Focus Passage: Micah 5: 1-5a
Memory Verse: “From you will come forth for me one who is to rule Israel.”
Items for Preparation
- be prepared to lead the singing of the first stanza of the carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” or induce some unsuspecting musical person to do this for you.
- fix a nice basket of small portions of delicious bread; you can use any bread that kids will like. If you bake and it can be warm, all the better. If you can get Moravian Love Feast buns, or another special bread used in your church or your area at Christmas, use that. You’ll hand this out at the end of your sermon.
Read the adult lesson in Baptists Today and additional material online at Nurturing Faith. Today’s sermon will need to move quickly to include the things we want to cover.
Say: The prophet Micah lived almost 800 years before Jesus was born. But he wrote what God put into his heart and mind, that the little town of Bethlehem would be where a great ruler, a great leader, a great bringer of peace, would live. We even have a Christmas carol we sing about that very thing. Let’s sing it now:
[Now arrange to sing that first stanza of the carol, either leading yourself or getting your unsuspecting church member to do it. The congregation can join in, and this is always good, because kids need to hear carols over and over again to learn them.]
Say: The name of the city, Bethlehem, is really two Hebrew words. The first word is “beth” or “bate,” which means “city.” The second word is “lehem,” or “lechem” and to say it correctly you’ve got to clear your throat just a little when you make the “ch” sound. That word means “bread.” So “Bethlehem” means “city of bread.”
[Now start passing out your rolls or bread, so each child can have some.]
Say: The prophet Micah was telling his readers that this little town would be the birthplace of a wonderful and powerful person, who would bring peace. Today in the city of Bethlehem, there is not peace. Even though Jesus was born there over 2000 years ago, the city is not peaceful. There are many groups of people living there who don’t like each other, and they wish the others would move out. They want Bethlehem all to themselves.
Say: But when we pass the bread to one another, we are remembering Jesus, who is the bringer of peace, the giver of love and mercy, and the savior of our world. When you eat bread this week, think of that little town of Bethlehem, and say a prayer that Micah’s prophecy will keep being true, that peace will come to Bethlehem and to our whole world.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of Bethlehem,
Let there be peace
In the little town of Jesus,
And use us to bring peace
To our own little towns,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.