Advent 4 – Jesus, the Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6-8, Philippians 4:6-7, John 14:27
For children Christmas is a joyful time (or at least we hope it is!) but for adults it is one of the most stressful times of year. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to hide this stress from the children. But today, as we reflect on our Advent lessons thus far we are going to look at Jesus as Prince of Peace to combat that stress.
Opening Activity – Where’s Jesus?
Before the lesson cut out the letters J-E-S-U-S and hide them around the room. Ask the children to find them, you may need to give them clues or you can play hot/cold with them until they’re all found.
There are a lot of readings in the Bible that refer to peace. It is in fact the most mentioned word in the Bible after God with around 400 separate mentions! (Bit of fun trivia for you there). The most appropriate reading with Christmas so close would seem to be Isaiah 9:6-8, though you could use any of your other favourite ‘peace’ readings to back this up. (My personal favourite is Philippians 4:6-7).
For most people Christmas is the best time of year, but even those people looking forward to it can find it stressful. If your group is old enough ask what kind of things make Christmas stressful.
– There are lots of presents to buy
– Everything is so much more expensive
– There is a lot more food to buy
– People might be visiting and need to be housed and fed
– The last minute panic when you realise you’ve forgotten foil or cranberry sauce!
But Christmas should be the time of year when we are at our least stressed, because it is the time when Jesus came into the world and Jesus was known as the ‘Prince of Peace’.
Jesus’ title ‘Prince of Peace’ describes how He lived His life. If we modelled our lives on His, we would find that we were felt a lot more peaceful than we probably do!
Think of things that make us feel stressed and then think about things that we do to take away that stressed and make us feel calm again. When we are confronted with a situation that leaves us feeling worried or anxious, we can take it to God in prayer and he will calm our fears and we shall feel at peace.
Peace is the act of following God’s commandments and living our lives in harmony with each other. When we follow God’s law we feel contented because we are at peace with ourselves and with God. This is why Jesus came into the world, to show us a better way of living so that we would be closer to God which is why in a couple of days we’ll be celebrating Christmas and the wonderful gift that God gave us!
Peace Christmas Chain
You will need:
What’s Christmas without a paper chain?!
-Cut pieces of the coloured paper into long strips.
– Have the children draw words onto each of the strips around the theme of Christmas e.g. Peace, Jesus, Love etc.
– Fold the first strip into a circle and tape it. Do the same with the others but linking them together to make a chain.
The children can take this home to hang around their house or on their tree to remind them about what they have learned over Advent.
You will need:
A picture or drawing of the world
-Before the lesson print out or draw and colour in yourself a picture of the world. It doesn’t need to be accurate just recognisable as the planet Earth.
– Cut the picture up with the scissors. Cut out the letters P-E-A-C-E
– Give the pieces to the children to put back together. They need stick the pieces down onto a new sheet of paper, like a jigsaw.
– Somewhere on the sheet glue down the letters P-E-A-C-E
– The purpose of this craft is to show that the world is broken, but it can be healed with God’s peace.
You will need:
A4 paper or thin card
-Fold the two edges of the A4 so that they meet in the middle, forming two flaps.
-Have the children draw stable doors on the flaps.
-Open the flap, inside the children can draw the nativity scene as we have been recounting these past three weeks. This craft can also be easily used as a Christmas card.
There is also a neat little activity available from the lovely Kid’s Sunday School Place here: http://www.kidssundayschool.com/Gradeschool/Activities/1activity17.php
When Jesus came into the world He came to show us how to live. He came to make things right between us and God. He gave us God’s peace if we are willing to accept it. When Christmas becomes too stressful for us, let’s remember to take our problems to God in prayer and we will feel at peace.
We wish you every blessing at Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful time. ‘The blessing of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen’