Are You Prepared? Children’s Sermon Lesson from Luke 3:1-6

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This message reminds students of the importance of giving Jesus the priority in our hearts. It can be easy, especially during the holidays, to get busy with preparations of various kinds. The most important thing we can prepare for is Jesus! How do we do that, and why should we? Preparing our hearts means that we pray, give thanks, and read God’s Word to understand who He is and give thanks for His presence now and always.   

Law/Gospel Theme: John the Baptist came to preach forgiveness and call people to repent of their sins. He came to prepare the way for Jesus. In Christ, there is forgiveness for all of our wrongs. John quoted the prophet Isaiah in saying that “all shall see the salvation of God”…that was seen fulfilled in Jesus! John pointed the way to Jesus. We should recognize that Christ has come, and point others to this truth as well.

Optional Materials: Lists (personal) or schedules; Christmas decorations; items representing Christmas preparations.    

Bible Passage: Luke 3:1-6

More Teaching Ideas:

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.

Children’s Sermon (Luke 3:1-6) Are You Prepared for Jesus?

Greet children, acting a bit distracted and focused on other things:

Let’s see, I need to finish up those cards, get my list together, decorate the room, wrap the secret Santa gift, bake up six dozen cookies…
Oh, hello, children of God! I was just looking over my list here (hold up long list of preparation items or calendar schedule). I’m trying to get prepared for Christmas! This is a wonderful time of year, and there’s so much to do to make sure I’m ready! I mean, I have to make sure I have all of my Christmas supplies… (hold up items as you describe them, according to what you have) I need my festive Christmas sock collection, my cookie recipes, my lights, my decorations, my shopping list…Oh, and I need to prepare the house for guests! I have a lot of cleaning to do…
So what do you do to prepare for Christmas? Do you help your parents, or just make a list of what you want for presents? Are there special traditions you have or things you do? It’s always important to know what is coming and prepare for it….

Here’s another question, though: how do you prepare your hearts for Christmas? More importantly, how do you prepare your hearts for Christ? You know, before Jesus came, there were prophets who announced His coming arrival. These special messengers announced that a Messiah would be coming to save them. People didn’t always understand what they meant, but they knew something special was coming.

There was one special prophet named John, who came a little bit before Jesus. In fact, he and Jesus were cousins. John came to baptize people, and to encourage them to repent and turn from sins. John also came to prepare for Jesus. He announced that Jesus was coming, and told people that they should prepare for Him. He pointed the way to Jesus, telling everyone not to look to him, but to Jesus, for hope and example.

That message is a good reminder for us, as well. We can prepare our hearts and minds for Jesus. At Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in holiday hype, decorations, and presents, and forget the importance of the Gospel message. We can get ready for fun parties and programs, but it’s most essential to give thanks to God for sending His Son. As we consider the significance of Advent, we can also look to the future, knowing Jesus will come again for us! (If time allows, ask students how we might prepare our hearts for Jesus.) We can prepare our hearts for Him through various things…we pray and ask to understand God’s Word and what it has for us. We can read the Bible and seek to hide it in our hearts. We can go to church and talk to others who know the Lord. Sometimes we might need to admit that we have done wrong things and need saving…

When we make room in our hearts for Jesus, the Holy Spirit can flood our souls and allow us to point the way to Him, just like John the Baptist did! At this time of year and always, our job is to trust in and love God, and to be able to love other people as well. We’ve mentioned how Advent is a season of waiting. It’s also a season of preparing and hoping…put your hope in Christ, and prepare for Him!

Let’s pray and thank God for sending Jesus, and ask Him to help us prepare our hearts for Him… 

Prayer: 
(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for the greatest gift of Jesus
Please help us to prepare for Him in our hearts and minds
Remind us to focus on the most important things
At Christmas, and always
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall become straight,
    and the rough places shall become level ways,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”   –
Luke 3:1-6

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