Children’s Sermon Object Lesson (Matthew 24:36-44) Waiting for Christ

It’s a Surprise!  Children’s Message on Waiting for Christmas and Christ

Lesson Objective: Advent is a time of hopeful waiting. Children are waiting for the excitement of Christmas, but we also want to point them to the anticipation of Jesus. We consider how He came as a baby, and how He promises to return someday in the Second Coming. We don’t know when that will be, but we know it will be wonderful, and meanwhile, we do God’s work on Earth. This message encourages kids to have patience and wait wisely, using a “surprise gift package” that students must wait to open.  Great things are worth the wait, and sometimes we can increase patience by doing other things to pass time. In the same way, Jesus is well worth the wait, and while we look forward to His coming, we live in His presence and serve Him in all we do.   

Law/Gospel Theme: At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, but sometimes forget the significance of why that’s so important.  Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people, the Messiah come to save. The people of God waited in long anticipation, and the birth of Jesus was only the beginning. We rejoice that He came to Earth, but know that He came to die. On the other side of the resurrection, we now await His coming again, knowing that God will be faithful to that promise, as well. Since we do not know the time of His return, we rest in His presence and seek to do His will.

Optional Materials: Wrapped package or gift bag with small prizes for children.     

Bible Passage: Matthew 24:36-44

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.

Bible Object Lesson and Children’s Sermon for Kids Church

Greet children, and discuss the concept of waiting:

Hello, children of God!
I have something I’d like to share with you today. Hold up gift bag or present box. I’ve got something special in here. Would you like to know what it is? Well, I’ll show you…but not just yet. Pause for a minute to build suspense. Don’t worry, you’ll get to see it, eventually. Meanwhile, maybe we should talk about something else to pass the time.

Waiting is tough, isn’t it? It’s especially hard to wait when we don’t know quite when something will happen. For instance, if you go out to eat, especially when you feel super hungry, it can be hard to wait for the meal to arrive, especially if you don’t know how long it will take to cook and when the waiters will bring it out. At the same time, you might hesitate to leave and go to the bathroom, because the food might show up while you’re away from the table! Or maybe you’re waiting for a friend to come over for a visit. Time seems like it takes forever if you just wait and watch, not certain when your friend will show up. What can you do in times like those? How can you practice patience and make it through periods of waiting? Sometimes it helps to distract yourself with other conversations or activities. Maybe you can play a game at the restaurant or clean your room while waiting for your friend. Maybe you can chat with people like we’re doing now.

Well, we are entering the church season of Advent, which is a time of waiting. We are waiting for Christmas, of course, and while we wait we have plenty of Christmas programs, parties, and activities to keep us busy. During Advent, we celebrate the coming of Jesus. We remember how He came as a baby many years ago, and how He lived and died for us. Before Jesus was born, the people of God waited a very long time for the promised Messiah. They didn’t know when He would show up, but they waited and looked to God for hope in the meantime.

Now, we are waiting for Jesus to come, too, because He promised that He would one day return. When is that going to be? We don’t know! The Bible tells us that no one knows, and it will be sort of surprising when it happens. We need to be ready because we don’t know when it will be. But wait…how can we be ready for something if we don’t know when it’s going to happen? And what do we do in the meantime, while we’re waiting for Jesus? Well, we can be patient and pass the time by living in God’s presence every day! He is always with us, and He wants the best for us. As we await Christ’s coming, we can be ready for it by living in a way that pleases Him.  We know that He loves and saves us no matter what, but we can still do things that will honor and glorify Him, like loving and serving other people, practicing kindness, reading our Bibles, praying, and going to church.

So while we wait, we can rejoice in each and every moment and day. Someday Jesus will return. We don’t know just when, but one thing we can be sure of is that God keeps His promises. Our Lord is worth waiting for! Oh, and I guess you’d like to see if this present was worth waiting for, too… Open the gift bag or box to reveal small treats or trinkets to pass around to kids.

Let’s pray and thank God for fulfilling His promises and sending Jesus…  

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for the joy of things to come
Help us to patiently wait for you
And be prepared!
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.   -Matthew 24:36-44

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