December 1 – Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:5-6
Who are these passages foretelling the coming of? (John the Baptist) Note that the verses in Malachi are the very last verses of the Old Testament. These were God’s final words to his people before the events leading up to the Messiah began about 400 years later. God told them what to watch for, the one to prepare their hearts for the Messiah.
Read this week’s passage if you haven’t already and collect at least 14 craft sticks (Popsicle sticks) and a container to keep them in for the weekend reviews to come.
December 4 – Luke 1:5-7
What 2 characters are introduced today? (Zechariah and Elizabeth) What are we told about them? (they were righteous) We are also told that Elizabeth could not have children and was old. Many in their culture would have said that the reason they didn’t have children was because they were sinning in some way and had displeased God, but this passage tells us the opposite. God tells us they were righteous, therefore He was pleased with them.
Write Zechariah on one craft stick and Elizabeth on another and place them in your container.
December 5 – Luke 1:8-22
What vision did Zechariah see? Did you notice that verses 16-17 are almost the same words as Malachi 4:5-6? What sign was Zechariah given to show him this was really going to happen?
Add craft sticks for Gabriel and John to your container today!
December 6 – Luke 1:23-25
What happened when Zechariah went home? How does Elizabeth feel? Did she tell everyone?
December 7 – Luke 1:26-38
Who did Gabriel appear to? What did he tell her? Was she surprised? Who did Gabriel use as an example of God doing the impossible?
Add craft sticks for Mary and Joseph to your container.
December 8 – Luke 1:39-45
What did John do when Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice? What did the Holy Spirit cause Elizabeth to say?
December 9 & 10
This weekend, read any passages you missed. As a review, take turns drawing a stick from the container and telling everyone what you remember about that character!
December 11 – Luke 1:46-56
What does Mary say about God and how He treats His people? Notice that she stayed with Elizabeth until about time for John to be born.
December 12 – Luke 1:57-66
What did the friends want to name John? What happened when they asked Zechariah? What did everyone wonder after this miracle?
December 13 - Luke 1:67-80
What does Zechariah say about God? What does Zechariah predict about John? Where did John live until he started his ministry?
December 14 – Matthew 1:18-25
When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant he was going to divorce her kindly. What happened to change his mind? What were they to name the baby?
Add a craft stick for Jesus to your container.
December 15 – Matthew 1:1-17
This is the genealogy (family history) of Joseph, the man assumed to be Jesus father. Can you find the 14 generations between the major events in Jewish history?
December 16 & 17
This weekend, read any passages you missed. As a review, take turns drawing a stick from the container and telling everyone what you remember about that character. Do you know more about some of them than you did last week?
December 18 - Luke 3:23-38
This is the genealogy of Mary, Jesus’ mother. How is it different from the genealogy of Joseph? Are both Mary and Joseph descendants of King David?
December 19 – Micah 5:2-4, Isaiah 9:6-7
Where is the Messiah supposed to be born? (Bethlehem) What are some of the things the prophets said about the coming Messiah? What are some of the names it gives for the Messiah?
December 20 – Luke 2:1-7
Why did Joseph go to Bethlehem? Did God use Caesar Augustus? Does God use people who are not godly when he wants to? What is a manger? Did your parents lay you in a manger after you were born?
Add Caesar Augustus to your craft stick collection.
December 21 – Luke 2:8-14
Who appeared to the shepherds? What was the sign they were to look for to identify the Savior? What did the angels say in praise of God?
Add the shepherds and the angels to your craft stick collection!
December 22 – Luke 2:15-20
Did the shepherds wait around to be told again? Did they keep the news to themselves? What did Mary do?
December 23 & 24
This weekend, once again read any passages you missed. As a review, take turns drawing a stick from the container and telling everyone what you remember about that character. Can you tell something about everyone we have a stick for?
Sometime today, as you celebrate and enjoy family and friends, read the Christmas story again. Maybe use a different version that you have been reading in for your daily devotions or read a storybook version. Just be sure to take time today to discuss the One we are really celebrating! At our house we always make a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
December 26 – Luke 2:21-24
What offering did Mary and Joseph make for Jesus’ birth? Note that this was the called for offering of the poor and notice that Mary and Joseph followed all the customs and traditions that God’s people had been taught. They were doing their best to follow God, which is part of why God chose them to be Jesus’ earthly parents!
December 27 – Luke 2:25-35
What was special about Simeon (what promise had he received)? What did he say to bless God? What did he tell Mary about the future?
Make a craft stick for Simeon and add it to your container.
December 28 – Luke 2:36-38
Who was Anna? Why did she get to see the Messiah? (She was faithful!)
Add Anna to your craft stick collection.
December 29 – Matthew 2:1-12
Who came looking for Jesus? Why do you think they asked the current ruler of the country, Herod? Did Herod really want to worship Jesus? Do you recognize the passage quoted in verse 6? What gifts the wise men bring?
Add the wise men and Herod to your collection of craft sticks!
December 30 & 31
As on previous weekends, read any missed passages. For one final time do the craft stick challenge. Can you tell something about each person in the container? Did you learn anything new this year about the events around the birth of Christ?