.)
Don’t you love the sound of a jingling bell? Often times near Christmas we will sing the carol:
Jingle all the way!
The sound of jingling bells is a joyful sound and not a sad sound. It is a sound that reminds us that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is near.
What do you think would happen if I took the little metal ball out from the inside of the bell? Or if I hold the bell tightly in my hand? (Hold the bell tightly so that the sound is muffled.)
Does that sound very joyful? No!
We are a lot like this little bell. Jesus wants us to ring out for Him! He wants us to tell the world the Good News about Christmas. The news that the Savior was born in a manger and He came to give us eternal life.
Jesus does not wants us to muffle our bell. (Muffle the sound again.) He wants us to ring loudly from the joy that is inside of us. Just like the bell rings loudly because of what is inside it.
Let us ring loudly for Jesus and tell everyone the Good News about Christmas.
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Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8
- Lump of coal
As Christmas gets closer and closer many people start talking about Santa Claus. The chubby guy in a red suit that delivers gifts to all the good kids in the world. We go to the malls to sit on his lap and tell him all the wonderful things that we want, then we try to be really good so he will actually bring them. But what happens if we aren’t good? What does Santa supposedly bring to bad children?
(Show the lump of coal.)
He brings a lump of coal! That doesn’t sound very nice does it? I sure wouldn’t want to just get a lump of coal for Christmas. But guess what! I am not a very good person. I have done things that I shouldn’t do. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.
This means that all of us have been on the “Naughty List.” All that we deserve is a big fat lump of charcoal!
However, this holiday really isn’t about Santa Claus, it is about Jesus! It is His birthday that we celebrate. Santa may only be able to give out lumps of coal to people who aren’t very good, but Jesus does something even better!
In John 3:16-17 it says that God sent his Son Jesus to this world to save people. Jesus already knew that all we deserve is a dirty lump of coal, but He wants to give us something MUCH better than that! He wants to make a trade!
Jesus takes our lump of coal for himself and gives us freedom from sin and eternal life in heaven! That is the greatest gift that anyone could ever get.
So Santa may only give our black coal for people who have done bad things, Jesus gives those people the chance to have eternal life. Let us make sure that we remember Jesus and the wonderful gift that He gave us as we celebrate Christmas this year.
John 12:46; John 9:5; John 3:19
- String of Christmas lights
(For more Christmas ornament meanings please check out our heartwarming Christmas Story Book)
(Show the strand of unlit Christmas lights.)
Do any of you decorate your trees or your houses with Christmas lights? Or maybe you will drive around at night looking at all the lights that people have hung up? Some people do some amazing things! What is the most impressive display you have seen? (Allow for responses.)
How do my lights look? Not too good right now, do they!
(Plug the lights in.)
That’s better isn’t it! No the lights can shine bright and beautiful. Do you know the reason that we have so many lights at Christmastime? We have them so that we can remember Jesus!
In John 8:12 Jesus says that He is the Light of the World! These lights remind us that Jesus is the light of the world! That means that he shines brightly into the darkness and brings light!
This Christmas as we decorate our trees and houses with Christmas lights let us remember that they are not just a pretty decoration but that they also reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world!
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