Children’s Sermon Object Lesson: Angels Announce the Birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25

Unexpected Blessings. Children’s Message on Angels and God’s Plans  

Lesson Objective: What are angels, and what do they have to do with us? This message reviews how God sent angels to announce the birth of Christ. When Mary and Joseph (and the shepherds) encountered these holy messengers, they were surprised, but trusted what they were told. Their lives were changed in unexpected ways, but God’s plans for them were wonderful! The angels we see in the Bible are quite different from our usual idea of what angels “should” be like, just as God’s blueprints for our lives are often different from what we’d plan or expect. Fortunately, we can know that God is trustworthy, and will bless us when we hope in Him!

Law/Gospel Theme: We often think that we are in control of our own lives, or we hope that somehow we can manage things. God reminds us that His ways and plans are bigger and better than ours, and that is a blessing! We know we can trust in His Word and promises, because He sent Jesus to be our savior, and He transforms our lives in great ways!

Optional Materials: Pictures or representations of angels (ornaments, paintings, etc.), of various types.

Bible Passage: Matthew 1:18-25

Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.

Matthew 1:18-25 Children’s Sermon Bible Object Lesson for Christmas on Angels Announcing the Birth of Jesus

Greet children, and discuss the topic of angels…

Hello, children of God!
Have you ever heard anything about angels? What do you picture when you think of an angel? We hear about them in the Bible and stories, and maybe you’ve seen pictures of angels. As you describe features of angels, hold up several pictures, ornaments, or figures representing angels. Sometimes we think of them with fancy wings, or white robes, or halos, maybe with trumpets or songs. We expect them to be beautiful, sweet beings, and a lot of times we might picture them as sort of feminine (girly). But what, or who, are angels, anyway?

Actually, angels probably appeared quite different from what you’d expect. In fact, most of the time when angels appear to people in the Bible, the first thing they say is “fear not!” Well, if they had to tell people not to be afraid, it might follow that angels were a little bit scary-looking. We do have a few descriptions of the way they might have looked, and they do involve wings, but also other interesting things like a whole bunch of eyes or blazing swords. Angels were God’s messengers, sent to tell people things that were usually quite life-changing. When an angel showed up, there was often some incredible news along with it. Angels might not have appeared like we expect, and when they appeared it was unexpected and surprising!

There are several times that we see angels show up in the story of Christ’s birth. In every episode, the angels had important things to tell people, which wound up changing their lives. First, an angel appeared to Mary to tell her that she was going to give birth to the Savior of the world. That was certainly unexpected and completely changed what Mary thought her life plans were. But she trusted God and believed what the angel promised. It was not easy, but she was blessed to be the mother of the Messiah. Another angel went to Joseph, and told him in a dream what was going to happen. And Joseph believed, too. This changed his plans for how his life was going to look, but allowed him to be part of God’s plan.

See, our lives don’t usually follow the ideas and expectations we might have. Actually, this is a good thing, because God’s design is much better than ours. We don’t always understand what He is doing. And we probably won’t get to experience special angel messengers giving us specific words from the Lord. But we can trust in Him. The unexpected or uncertain can feel frightening to us, but God is with us! Not only does He have amazing plans, but He stays by us through all of His work. He will never leave us, and we know that He has great things in mind for our lives, when we stay close to Him. Just like angels might not look or act like we have in our minds, our stories might not be as simple as we expect. But that’s part of the adventure! When we encounter God, things change for the better, and wonderful things lie ahead.

Let’s say a prayer to thank God for His unexpected and marvelous plans:

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for being with us always
And letting us be part of your plan
Help us to trust in you
Even when we aren’t sure what comes next
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: 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 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, 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” (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.  -Matthew 1:18-25

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