Near and far! Blindfold your children and have them play this game in an open room where they won’t trip over things. Have them spin around several times blindfolded.
Have a parent, friend or other family member stand in the room. The child must find them with clues “near” or “far”.
As they get closer say, “near”. If they take a step in the wrong direction say, “far”.
When they find the person, they get a hug!
The scripture today is about when Jesus came near to us so we could find him. Even his name means “God with us.” When we read the scripture, raise your hand when you hear the part about what Jesus’s name means.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e]did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Jesus came near to us when he was born. He existed before he was born. He is God’s Son and God gave him an important job of coming to be close to the people God loves. Many people think of God as far away up in the clouds or maybe outer space. What do you think about when you think about how close God is?
Who heard what Jesus’s name was called in the verse? (Immanuel) What did it mean? (God with us.)
Our sin separates us from God, but Jesus came close to us, because he is God’s son. He can be close to the Father, because he is perfect and without sin. He is not separated from God and he is not separated from us.
Baby Jesus came to be born to Mary, but his mission was to grow up to show people what God looks like and acts like. He also showed us how to walk the way God wants us to. Finally, he died as the perfect lamb, sacrificed for our sins, to remove what is separating us from God.
(Do you remember what is separating us from God?) -That’s right! Sin.
A memory verse for today.
Psalm 145 (In context. Memorize the bold.)
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.”
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
Let’s remember that God is always near to us, when we call on him in truth.
Let’s pray! (Parents, let your children echo your prayers, if they feel uncomfortable praying by themselves. But, give them a chance to say thank you to Jesus for something or to pray for someone they love.)
Thank you, God for this wonderful truth that you are close to me. Thank you that you even gave Jesus a name that means God comes close to me.
Thank you for loving me so much God and never leaving me. Teach me to talk to you all the time and to walk in truth.
It says in your Word, you fulfill the desires of those who fear you and you hear their cry and save them. God save me today from my fears and fill me up with your love. You draw me close with your love.
(List things you are afraid of you want to give to God. If children have something to pray about, give it to God in Jesus name.
“Father, in Jesus name, I am afraid of _____. Take away my fear of ____ in Jesus name.” (Have your kids repeat this phrase after you. It’s important for them to learn this way to give their fears to God in the name and authority of Jesus.)
God, replace my fears with your love. In Jesus name! Amen!