How do we praise the Lord? Sometimes, we forget the meaning or importance of glorifying God. We think of songs or prayers, but true praise can occur in a variety of ways, and should come from a place of genuine enthusiasm and gratitude. As Christians, our natural reaction to salvation should be to rejoice with praise and thanksgiving. In this passage, we see John the Baptist praise God in the womb, and we see Mary praise God through song. Through these examples, children will contemplate that there are many ways we can celebrate our faith.
Law/Gospel Theme: This story features a remarkable and joyous family visit. Mary, miraculously pregnant with Jesus, travels to see her relative Elizabeth, who is also miraculously with child (John the Baptist). The child within Elizabeth’s womb recognizes who is in his presence, even though he’s not yet born! Elizabeth also understands the significance of this, and in response Mary bursts into song. All of these reactions remind us of the wonder behind Christ’s coming and His saving work. If infants and teens and elderly women give praise, so should we! God’s gift of His son is something that we can remember with delight and joyful thanksgiving, every day!
Optional Materials: Musical instruments and/or noise makers, creative (art/writing) supplies.
Bible Passage: Luke 1:39-55
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video teaching example of this children’s sermon and Bible craft ideas
- Download the complete Luke 1:39-55 Sunday School Lesson
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 Lesson (Luke 1:39-55) Elizabeth and Mary Praise God
Greet children, with several items that might be used for making music or art…
Hello, children of God!
It is almost time to celebrate CHRISTMAS!!! Are you excited? I know I sure am. Tell me, how do you show enthusiasm when you are feeling joyful about something? Let’s say you got some great news about a vacation coming up, or you got a present for Christmas that was really what you wanted. What would you do? (As you describe possible methods of expressing joy, demonstrate or hold up items that represent what you are referring to.) Maybe you do a happy dance and show joy through movement. Perhaps you sing a song when you feel thankful or joyous about something. Or maybe you play a musical instrument, and you make a happy noise when you feel excited…
All of these things are ways that we might express ourselves when something great happens. They’re also methods that we can use to praise and glorify God. God has made us and given us beautiful blessings. All good things that we have come from Him. He wants us to worship Him and give thanks back for all of His gifts. When we praise Him, we show that we rejoice and are happy for His blessings.
In the Gospel of Luke, there’s a story of a time that Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was much older, and was pregnant with John the Baptist. After Mary received the good news that she was going to have baby Jesus, she went to be with Elizabeth for a little while. When Mary came up, Elizabeth felt the baby in her jump for joy! He wasn’t even born yet, and he was leaping with delight because he recognized that Jesus was close by. Elizabeth understood that something incredible was happening, and she said a special blessing to Mary for what was happening in her body. In response, Mary sang a special song to God. We call this the “Magnificat”, because she wanted to magnify and glorify God.
So in this story, we have a lot of happy news and joyful reactions. John leaped, Elizabeth shouted, Mary sang…they all gave praise to God and glorified Him for the amazing things He was doing in fulfilling His promises to His people. There are a lot of ways to praise God. And there are many ways we can praise Him, too! Whether we are singing, dancing, leaping, drawing, speaking, teaching, or whatever we’re doing, we can do it for God. We can do it with hearts full of gratitude, joy, and delight in what the Lord has done and continues to do. As we look forward to Christmas and the year ahead, let’s remember to give thanks and praise every day. God loves to hear our worship and praises. We’ll lift our hearts, voices, and talents to Him, and praise Him always, with all we are and have!
Let’s pray and thank God for Jesus, asking for His help as we praise and glorify His name and blessings.
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for sending Jesus
Thank you for your many blessings
Please help us to praise you for all that you do
And give glory to you as we use our talents for you
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”-Luke 1:39-55