He Was Born There?
By Dr. Carol J Miller
OBJECTS: Have small bundles of hay or straw tied with ribbon or string for the children to take home. Put each bundle in a small zip bag.
If you have a picture of a manger or baby Jesus in a manger, bring that as well. Google has pictures of stone mangers, more like the original. Using Google, search for mangers.
Today’s scripture is about Jesus’ parents [ask who knows their names; respect all answers]. And this scripture is also about Jesus being born. Jesus was the most important baby that was ever born. Where would you expect a very, very important baby to be born? [Respect all answers; suggest some fancy places if necessary. Ask them if they know what kind of a place they were born in].
[Ask who knows what a manger is]. A manger is a place in a barn to put the straw for animals to eat. [Show the picture of the manger, if you have one]. Cows and goats and sheep would all eat the straw in the manger. This is about the craziest thing I can think of for the world’s most important baby to have for a crib. Why do you think that God let Jesus be born in such a poor place? [Accept all answers].
Do you remember the kinds of people Jesus came to help? [Accept all answers].
I think that Jesus was born in such a poor place because one reason God sent Jesus was to help poor people––people who did not have enough to eat or a clean place to sleep. Maybe God let Jesus be born in a barn and laid in a manger to show that Jesus was going to care about the poor. What do you think of my idea? [Accept all answers].
Imagine that! God’s very own Son, the most important baby ever born, fell asleep in a dirty old manger—an animal’s feeding box! Jesus didn’t come to show us how fancy he could be or how important he was. He came to show us that God loves everyone––even you, even me, even the kid at school that you don’t love. God’s love is big enough for everyone.
Here is a little bundle of hay to remind you of Jesus’ baby crib. Leave it in the plastic bag for now and take it home and put it where you can see it—maybe on your dinner table. You might ask your family why they think that Jesus’ bed was a manger.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan