Use this children’s Sunday School lesson on Gabriel’s announcement to Mary to teach children why Mary was chosen to be Jesus’ mother.
Needed: volunteer to play Mary, soft play balls or paper wads
Game: Good and Faithful Servant
Tell the students that you’re going to play a game in which you’re the Master and they’re your servants. You’re going to name something you want, and they have 15 seconds to bring you what you asked for.
Anything that meets your criteria counts. If a student can’t bring you what you asked for within 15 seconds, they’re out. Items you already have in front of you count if they can apply it to meet the new criteria. The last one in the game wins and becomes the Master for the next round.
Some ideas of what to ask for include:
- Something of a certain color
- Something of a certain shape
- Something that reminds you of the Bible
- Something that reminds you of Jesus
- Something you would use for a certain purpose
Part of the fun could be naming criteria that a lot of items meet and then narrowing it down to criteria that only a few items in your area meet.
Play 2-3 rounds and then explain that they were all good servants because they all tried to bring you what you asked for. Even though some of them couldn’t find what you wanted, none of them said they wouldn’t do it. They all tried.
Last week, we pretended to be Luke the Doctor, who wrote the Bible book of Luke and the Bible book of Acts.
Do you remember how Luke wrote his books? (The way Luke wrote his books was by going back and talking to the people who knew Jesus.)
Last week, we went back and talked to Zechariah and Elizabeth and we learned that an angel named Gabriel told them that they were going to have a baby, even though they couldn’t have any kids before that, and that the baby’s name would be John and that he would be a great preacher for God. Today, we call him John the Baptist. But Zechariah and Elizabeth weren’t the only ones that the angel went and talked to.
(Ask for “Mary” to come in. She’ll tell the following story based on Luke 1:26-38 .)
Mary: Hello, everyone! My name is Mary. A long time ago, I was an ordinary Jewish girl living in Israel. And I was so excited! I was about to be married. I was only thirteen, but all the girls got married that young back then. It wasn’t like it is today. And my parents had agreed to let me marry this wonderful man named Joseph! Joseph loved God and he always tried to do the right thing. He was even the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the kings of Israel.
Anyway, just before I got married, this angel, one of the chief angels in Heaven, named Gabriel, came to me. “Hello, Mary!” he said. “God is very pleased with you.”
I was afraid because I had never seen an angel before, but he told me not to be afraid because God was happy with me. Then, the angel told me that I was going to have a baby, a son named Jesus! And he said that Jesus wasn’t going to have a human father like everyone else does because God was going to be Jesus’ Father. The baby that I would give birth to would be God’s Son!
And so I said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Whatever God wants me to do, I will do.” And then, the angel left.
(Have students thank Mary for coming. Then, lead the following discussion.)
Mary was someone that pleased God, someone that God was happy with. You remember that when the angel started talking to Mary, he said that God was pleased and happy with her. It’s because Mary was willing to listen to God. She was willing to do whatever God told her to do.
Do you think we should do what God tells us to do? (Yes. We need to be like Mary and do whatever God tells us. We always need to listen to God and then, God will be happy with us.)
Do any of you remember what Mary’s son’s name was supposed to be? (Jesus.)
And how was Jesus going to be special? How was He going to be different from other children? (Jesus wasn’t going to have a human father. God was going to be Jesus’ Father.)
And do any of you know what the name Jesus means?
The name Jesus means “God saves” because if we believe in Jesus, God saves us from going to Hell when we die. God said that anyone who does anything wrong, anyone who sins, has to die and go to Hell for their punishment. But Jesus came and died on the cross and went to Hell in our place so that if we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to go to Hell. Instead, we can live forever with God and Jesus. So, remember that the name Jesus means, “God saves.”
Game: Good and Faithful Servant
Play the intro game again with the last student who won becoming the Master. Explain that now that students know the story, the Master is pretending to be God and all the servants are pretending to be Mary. God favored Mary because she always did what He said. She was a good and faithful servant to God.
Game: Taking Our Place
Play a game of dodge ball with soft play balls or paper wads. When one team starts to accumulate a lot of players in the “Out” zone, run in and say that you’ll take their place being out. They can get back in the game. Do the same for the other team. Keep doing it as long as time allows. Then, explain that just like you were taking the place of people who were out, Jesus took our place on the cross. He took our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins.
An alternative is a game of two-team tag. Take the place of students who are tagged and out of the game.
Father, we thank You for sending Jesus to save us so that we can go to Heaven when we did. We pray that we’ll always be like Mary, who did whatever You asked her to. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Miracle Children.