4th Sunday Advent Cycle A
Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Say: Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent. Does anyone remember the feast that is coming very soon? <Christmas> And what do we celebrate on Christmas? <Jesus’ coming> We Celebrate Jesus’ birth as a human and we celebrate the faith that we share, that he will come again.
Ask: Does anyone remember the symbol for last week? <the balloon> We talked about how balloons make us feel—like a party, very happy. That is the way we will feel when Jesus comes back to earth, when we are with Him.
Say: This is the symbol for this week (hold up the symbol), a person. So far, during Advent, we have talked about GETTING READY for Jesus to come, we’ve questioned HOW WE KNOW that Jesus is coming, we thought about how we’ll know WHEN Jesus has arrived, and today we are going to talk about HOW WE WILL RECOGNIZE Jesus.
Ask: What will Jesus look like? <nobody knows, a person> We know what Jesus probably looked like when he came to earth before. Does anyone think that Jesus is here now too? <yes> What do you think he looks like? Look at the person sitting next to you. And at the person sitting next to them. To our human vision, Jesus looks just like us!
Say: Let’s look at the poster. What does it say? <Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today. The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
We have two readings today.
Say: Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.
Say: Today’s first reading is from the second letter from St. Paul to the Romans. (Romans 1:2-4) St. Paul reminds the Roman people that Jesus is not only one of us, that is, human, but also God. Remember, to the people who didn’t know that Jesus IS God, he looked just like an ordinary Jewish man. Think how you would feel if we pointed out into the crowd in the main church and said, “Look at that person there—that is Jesus!” St. Paul and the rest of Jesus’ followers had to believe very strongly that Jesus was really God.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Say: How do you think that you would feel if you heard St. Paul’s message? <discuss> What is the quality that the Roman people needed <and we need!> to believe that Jesus is God? <Faith>
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the book of Matthew (Matt 1:18-24). This reading is part of Matthew’s version of the birth of Jesus. Let’s hear what Matthew tells us about it. Try to remember one thing about this reading.
Say: Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card) Alleluia, Alleluia.
Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”
Read: Read the Gospel
Ask: What did you hear? <discuss> Did you hear anything new or that surprised you? <discuss>
Say: This is a good story about how God uses us, people, to bring Jesus into the world.
Ask: What might have happened if Joseph had not listened to his heart and had called off the wedding? <discuss> Do you think he prayed about it? Did he get an answer to his prayers? It is important to think very hard when you have a problem and listen to your heart.
Say: God loves all of us. He created us as people. He is here with us and he sent his son. And he will send his son again at the end of the world.
Hand out the poster cut-outs (people) for the children to put their names on. Collect them to glue on the poster when they are finished.
Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a person). Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week that will help them remember that Jesus is coming.
Explain: Color this symbol of the person and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about Jesus’ coming back to us.
If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.
Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.
Fourth Sunday Advent A
Today is the Fourth Sunday in Advent. The children listened to the same readings you did: Romans 1:2-4; Matthew 1: 18-24.
To reinforce at home:
For several weeks, we have been talking about Jesus’ coming. We have recalled the events of Jesus’ coming as a baby. We have talked about how we know Jesus is coming again. We have talked about how we will know he is here and we have talked about what we need to do to get ready.
Today we are reminded that Jesus came as a human being. We are reminded that Jesus is still here—inside each one of us. And we talked about his return to the earth at the end of the world.
Activities to do at home:
*Talk to your child about how to greet Jesus in other people. Make a gift or card for someone who is lonely.
*Make a gift for a family who needs your help.
* Get in touch with a relative who you haven’t heard from in a while.
Thank you for sharing your children!