Shepherds Hear Good News

Luke 2.8-20

Jesus was born against a background of humble simplicity with modest unassuming parents. Despite the lack of fanfare, nearby shepherds were visited by angels, who announced the birth of the Savior. This is a great reminder that the birth of Jesus is Good News, and something worth getting excited about! The fact that the announcement went out to a marginalized group of people is also a great reminder that God’s Good News is for everyone, not just the ‘important’ people in the world.

Key Verse

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

– Isaiah 9.6 (NIV)


Lesson

Lesson Intro (Announcing a Baby in the Family)

When a couple finds out that they’re going to have a baby, it’s normally pretty exciting! Everyone in the family can’t wait for the baby to be born. Consider starting off by sharing about the arrival of a baby in your family. Share briefly about the excitement that was felt when the time came close for the baby to be born. When the baby was born it’s exciting news for the family. Often the daddy will call the grandparents and send messages to friends to share the exciting news that the new little baby is born. When Jesus was born there was also a special announcement that went out.

Bible story

Have one of the volunteers or older kids read Isaiah 9.6 and explain that this is a birth announcement but these words were written hundreds of years before Jesus was born to prophesy that he would be born one day. God’s people knew that one day a new baby would be born who would be a good king who would reign forever. So, when Jesus was born, don’t you think it would be appropriate to announce it to someone? Good News needs to be proclaimed! Did you know that God sent a massive army to announce the birth of Jesus? Let’s go to the Bible and see how it happened:

Luke 2:8   Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night.  9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people:  11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.  12 This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:15   When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.”  16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 17 When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child,  18 and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said.

Application

Wow, this really is amazing isn’t it? It’s such a great reminder for us that the birth of Jesus was a really important thing that happened. That’s why God made a big deal out of it by sending a whole army of angels! Why is it important? It’s important because God wanted to be close to us so that we could be close to him. God wants you to be close to him!

You might not think that you’re very important; that you’re just a child, but God really loves it when to talk to him and he loves it when you walk with him.

Prayer: Thank God for sending his Son Jesus who came to fulfill God’s promise. Pray for the children to understand the true meaning of Christmas and that they would become more like Jesus.


Review Questions:

  • Why were the shepherds out in the field at night?
  • Who appeared to them while they were out there?
  • What did the angels say to them?
    How did they respond?
  • When do you find it easiest to talk (pray) to Jesus?

Activity

Sheep Game

Supplies: Vaseline, cotton balls.

What to do: Smear a little vaseline on each child’s nose and let them see how many cotton balls they can get stuck on their face and nose in the allotted time that the teacher gives them. Make sure to take a class picture of all the “sheep”! If time allows, the children can then see if they can run back and forth to get cotton balls from their noses to stick on an outlined picture of a SHEEP on the other side of the room. The teacher can have some vaseline smeared on the outline of the sheep on the poster board for children to stick their cotton balls from their noses on the board — no hands allowed!

Game from Sermons for Kids


Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.