A Messenger Sent From God
John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus.
A bell; a newspaper
Activities + Resources
Explain to the kids that each time they hear the bell, they are to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”
Before the days of printed newspapers, town criers walked through the streets ringing a bell. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”) Then they shouted out the news from every street corner announcing the time of town meetings and other items of interest to the people. Even after printed newspapers came along, you could walk the streets of a city and hear the voice of a newspaper boy crying out, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" Then he would shout out the day's headlines, hoping to get the attention of those who were passing by so that they would buy a newspaper. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!)
Today, people get the news in many different ways. Think for a moment about how your family gets the news. (Allow time, and then invite children to shout out any answers.) Some rely on the newspaper and they read it from cover to cover, some get the news from the Internet, others get the news by listening to the radio. Probably the main way that people get the news today is by watching television. No matter how you get the news, it is important to know what is going on in the world around us. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!)
Long before Jesus was born, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to tell how He would spread the news of the coming of the Messiah. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”) This is what God said through Isaiah, "I will send my messenger to prepare the way. He will be a voice of one crying in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord! Clear the road for him.'"
John the Baptist was the messenger that God chose to bring this good news to His people. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”) John was a very unusual man who wore clothes made of camel hair with a leather belt around his waist. His favorite food was locusts and wild honey. Everyone has something unique or unusual about themselves. What’s that for you? (Invite kids to shout out interesting things they like to eat or funny styles of clothes they like to wear like mismatched socks.) John traveled around in the desert preaching that people should repent of their sins and turn to God. Repent means to tell God when you know you have done wrong and stop doing those wrong things. When people listening to John the Baptist confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”)
John the Baptist was very popular and had a great following, but he always told the people about Jesus. "Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am," he said. "He is so much greater that I am not even worthy to stoop down and untie the straps on His sandals." Yes, John was faithful in bringing the news to the people. (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”)
It’s been 2,000 years since God sent His Son, but God still needs messengers to spread the news. This year, as we celebrate our Savior's birth, won't you be God's messenger to share the good news with others? (Ring bell and wait for kids to respond with “Hear ye, hear ye!”)
Dear God, we thank You for this very special time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are many who don’t know about Jesus. Help us be Your messengers and share the good news. In Jesus' name, amen.