Imagine what it might be like to be called “favored” in the eyes of God. It certainly sounds like a remarkable honor! Those were words that Mary heard, coming from an angel of God. What an incredible privilege to carry and raise the Messiah. At the same time, of course, this meant a lot of challenge, hardship, and even ridicule for the young mother-to-be. Still, the notable feature of the Annunciation is that Mary was gladly willing to do as God wished and be used as His servant. She accepted and rejoiced in what the angel had told her. So we, too, can allow ourselves to be used by God in whatever ways He chooses, recognizing that in His hands, anything is possible.
Lesson focus: The focus of this lesson is on saying “yes” to God and being willing to follow and serve Him however we can. Sometimes we encounter challenges. Often things might seem too hard to accomplish. But with God, anything is possible. This lesson looks at the visitation of the angel, but also on the importance of Mary’s response and what it meant for her. When we trust and believe God’s promises, remarkable things can happen!
Passage: Luke 1:26-38
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (variable for activity emphasis)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, scissors, decorations, glue, string, hole punch, paper plates, clothespins, paper towel/toilet paper tubes (empty), markers/crayons, cups, coffee filters, cupcake liners, glitter, pipe cleaners, Bible (optional, depending on crafts and activities of choice).
More Teaching Ideas
- Don’t miss the demonstration of this children’s sermon on our YouTube channel
- You can also watch the Bible craft for this passage
- See our full Sunday School Lesson on Luke 1:26-38
- Compare “Mary Says Yes to God” Children’s Sermon on rfour.org
Game Ideas and Lesson Introduction
Lesson Opening: This lesson deals with an angel, a young woman, and saying “yes” to God with willing obedience. Here are some activities to get kids thinking… (select the best ones for your age group):
- Play “Simon Says” to remember the importance of obedience to God.
- Telephone relay: in honor of the special message that Mary received, play a game of “Telephone” with a twist: give children a message and have them carry it back and forth across the room, racing teams to see not only who gets finished first, but maintains the integrity of the original message.
- Doing the impossible: set up several tasks that might seem impossible to do (some of them might be completely impossible). Consider simple things like kissing your own elbow, as well as things like removing a stain from clothes or a surface. Explain that today’s story has to do with something that seemed impossible.
Explain to students that we will be talking about how Mary found out that she was going to be the mother of Jesus, and how she was willing to do what God asked her to do. Because she believed the special message that the angel gave her, she got to be used as part of God’s amazing plan for redeeming the world.
Ask: Who are some people that you have to obey in your life? Who gives you directions to follow?
Sunday School Lesson (Luke 1:26-38) Annunciation of Christ’s Birth
Bible Lesson: This passage focuses on Mary’s visitation by an angel, who gives her the news that Mary will give birth to God’s baby. See the note suggestions regarding tips for approaching the story.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. -Luke 1:26-27
There are a few words to note here. For one thing, it’s worth mentioning that the town of Nazareth was not a very fancy, well-known place. No one would have expected a king to come out of that place. Yet God works in amazing, miraculous, and mysterious ways. He came to Mary. “Betrothed” meant that she was engaged to be married to Joseph, but they weren’t married yet. Joseph was from King David’s ancestry, which was important because God’s promise had to do with someone who came from David’s line.
*Note: You may opt to avoid or dance around the “virgin” element for younger audiences. Kids may ask what the word means. While it does no harm to explain, it may be a conversation better suited for parents, so it could be enough to simply say that she was a young woman who’d never been married.
Ask: How would you feel if an angel appeared out of the blue?
Explain that often, when people saw angels in the Bible, the first thing the angels said was “don’t be scared.” We are not sure what angels look like, but it would seem they frightened the people they came to talk to! That’s how it was in this case. The Bible even says that Mary was “greatly troubled” as she tried to figure out why the angel was there…
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. -Luke 1:28-29
Mary’s first reaction is concern. Who is this guy? Why is he calling her a favored one, and how does he know the Lord is with her? Gabriel clearly sensed these worries, because he reassured her and explained that she was going to have a baby, who would be God’s own son.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” -Luke 1:30-33
How would God become a man? It seems unlikely and impossible, but anything is possible with God! The angel told Mary that this baby would be great, like King David, and that He would rule forever. Mary knew God had promised a Messiah, but she probably never expected Him to come in such a way!
Ask: Have you ever been asked to do something unexpected or confusing? What did you do?
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[d]
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[e] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. -Luke 1:34-38
The angel promised Mary that nothing was impossible with God’s help. And how did she react? She said “okay”! She told the angel she was God’s servant, and would do what He asked. That’s all it took! She didn’t have to do an ancestry report and make sure David’s line would hold up. She didn’t prepare herself in special ways. She just said yes to God, and let Him do the work! It’s the same for us. We don’t have to do a lot of special things to be in God’s family. All we have to do is trust and believe in Him, and anything can happen. So keep praying and keep listening! God can and will do mighty things!
*Disclaimer: saying “yes” to God might be simple, but it’s not always easy. He is with us every step of the way, though, and promises never to leave. Unfortunately, just saying yes doesn’t always work for thins like chores. You still have to make your bed.
Close with a prayer thanking God for sending us Jesus. Acknowledge His power and control, and ask for help in being willing to let Him work in our lives.