Download or print this Christmas Sunday School lesson for Children. It points out some results of Jesus being our “Prince of Peace.”
In a world that lacks peace, there are children who lack peace. To add to their own fears, they internalize the anxieties of adults and the conflicts surrounding them. This lesson recognizes Jesus as our Prince of Peace and can be utilized at Christmas, or all year-long. This lesson is geared towards a Children’s Church or Sunday School setting of 1st – 6th graders, but could be used for multiple children’s ministry settings also.
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Objectives: To define peace as reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. To equip students with the tools necessary for dealing with conflicts in their lives.
Bible Basis: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Materials: Bibles for each child, pen and paper for every 3-4 students, case scenarios (included here) printed up for distribution, numerous newspapers, magazines (proof them first for violent images or questionable advertisements), glue, scissors, colored construction paper (preferably red) with a large cross outline, and a pre-made example of the Mosaic Art Project.
Anticipatory Set: Ask the students the following questions: Does anything ever worry you or stress you out? Have you ever made yourself feel sick over a problem like at school or with a friend or even at home? Share with the students a personal example from your childhood, concerning a problem or fear that you had.
Show the students the newspapers and/or magazines that you brought with you today. Read some of the headlines, with caution. (The intention is not to add to their fears, but see conflicts as a global problem.) What is wrong with this world? (sin) We hurt others, treat people poorly, and steal because of sin. But when Jesus came, He came to bring us peace – peace to our world, peace to our hearts. Today we’re going to learn more about that peace, through God’s word.
Have children get their Bibles ready for a Sword Drill. Have them raise their Bibles in the air. When you give a verse, have them repeat it. Then say, “Go.” The first one who stands up with the correctly located verse wins. Give the students the option to read the verse. If they opt out, read it for them. Emphasize the word peace as it is referenced.
Isaiah 9:6-8 “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.”
Ask: What child is this verse talking about? (Jesus) We hear this verse a lot at Christmas. Do you think Christmas is a time of peace? Why or why not? Should it be?
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Ask: When we sin, what does that do with our relationship with God? (It separates us.)
Romans 5:1-3 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ask: What does peace with God mean? How do we have this kind of peace? (When Jesus died on the cross, He made it so that we could be right with God. We can be forgiven of our sins so that when God looks at us, He sees His perfect Son. To have this kind of peace, we need to invite Jesus to make a home in our hearts.)
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”
Ask: If we have peace with God and have Jesus in our heart, will all of our problems go away? (No, we will still have problems. But the problems are chances for us to grow to become more like Christ. When we have problems, we should pray about them, get help from trusted adults, hide God’s word in our hearts to help us, and trust God.)
John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Ask: Who has God sent us so that we are never alone? (The Holy Spirit)
Read John 14:27 as an entire group. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Say: The world will make us afraid with all of its problems. But God gives us His peace through the Holy Spirit so that we don’t have to fear. We are never alone with Him in our hearts. And when we do have problems, He’ll be there to help us through.
Luke 2:13-14 “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’”
Say: You’ve probably heard of this verse before, especially around Christmas! The angels were singing to the shepherds about Jesus here. They were so excited that Jesus would bring peace to His children; they couldn’t help but sing, praise, and tell others! Let’s do the same!
Sing your favorite worship song. Here are some suggestions for songs that deal with peace: “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” I’ve Got the Joy” (another verse includes peace that passes understanding), and “Silent Night.”
Form groups of 3-4 students of varying age levels. Distribute the following case scenarios along with pen and paper. Have them read each one, dialogue about solutions, and write them down. Do the first one as a group to provide an example. Share responses aloud when finished.
a. Alicia’s Dad just lost his job. He has been so upset. At night, she can hear her Mom and Dad whispering. They sound worried. Now she is worried too. What should Alicia do?
b. Marty just moved to a new school, where he doesn’t yet have friends. The kids at school aren’t very nice and some have started to pick on him. He doesn’t want to go anymore, because he’s afraid that they’ll be mean. What should Marty do?
c. Jamie and Natalie are brother and sister. Lately, they have been fighting a lot. They yell at each other and take things and tattletale to their Mom and Dad. There is no peace in their home. They even have to share the same room! What should they do?
d. Gretchen just came to church for the first time – one of her friends invited her! She had heard of Jesus, but didn’t really know that He was God. She was excited to hear that He could bring peace to her heart, because she had a lot of problems in her home. What should she do now?
e. Stephen’s Dad is in the military. He was just told that he is going to Iraq. Stephen is so scared that something will happen to him there! He is the class clown, so he’s always making people laugh. But when he is at home at night, he can’t stop crying. What should he do?
a. Alicia can talk to God in prayer. She can memorize verses on peace. She can make a card for her parents with a verse about peace on it. She can sing praises at night, to help her get to sleep.
b. Ask God for help in prayer. Tell a trusted adult about this problem. Memorize a verse. Make a friend at church, who goes to his school.
c. Ask for forgiveness for their attitude. Ask God for their forgiveness. Try to put the other person first. Pray that God will help them to be kind.
d. She should ask her Sunday School/Children’s Church teacher more questions. Invite Jesus to live in her heart and forgive her. Come to church again with her friend. Start reading the Bible (with help from someone!) Pray about the problems in her home. Invite her parents to come to church too.
e. Pray for his Dad’s protection. Get other people to pray also. Memorize verses on peace. Send letters to his Dad with all of his jokes. Talk to a trusted adult about his fears (maybe his mom or children’s pastor.
4. Take this time to pray for your students. Pray that they would accept the peace of God through accepting Christ as their Savior. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give them peace in any and all of the problems in their lives. Pray for them to have God’s wisdom to know how to deal with a situation that makes them afraid. Thank God for His goodness, grace, and peace.
Peace Mosaic Art Project: Shred up a magazine picture or newspaper photograph and tell the students that this world is a broken place, just like this ripped paper. It is a mess! But there is good news! Jesus was born to bring peace to our world! He brings peace to us through the cross of His Son Jesus. And when God brings peace, there is great joy! Today we’re going to make something beautiful out of all of our ripped pieces.
- Distribute the colored construction paper (red looks best) with the cross outline, glue, scissors, and newspaper and magazine pages.
- Have the students rip up the newspaper and magazine articles into small pieces and glue them into the cross outline.
- For an additional challenge, have students look for letters to spell “PEACE” and glue them somewhere on their page as well.
- Have them write out a simplified form of John 14:27 on the bottom of their papers. Younger students may need help with writing the words. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…”