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Sunday School @ Home-Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2021

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Bible Passage
Fourth Sunday in Advent (Luke 1:39-55)

Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent. It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus born as a baby in Bethlehem. We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus among us here and now. We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus in glory at the end of time. There is the last Sunday of Advent and Christmas Even, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, born as a baby in Bethlehem, is in just k5 days! Advent is a time of waiting, but it isn’t a boring, sitting around kind of waiting. We are waiting in an active way. We are looking and preparing for Jesus to come.

In our gospel for today we hear about Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel Gabriel had told her that she would give birth to God’s Son, Jesus. After receiving this surprising and exciting news, Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who lived in the hill country. Elizabeth immediately knew that Mary was going to give birth to God’s Son, Jesus, and she was filled with joy.

Watch the video to find out what happened next:

After Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, talked, Mary sang a song. Mary sang that she rejoiced in God because God had blessed her by choosing her to the mother of Jesus. She was fill with joy because God had done this amazing thing for her.

Mary also sang about how God cares for all people, including those who are considered unimportant, those who are hungry, those who are left out. Mary said that God’s mercy would continue from generation to generation…that includes to you and to me.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we remember the joy that Mary felt at being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. We have chosen children of God. We, too, have joy because there is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love in Jesus.

Mary’s song also reminds us that God is concerned about and loves everyone. God calls us to care for and love those who are considered unimportant, those who are hungry, those who are left out. God calls us to love everyone, just as God loves us. God loves us so much that God sent a Son, Jesus, born as a baby in Bethlehem, who comes among us here and now, and will come again in glory at the end of time.

Discuss

How would you feel if you were chosen to complete an important task?
Who is considered unimportant in our world today?
How can you share the joy and love of Christmas with others?

Song

Emmanuel. GraceChildMusic. (We are using this song throughout Advent)

The words to the song are:

Hey-oh, hey-oh – have you heard the news? The Savior, the Savior is coming just for you! Don’t know when He’ll arrive, or what He will look like But He’s coming very, very, very soon Emmanuel! Emmanuel! He will come in peace to wash us clean I just can’t wait to meet Emmanuel

Hey-oh, hey-oh – bet you’ll never guess The Savior, the Savior will come in righteousness He will take our sin upon Himself and then He will offer us eternal life with Him Emmanuel! Emmanuel! He will come in peace to wash us clean I just can’t wait to meet Emmanuel

The Lord will live among us; Our Shepherd and our King So let’s make our hearts ready; To love and follow Him! Emmanuel! Emmanuel! He will come in peace to wash us clean I just can’t wait to meet Emmanuel! Emmanuel! He will come in peace to wash us clean I just can’t wait to meet Emmanuel

Activity

If your family uses an Advent wreath, light the four candles (labeled hope, peace, joy, and love) today and use this litany as you do so:

One: When the world seems scary or uncertain,

Others: Our God loves us.

One: When things aren’t as they should be,

Others: Our God loves us.

One: When we make mistakes or mess up,

Others: Our God loves us.

One: When everything seems just right with the world,

Others: Our God loves us.

One: No matter what and all the time,

Others: Our God loves us.

One: We can love God, and we can love others because…

Others: Our God loves us.

One: Today, we light the candle of love.

Others: Our God loves us.

Pray: Thank you, God, that you are with us. Thank you that you love us always and no matter what. May the candle of love be a reminder today and throughout the Advent season that you love us and invite us to show your love to others.

If you don’t have an Advent wreath, download this page and color four candles (those labeled hope, peace, joy, and love) either blue or purple. If you used blue, color all four blue. If you used purple, color three purple and color the candle labeled joy pink:

Advent Wreath

Activity

Here is a simple craft to make with Mary and the baby Jesus. Follow the link to the website below and follow the instructions.

https://mommymadethat.com/mary-baby-jesus-craft-kids/

Closing Prayer

Loving God, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we give you thanks for Mary who answered your call to be his mother. Help us answer when you call us. Amen.

Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home. There will be a new one for each Sunday as we continue through this COVID wilderness. Contact him at dfugate@iksynod.org.

The candlelighting litany adapted from Let Earth Receive Her King by The Foundry Publishing. Used with permission.