Watch Painting Peace
Chapter 22: The Birth of the King
Timeless Truth: Jesus coming to earth is God’s plan to save mankind.
Bible Basis: John 1:1–18; Luke 1:26–55; Matthew 1:19-24; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-3; Luke 2:41-51
Key Verse: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 22
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity has your family listen to an upbeat song and spread some Christmas cheer—no matter what the date. The Extra Mile takes your family to a creative video about Christ’s birth.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God sent a Savior for the world. I can believe Jesus is my Savior.
Elementary: God sent a Savior for the world. I can believe Jesus is my Savior.
Middle School: God had to become like us to save us. Jesus is 100 percent man and 100 percent God.
High School: God had to become like us to save us. Jesus is 100 percent man and 100 percent God.
- God used angels a lot in this chapter of The Story to bring his message to people. Angels spoke to Mary, explained things to Joseph and proclaimed Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. What would you say if an angel appeared to you?
- If you saw an angel, you’d probably be scared. That’s why the angels always say, “Do not be afraid.” After you stopped being scared, what question would you want to ask an angel?
- Why do you think the angels appeared to shepherds instead of powerful, rich people?
- A couple of times in this chapter it says, “Mary kept these things like a secret treasure in her heart.” What do you think that means?
- Parents share with your children “secret treasures in your heart” about them.
- Not a lot is recorded about Jesus’ growing up years. Do you think Jesus was a good kid? Why do you think that?
Note: Young readers will enjoy hearing “The Light of the Whole World” in the Jesus Storybook Bible on page 184.
- Mary was probably a teenager when an angel appeared to her and said, “the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God.” She immediately believed and prayed to God. React to these parts of her prayer:
- She said she was unimportant, but now will be called blessed.
- She said God scatters the proud.
- She said God sends the rich away empty.
- She said God has been kind to his people, like he said he would long ago.
- John writes that life was in Jesus and “that life was the light for all people.” What do you think that means?
- Is God’s light for all people? If so, why don’t all people know Jesus as Savior?
- When Jesus was 12, he ditched his parents and hung out at the temple. Did he seem sorry for his actions?
- Do you think Jesus did anything wrong by not telling his parents that he was hanging back in Jerusalem?
- Why did Jesus have so much wisdom when it came to the Scriptures?
Any time is the perfect time to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. You don’t have to wait until Christmas. If Jesus hadn’t come to earth, there would be no forgiveness of sins.
Gather your family and watch the 4:08 YouTube video of the Go Fish song “Christmas With a Capital C-2008.”
Society is trying to push out the miracle of Christ’s birth from the holidays. But like the song says, “Jesus came down to take the punishment for me. He did it for you, too, so maybe you can see why it’s called Christmas.”
Fight the trend of taking Christ out of Christmas by putting Christ in everyday. Think of somebody you know who could use a dose of cheer. As a family pick out a present that costs less than $10. Wrap it and give it to them. Let them know that Jesus has given you so much that you want to give a little away, too. Jesus’ love can’t be contained! And when Christmas comes around this year, make sure that everybody around you knows that Jesus loves them.
Jesus’ birth is one of the most highly talked about historical events. Watch this surprising 2:18 video on YouTube about Christ’s birth: “Christmas Upside-down (HD).”
The video begins with a person who doubts the miracle of Jesus’ birth. But once Jesus changes his heart and gives him hope, the same text is read upside down. The truth is Jesus turns our lives upside down. Instead of being selfish, we become selfless. Instead of wanting earthly treasures, we lay up treasures in heaven. After watching the video, have family members talk about one difference that Jesus has made in their lives.
Wk 21.5 “Old Testament” recap:
Video -Bible project video on the Old Testament “TaNaK” (run time of 12 minutes)
Ice Breaker - What are the key themes that we see throughout the story in part 1 and 2?
The two movements from the Story which we have covered so far -
1) The Story of the Garden
In the garden Human beings are made in God image and have a perfect and intimate relationship with God; the test is about ‘whether they will trust God’s interpretation of Good and Evil or seize autonomy and decide for themselves’ , whilst the sin of Adam and Even brings about a break in relationship – and exile from the garden - the picture of perfection from the beginning is - human beings at peace with God and the creation.
In every sense, the bible is a story about Human beings needing to be restored to their place with God and how God will redeem his people from their exile due to the problem of sin.
In the creation, God creates human beings as the way in which he ‘wants to bless the world and rule it through humans’, as image bearers of the Himself (the divine). Of all things God has created – stars, planets, animals, mountains and seas, the things which most likely represent God’s likeness – is us. In what sense then, does worshipping a created thing (idolatry in the O.T) show a lack of understanding as to what it means to be ‘made in God’s image’?
Movement 1 of the story encompasses creation, fall, flood (with a deliverer in Noah who has intimate relationship with God) culminates in Babel (Babylon). Human beings are at enmity with each other engaging in violence and oppression and people trying to exalt themselves to the place of God (Gen 11). The account of Babel (we revisited this with our Pentecost study) where humans try and build a tower up into heaven culminates in another curse; fractured humanity exiled into the world and at enmity with God and each other.
2) The Story of Israel
The Story of Israel centred on the figure of Abraham, called out of exile from Babylon, and into a new Garden-like-land, promised by God to his family. In short, restored relationship and blessing. Yet Abraham’s family – Israel and his 12 sons end up exiled in Egypt. At their best, the show signs of trusting God’s promise – faith.
In Egypt (exile) God raises up a deliver (Moses)– to restore the people to himself and enter into a covenant relationship with himself.
In the video we see Moses described as a prophet (who speaks God’s word), a priest (who intercedes / makes sacrifice for the people) and a king (leader and deliverer in time of need). Moses said – as recorded in Deuteronomy 18:15 that “God will raise up a prophet like me from among you”. Yet ‘never do we see another one like Moses… how do we see that pointing to a future hope that isn’t fulfilled in the Old Testament?
Joshua starts out like Moses – meditating on God’s law, but fails … beginning Israel’s descent (before they even reach ‘the new garden-like-land’.
The story of the Israelite Kings: Saul, David and Solomon, all start with highpoints, calling people into right relationship with God, maintaining covenant faithfulness, yet the march towards exile continues with the successive failure of kings, priests and prophets; culminating in the splitting in half of the kingdom and the exile of the Northern tribes (Assyria) and then Jerusalem itself, with the family of Abraham ending up back where it began, as exiles in Babylon. The highpoints of this period are when God’s people – prophets priests and kings, trust God and live according to his covenant. Yet the promise of God to bless humanity with a new human – a king in the line of David (2 Sam7), remains unfulfilled. How are these stories point to a future hope ? (hint like David, Solomon and Moses…)
The latter prophets who operated during the time of the fall of Israel and Jerusalem called people to repentance operating with accusation and warning, yet they spoke of God’s promise andpurpose, “to purify his people and recreate a new Israel who would be faithful [like Abraham] and live in covenant relationship with God”. How was this fulfilled through the returning of exile and restoration of the temple and Jerusalem? Yet how did it remain unfulfilled, what future anticipation was there ?-
The chronicles a retelling of the whole Tanak (O.T.) talk about God’s promise to David, “of a future king who will reunite God’s people in a new Jerusalem and bring divine blessing to the nations”.
How is this a remedy to the situation which we arrive at the end of parts one (the garden-babylon) and two ( Israel) of the Story ?
The end of the story parts 1 and 2 is looking for a future hope – of a new humanity in which God restores the hearts of people, giving the gift of the spirit and redeeming people from exile, that they might experience relationship with God and enjoy him forever.
Can you think of one or two key verses which name that ?
Homework (for Sunday!) In your own words, tell the story parts 1 and 2 so that you can give someone who has no idea what the bible says, a sufficient summary of the entire O.T. in say 30 seconds. Think about what to include from these words – or explaining what they signify.
Creation, relationship with God, sin, evil, exile, Babylon, promise, covenant, moses, king, priest, prophet, David, Spirit, Heart, hope.
Between Pentecost (28 May) and the Uniting Church Anniversary (22 June) this year, we’re calling the whole Uniting Church to join in prayer. Sign up now! https://www.act2uca.com/unitinginprayer
Uniting in Prayer is 26 days of prayer and connection in the middle of the Act2 Project, which is currently grappling with the ferment and change we are experiencing as the Uniting Church like many other Christian communities around the world. As we seek to discern the outlines of our future life, this is a chance to pause, holding our Church before God and upholding each other in love and prayer.
All who call the Uniting Church home are invited to join together in thanksgiving and hope to pray and seek the leading of the Spirit for the years ahead.
During these days of prayer we’ll give thanks to God for our past, reflect on our present, and listen to God’s calling and each other.
Click here for six ways to get involved through these 26 days, including…
- sharing together in prayer and worship (resources below on this page)
- praying with us daily
- praying for others through the national prayer chain (download below on this page)
- joining our online prayer gathering on Thursday 15 June - register below
Let’s join together as we seek the outpouring of God’s Spirit on us and the Uniting Church, and dream dreams together for the future.
Below is a video message from Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis which you can use to launch Uniting in Prayer in worship on Pentecost Sunday. Read more and download it directly here.