Memorize these verses as a family:
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:23 The virgin will be child and will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Activity: Light the Advent Wreath
Light all four outer candles this week. The two purple and one pink candle you lit last week, and also the third purple candle. This last purple candle is called the “angel candle” or the “faith candle.” Read Isaiah 7:10-16 together after lighting the candles.
Isaiah 7:10-16 talks about God’s relationship with a faithless king named Ahaz. God wants Ahaz to trust him. God invites Ahaz to ask him for any sign that will prove God’s power, but Ahaz will not ask. He has no faith in God. So, God decides to give him a sign anyway. That sign is fulfilled when Mary gave birth to the Son of God. We call him Jesus, but here Isaiah calls him “Immanuel, God with us.” Jesus is God, so when he was born, God came to be with us.
- How does God challenge you to trust him?
- How does it make you feel that God came to be with us?
Discussion. Read Matthew 1:18-25 together. This is Matthew’s telling of the birth of Christ. Listen for the name “Immanuel” which Isaiah used to describe Jesus. Listen also for the meaning of the name of Jesus. Since we also just lit the “angel candle” listen for the role that the angel plays in the story of Jesus.
- Who announces that the baby will be named Jesus?
- Why is Jesus called “Jesus” (“God saves”)?
- How did Jesus save us from our sins?
- What should we do with the good news that the angel gives us?
So God’s gift to us as two names: Jesus, because he will save us from our sins and, Immanuel, because God has come to live with us. We look forward to living with God forever. We call the place where God lives, heaven.
Share. Who can we share the good news of Christmas with? How will we do it? Make a plan to share that God saved us and God will live us through the greatest gift ever given, Jesus.