Joseph and the Angel: Matthew 1:18-24

This is the third week of Advent, the season of the church where we prepare for and anticipate Jesus’ coming among us at Christmas.  This week, we continue our Advent study and Nativity set project.  Instructions for all three types of set are in this post.  Have a wonderful time feeding your family’s faith this week!

Advent 3 nativity

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to prepare for your coming at Christmas.  Help our time to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Matthew 1:18-24
Read this story in your Bible, or you can find it here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1%3A18-24&version=ERV

Discuss as a family:  How does this story describe Joseph?  What did he plan to do?  Why?  How did the angel change his mind?  Have you ever made up your mind to do something, and then “seen the light”?  Tell the story.

Activity:  Making your Nativity Set Week 3
During Family God Time, we will be looking forward to the coming of Jesus by making a nativity set together.  A nativity set is a group of figures that tell us the story of Jesus’ birth.  Last week, you began working on a few characters in your set; this week you will continue with a few more pieces.  Look for the set of instructions that match your set, below.  If you want to listen to some sacred Christmas music as you work, here are three great collections:

For Kids with Words:  https://youtu.be/PC67SdKYQ28
All verses with lyrics:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjrNT3nia3QvVViHQSpRO3XA7m3NfpQDO
Piano only, no Words:  https://youtu.be/sa7i-YYhc5Q

TP Nativity: (Easy-level of difficulty-anyone can do it!)

TP Nativity
Coloring Template (TP Nativity 1TP Nativity 2)
Coloring utensils
Scissors
9 empty toilet paper rolls
1 empty paper towel roll
-or- 2 empty wrapping paper rolls
(you could get 2 rolls at the dollar store, unwrap them and store the paper wrapped around another roll)
Crystal Clear Packing Tape
Empty Cardboard Box

During this third week of Advent, you will only be making three of your nativity characters, the ones that go with this week’s story.  Color Joseph, the star, and the donkey.  Cut them out along the lines provided.  Secure them to three empty toilet paper rolls with the packing tape, as shown in this little video:

The donkey is a bit more complicated to put together.  See how to cut the paper roll to fit the donkey here:

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Did you notice that a donkey is not in the Bible story?  It is not in any of the Bible stories, but we know that there were more than likely animals in the stable where the holy family found room to rest, so it is a part of our story, also.  Add Joseph and the donkey to the nativity scene and put the star on top of the box.  The star showed the wise men how to get to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, but it will be awhile yet before they arrive.  We had better put up the sign that shows them the way!

Stone Nativity: (Medium-level of difficulty due to coloring)

Stone Nativity
Coloring Template (Stone Nativity)
Coloring Utensils (fine point)
Scissors
13 river stones
Mod Podge Glue
½” width paint brush
Shredded paper
A basket or a bowl (preferably borrowed, like Jesus’ cradle!)

During this third week of Advent, you will only be making three of your nativity characters, the ones that go with this week’s story.  Color Joseph, the star, and the donkey.  Cut them out as near to the edges of the characters as you can.  Choose three stones that will fit the characters.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the stone, place the character on the stone, and apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the top.  Be careful as you do this; my markers had a tendency to run the colors together if I was too generous with the glue.  Allow to dry.  Add another second thin layer of glue.  Allow to dry.

Did you notice that a donkey is not in the Bible story?  It is not in any of the Bible stories, but we know that there were more than likely animals in the stable where the holy family found room to rest, so it is a part of our story, also.  Add Joseph and the donkey to the nativity scene and put the star toward the top of the basket.  The star showed the wise men how to get to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, but it will be awhile yet before they arrive.  We had better put up the sign that shows them the way!

Block Nativity: (Hard-level of difficulty/time)

Block Nativity
Coloring template (Block Nativity)
Coloring utensils
Scissors
1- 8 ft. 2 x 4 cut into 12- 7 in. sections
(glue 2 together for donkey)
(cut one into 3- 2.25 in. sections for 2 sheep and 1 star)
Sandpaper
Wood stain
Mod Podge
1 in. paint brush
A stable –You can find plans for one here:  Block Nativity Stable 2015

During this third week of Advent, you will only be making three of your nativity characters, the ones that go with this week’s story.  Color Joseph, the star, and the donkey.   Cut them out as near to the edges of the characters as you can.  Take one of your 7 inch blocks, which you have sanded and stained, and turn it so that the long edge is vertical (this will be Joseph).  Take one of your small blocks and place it so that the long edge is vertical (this will be your star).  Take the two blocks that you glued together and place it so that the long edge is HORIZONTAL (this will be your donkey).  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to each of the blocks, place the correct character on the block, and apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the top.  Be careful as you do this; my markers had a tendency to run the colors together if I was too generous with the glue.  Allow to dry.  Add another second thin layer of glue.  Allow to dry.

Did you notice that a donkey is not in the Bible story?  It is not in any of the Bible stories, but we know that there were more than likely animals in the stable where the holy family found room to rest, so it is a part of our story, also.  Add Joseph and the donkey to the nativity scene and put the star on top.  The star showed the wise men how to get to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, but it will be awhile yet before they arrive.  We had better put up the sign that shows them the way!

Song:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Did you notice that our story for today called Jesus “Immanuel”?  That’s where the title of this song comes from.  Once again during Family God Time, we will experience this, one of the oldest songs that we have in church.  It reminds us of all the reasons that Jesus needs to come to our world.  You can listen to a Contemporary Christian version from Jeremy Camp here:

The lyrics are printed on the screen as you watch.  Sing along!

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith this Advent.  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Thank you, God, for this holy time together to feed our faith as a family.  Bless us as we prepare for Jesus’ coming at Christmas.  Amen.

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