Lesson 2: Jesus, the Light of the World, Is Born 01/27/2023
Classroom: My Classroom
Luke 2:1-20 Leader Guide for Ages 3-6

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Luke 2:1-20
  • In This Passage: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to take part in a census. In those days, a census was merely a way of collecting more taxes. Because the law required it, they went to Bethlehem, and Jesus was born there. This fulfilled prophecies that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2). After Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds and told them the good news about the Savior’s birth. The shepherds rushed to find and worship Jesus, and then they shared the good news with others.
  • Bible Point: Jesus is the light of the world.
  • Summary Verse: “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus came in the midst of a dark time. Although his birth wasn’t extravagant, God’s glory lit up the night sky when the angels proclaimed Jesus’ birth. And Jesus can light up the dark places in kids’ lives today!
  • Think About: What feels dark in your life right now? Where do you need Jesus’ light? In what ways have you seen glimpses of Jesus’ light in the past?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Pray by name for kids who are living through dark times right now.

 

Quick Tip

  • “Pair shares” (kids answering a question with a partner) ensure everyone gets to talk and listen. If you want to hear kids’ answers, ask a few kids to report back after their pair share.

This Lesson at a Glance

Opening

Preschoolers share about a topic related to the lesson.

Supplies

  • Bible

Music Video

Preschoolers sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” (watch or download here)  

  • “He Is the Light” (watch or download here

  • “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” (watch or download here)  

Core Bible Discovery

Preschoolers experience the light Jesus brings.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • music player
  • CD or MP3 of quiet music
  • small box or basket
  • thick blanket
  • 1 glow stick per child, plus 2 extras
  • rubber bands for binding 2 glow sticks together to make a cross
  • small bag of potting soil

Easy Prep

  • Darken the room as much as possible.
  • Set up a box or basket as a manger. Crack two glow sticks, use rubber bands to bind them together in a cross shape, and set the cross in the manger. Put uncracked glow sticks around the cross. Cover the cross with a thick blanket to obscure the light. 

Core Bible at Home

Only available in One Room class format.

 

Talk-About Video

Preschoolers watch a video and discuss what it really means to be the light of the world.

Supplies

  • “Karl, Light of the World” teaching video (watch or download here)

Preschool Puppet Skit

Recommended for preschoolers.

Supplies

  • Theophilus the FaithRetriever™ Puppet (order here)
  • baby doll
  • flashlight

Easy Prep

  • Attach the flashlight to the baby doll’s chest, facing its head. Then attach the baby doll to Theo, as if he’s cradling it. The flashlight can be turned off.

Object Lesson

Preschoolers show love in various ways with their eyes closed.

 

Deeper Bible

Preschoolers make and wear paper headbands and sing about the summary verse.

Supplies

  • white paper
  • clear tape
  • shakers of glitter
  • glue sticks
  • 1-inch squares of bright-colored felt or construction paper
  • glow sticks for approximately half the kids*
  • baby doll

Easy Prep

  • Cut a 3x18-inch paper strip “headband” for each child.
  • Set the baby doll in a corner.

High-Energy Game

Preschoolers hold glow sticks and share good news.

Supplies

  • 1 glow stick per child*

Low-Energy Game

Preschoolers use glow sticks to find hidden pictures.

Supplies

  • 1 glow stick per child*
  • “Baby Jesus” handout (1 for every 4 kids) (download here)
  • crying baby sound effect and music player or device to play the sound effect (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Cut apart the pictures on the “Baby Jesus” handout. You’ll need one picture for each child.
  • Hide the pictures around the room.

Craft

Preschoolers make candle sticks and sing a song.

Supplies

  • markers
  • craft sticks
  • orange, yellow, and red tissue paper
  • glue sticks
  • shakers of glitter

Easy Prep

  • Cut the tissue paper into easy-to-manage pieces, approximately 8½x11 inches.

Life Application Wrap-Up

Preschoolers try to hide glow sticks, and then hold them high.

Supplies

  • glow sticks*

Take-Home

Preschoolers receive a take-home page about the lesson.

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

*Marked supplies can be reused from Core Bible Discovery

Let's keep kids safe! You can help by using supplies as instructed for only ages 3+, purchasing child-safe items, and being aware of allergy concerns.

Opening [5 min]

Welcome

Supplies

  • Bible

Welcome

            Thank preschoolers for coming.

            Just for fun, have kids high-five three of their friends.

            Make announcements.

            Introduce new kids.

            Celebrate birthdays by whispering the “Happy Birthday” song.

            Collect the offering.

 

Introduce the Lesson

            Say: Jesus is the light of the world. We call Jesus the light of the world because he helps us when our lives feel dark, such as when we’re sad or afraid. Today we’ll learn about the night Jesus was born.

 

Share

            Tell a story about when you were a baby.

            Have preschoolers take turns telling stories about when they were babies or about babies they know.

 

Summarize

            Open a Bible, and say: Today we’ll talk about how Jesus is the light of the world. We’ll learn about it from the Bible. The Bible is God’s special book. God can talk to us through the Bible. God is here right now, ready to talk to you.

            Pray, thanking Jesus for being the light of the world.

Music Video [10 min]

Go, Tell It on the Mountain

Supplies

  • “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” (watch or download here)  

  • “He Is the Light” (watch or download here

  • “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” (watch or download here)  

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can choose your own worship songs from our Best Of Dig In Music DVD here

 

Sing Songs to God

          Sing the three songs in any order. 

 

 

Core Bible Discovery [20 min]

The Night Jesus Was Born (Luke 2:1-20)

Supplies

  • Bible
  • music player
  • CD or MP3 of quiet music
  • small box or basket
  • thick blanket
  • 1 glow stick per child, plus 2 extras
  • rubber bands for binding 2 glow sticks together to make a cross
  • small bag of potting soil

Easy Prep

  • Darken the room as much as possible.
  • Set up a box or basket as a manger. Crack two glow sticks, use rubber bands to bind them together in a cross shape, and set the cross in the manger. Put uncracked glow sticks around the cross. Cover the cross with a thick blanket to obscure the light. 

Tip

  • For safety reasons, it's better to use thicker glow sticks, as the thinner, bracelet glow sticks can break.

 

A Dark Night

          Turn off all the lights and darken the room as much as possible.

          Say: It’s dark in our room, just like the night Jesus was born. Sometimes, even though it’s light outside, we can feel dark or sad inside. We might feel sad, afraid, or lonely.

          Have preschoolers form small groups with a teenage or adult leader to discuss this question.

          Ask: • Tell about a time you felt sad, afraid, or lonely.

          Play music quietly while kids talk together. (This fills some of the background silence and makes it more comfortable for kids to share.)

          Say: When we go through dark times like the ones we’ve talked about, we need God’s love. God sent Jesus to be born! Jesus is the light of the world who came to show God’s love!

 

Angels Visit Shepherds

          Say: The Bible tells us that shepherds were out in a field that night, protecting their sheep from wild animals. Have kids imagine they are the shepherds in the dark field as you read aloud Luke 2:8-12, with expression. Turn on the lights.

          Say: I need your help celebrating this good news like the angels did.

          Read aloud Luke 2:13-14.

          Have kids pretend to be angels, crouch, and whisper “Glory to God” when your hand is low. Practice that. Have kids jump and shout “Glory to God” when your hand is high. Practice that.

          Say: There was one angel (hand low)

          And then more (hand medium)

          And then all the angels in heaven. (hand high)

          Do this again.

 

Heading to the Manger

          Say: After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds hurried to find Jesus. And they found baby Jesus in the manger—just as the angel had said.

          Motion to the manger.

          Say: A manger is kind of like a big tub and is something you’d find in a barn. Animals eat out of a manger. It would be scratchy, dirty, and smelly!

          Read aloud Luke 2:6-7, and then have kids make baby crying sound effects. And the baby was in a dirty stable.

          Pass around the bag of potting soil and have kids smell it.

          Ask: • What would it be like to put a tiny baby in a dirty stable?

 

Shining God’s Light

          Have children gather around the manger; then turn off the lights.

          Say: Jesus was no ordinary baby; Jesus is God. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus came to show God’s love to a world that was dark with sadness, fear, and sin.

          Pull back the blanket to show the glow cross. Let kids take turns looking inside the manger.

          Give preschoolers each a glow stick, but tell them not to crack it.

          Ask: • What do you usually do with a glow stick like this?

          Say: The shepherds had the most important news in the world. They ran and told everyone about the light of the world. The shepherds wanted to tell everyone about the light of the world—Jesus.

          Let kids crack their glow sticks and hold them up high.

 

Light Party

          Tell kids to hurry and tell as many people as possible that Jesus is the light of the world before you call “Stop!”

          Say: That was fun! We can tell everyone that Jesus is the light of the world. We can celebrate and share this amazing gift of God’s love for us!

Core Bible at Home [20 min]

Not available for this age level.

To use this feature, please ask your DIG IN Director to create a One Room classroom. For instructions and tips on creating a classroom for at-home lessons, click here.

Talk-About Video [10 min]

Karl, Light of the World

Supplies

  • “Karl, Light of the World” teaching video (watch or download here)

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or purchase DVDs here.

 

Discuss and Watch "Karl, Light of the World"

          Have kids get into groups of three. Say: Today we’re going to watch a video about a guy who got confused about something that was said at church. In your group, tell about a time you got confused about something someone said—it can be something you heard at church or someplace else. I’ll go first. Share your own story about a time you were confused about what someone said. Take about a minute to share so you model the type of sharing you’d like kids to do. Then invite children to share their own stories with their groups.

          Allow three minutes for sharing, and then have kids return their attention to you.

          Say: Let’s watch our video and see what happens.

          Watch “Karl, Light of the World.”

          Say: Karl was confused about what the pastor at his church said. He thought the pastor said that Karl should be the light of the world, and Karl thought that meant wearing a funny sunshine costume.  

          Ask: • What did Karl get wrong when he thought he was the light of the world? Allow another three minutes for kids to share in their groups, and then invite a few kids to share their answers with the larger group.

          Ask: • We know that Jesus is the light of the world, not us. But how can we show Jesus’ light in the world?

          Say: Jesus is the light of the world! We have the great opportunity to reflect the light and love of Jesus to others so they can experience that light and love, too.

Preschool Puppet Skit [10 min]

Theo Wants to Light Up Jesus

Supplies

  • Theophilus the FaithRetriever™ Puppet (order here)
  • baby doll
  • flashlight

Easy Prep

  • Attach the flashlight to the baby doll’s chest, facing its head. Then attach the baby doll to Theo, as if he’s cradling it. The flashlight can be turned off.

Tip

  • Before printing, turn on page numbering in Word to keep the pages in order (or simply hand-number each page after printing). You may also find it helpful to highlight your part and set the script on a music stand nearby during the skit.

 

Leader: It’s time for our puppy friend, Theo, to come for a visit. Let’s call him to our class with a “woof, woof.” Ready? (Leads kids to bark until Theo is brought into view.)

 

Theo: Hi, friends! (Pants loudly, as if out of breath.) I really, really want a good scratch. I was wondering if you’d scratch my back? (Sits and encourages kids to come to him to scratch him.)

 

Leader: Thanks for welcoming Theo, kids!

 

Theo: Yeah, thanks! And thank you for coming to me. This baby is heavy.

 

Leader: Is the baby supposed to be baby Jesus, Theo?

 

Theo: How did you guess? Was it the flashlight?

 

Leader: Actually, I was wondering what the flashlight was for.

 

Theo: Here, would you turn it on, please?

 

Leader: Okay. (Turns on the flashlight.) Now tell us what the flashlight is for.

 

Theo: How about you all guess! (Looks to kids and invites them to guess why he attached a light to baby Jesus. Theo doesn’t give away his answer; he just nods in response to kids’ guesses.)

 

Leader: Okay, tell us your reason, Theo.

 

Theo: It’s because Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Leader: I get it. (Looks to kids.) Remember, friends, that’s our Bible point today. Say it with me: Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Theo: Did you know that Jesus glows?

 

Leader: What?

 

Theo: Yeah, he’s so bright that you can use him like a lamp if it’s dark out.

 

Leader: I don’t think that’s what Jesus is the light of the world means.

 

Theo: What else could it mean?

 

Leader: It means Jesus brings love into our lives, and he helps us understand things we couldn’t understand before. He helps us be friends with God and know all about him.

 

Theo: What does that have to do with light? I don’t get it.

 

Leader: Think about when you’re in the dark. (Turns out the classroom lights.)

 

Theo: Okay. (Snuggles up next to the kids.)

 

Leader: If it’s very dark, we can’t see anything, but if we turn on the light (turns on the light), we can see again.

 

Theo: Yeah…

 

Leader: Like that, (turns off lights) we can’t see and know God without Jesus. But Jesus teaches us about God (turns lights on again) so we can be friends with God and know him.

 

Theo: So Jesus doesn’t need a flashlight?

 

Leader: (Chuckles.) No, he doesn’t.

 

Theo: Well, let’s take it off him, then. He’s heavy enough on his own.

 

Leader: (Helps Theo detach the flashlight.)

 

Theo: It’s time for me to go now! (Stands, and then looks at the doll.) Jesus, you’re so much lighter now! (Giggles.)

 

Leader: (Chuckles.) We’ll see you later, Theo. Kids, give Theo a big “woof, woof, goodbye”! (Leads kids to say “woof, woof, goodbye,” and then places Theo out of sight.)

Object Lesson [10 min]

Need the Light

Try Without Light

          Say: Jesus is the light of the world, and he came to show us God’s love. Let’s have fun showing love to our friends.

          Have kids scatter around the room so they’re as far apart as possible. Dim the lights, and ask children to cover or close their eyes tightly—and keep them closed!

          Call out the following tasks one at a time, reminding children to keep their eyes closed or covered the whole time:

  • hug a friend
  • kindly pat someone on the back
  • give a high-five
  • find a friend and say, “Jesus is the light of the world!”

 

Celebrate Jesus

          Let children open their eyes, and have them form a circle on the floor.

          Say: It looked like you had some trouble showing love.

          Ask: • Why was showing love hard?

          Say: When God sent Jesus to be born, it was like God saying, “I love you so much that I’m sending my very own Son to help you!” Jesus was like a light, shining God’s love to people who felt sad and lonely. Jesus is the light of the world.

          Turn on the lights. Say: Now that we have light, let’s play our game again!

          Repeat the activity, but keep the lights on and let preschoolers keep their eyes open. Each time preschoolers show God’s love to a friend, call out “Jesus is the light of the world!”

          Say: The light made a big difference! Jesus is the light of the world, and that makes a big difference in our lives every day.

Deeper Bible [15 min]

Sing-Along Celebration

Supplies

  • white paper
  • clear tape
  • shakers of glitter
  • glue sticks
  • 1-inch squares of bright-colored felt or construction paper
  • glow sticks for approximately half the kids*
  • baby doll

Easy Prep

  • Cut a 3x18-inch paper strip “headband” for each child.
  • Set the baby doll in a corner.

Make Costumes

          Assign kids the roles of shepherds and angels, and help kids create Bible-times costumes for their roles.

          Hand each child a strip of paper, and let children spread glue on their headbands. “Angels” will sprinkle the glue with glitter, while “shepherds” will add small squares of bright-colored felt or paper. Wrap kids’ headbands around their heads and tape them to the correct size. Distribute glow sticks to the angels.

 

Sing a Song

          Group children according to their roles. Lead preschoolers in this song to the tune of “Frère Jacques” as the kids act out the words. It’s okay if kids don’t sing with you; just encourage them to act out their roles. Suggested actions precede each verse.

 

          (Angels wave glow sticks while speaking to the shepherds)

          “Glory to God

          In the highest!

          Peace on earth.

          Peace on earth.”

 

          (Shepherds point at angels)

          “Angels up in heaven!

          Angels up in heaven!

          Praising God!

          Praising God!”

 

          (Shepherds talking to each other and running in place)

          “Let us go see

          What has happened.”

          Shepherds ran.

          Shepherds ran.

 

          (Shepherds kneel by baby doll)

          They found baby Jesus

          Lying in a manger

          With his mom

          And his dad.

 

          (Angels wave glow sticks while speaking to the shepherds)

          “Glory to God

          In the highest!

          Peace on earth.

          Peace on earth.”

 

          (Shepherds point at angels)

          “Angels up in heaven!

          Angels up in heaven!

          Praising God!

          Praising God!”

 

          Repeat if you have extra time.

High-Energy Game [10 min]

Heavenly Host

Supplies

  • 1 glow stick per child*

Glow Together

            Say: When the angels appeared to the shepherds, there were lots of angels shining God’s light together. Let’s play a game to think about what that was like.

            Hand each preschooler a glow stick, and direct kids to scatter around the room.

            Choose one child to be the Messenger Angel. He or she will hop to another child and say, “Good news! Jesus is born!”

            Then the two children will join hands and hop to another child, where they’ll both share the exciting message.

            Continue until you have a “host” of angels telling you the good news.

            Allow children to play the game a few times. You can change the message to “Peace on earth” or “Jesus is the light!”

 

Talk About It

            After a few rounds, gather the glow sticks and set them in a corner of the room.

            Have children sit in a circle.

            Ask: • What was the most fun about our game?

            Say: The angels had the fun job of letting people know that Jesus—the light of the world—had been born! The angels even had God’s special light glowing all around them for the shepherds to see. We can be like those angels, sharing with our family and friends the good news that Jesus is the light of the world.

Low-Energy Game [10 min]

Search for Baby Jesus

Supplies

  • 1 glow stick per child*
  • “Baby Jesus” handout (1 for every 4 kids) (download here)
  • crying baby sound effect and music player or device to play the sound effect (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Cut apart the pictures on the “Baby Jesus” handout. You’ll need one picture for each child.
  • Hide the pictures around the room.

Tip

  • Hide some of the pictures by taping them under a table or chair.

 

Find the Baby

            Give each child a glow stick if he or she doesn’t already have one.

            Say: In our Bible story, shepherds went to search for baby Jesus. Let’s look for Jesus just like the shepherds did.

            Hold up a picture of baby Jesus so kids know what to look for.

            Dim the lights. If the room is too dark with the lights dimmed, set a small lamp to one side of the room for safety.

            Have children use their glow sticks to find the hidden pictures.

            Optionally, play the sound effect of a baby crying while children search.

            As each child finds a picture, have him or her sit in the middle of the room.

            Once everyone has found a picture, have all the kids hold their lights high in the air and shout, “Jesus is the light of the world!”

            Play a few rounds, hiding the pictures between each round. You can even choose a few children to hide the pictures.

            Gather children. Say: Just as the shepherds found Jesus, you found Jesus, too. Jesus is the light of the world, and he showed God’s love to everyone.

Craft [20 min]

Crafty Candles

Supplies

  • markers
  • craft sticks
  • orange, yellow, and red tissue paper
  • glue sticks
  • shakers of glitter

Easy Prep

  • Cut the tissue paper into easy-to-manage pieces, approximately 8½x11 inches.

Make a Light

            Say: Jesus was born to show how much God loves us. Jesus is the light of the world! That means Jesus shines God’s love to us. Let’s make candles to help us remember that Jesus is the light of the world.

            Have kids color their craft sticks with markers.

            As kids color, ask: • When are you really glad to have a light?

            Have kids tear pieces of orange, yellow, and red tissue paper to make flames. Let preschoolers use glue sticks to glue the “flames” to the top of their craft sticks. Let children glue glitter on the flames, too.

 

Let It Shine

            Say: The shepherds ran and told everyone the good news that Jesus had been born.

            Ask: • Who do you want to tell about Jesus?

            • What will you tell about Jesus?

            Lead preschoolers in this song to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Let them wave their “candles” as they celebrate Jesus, the light of the world.

            Shine, shine, shine it bright.

            Jesus is the light!

            Showing love from God above,

            Jesus is the light!

            Say: When you go home, you can use your candle and this song to share the good news that Jesus is the light of the world!

 

 

Life Application Wrap-Up [5 min]

Grip the Light

Supplies

  • glow sticks*

Glow

            Darken the room. Have kids get out their glow sticks.

            Say: You’re special to God—so special that Jesus came to the world for you. Jesus brought God’s love to the world like a light.

 

Thank God

            Say: Hold your glow stick close to your body as we thank God for sending Jesus, the light of the world, to be with us.

            Lead kids in thanking God for Jesus.

 

Hide the Light

            Have kids each set their glow sticks on the floor in front of them and use their hands to cover the light.

            Say: We have something great to share. God doesn’t want us to hide the news that Jesus is the light of the world. Let’s show our lights!

 

Show the Light

            Say: Jesus wants us to shine his light and show love to others so they can know him, too.

            Have kids name some people they would like to share Jesus’ love with.

            Ask: • What things can you do to show Jesus’ love to others?

            Say: Hold your glow stick out in front of you as we ask God to help us share Jesus’ light with others.

            Lead kids in asking God to help them show Jesus’ love.

 

Shine

            Lead kids in holding up their lights and calling out the names of people who they want to share with.

            Say: Let’s thank God for sending Jesus because God loves us so much. Lead kids in shouting, “Thank you, God, for Jesus—the light of the world!”

            Thank kids for coming, and tell them you look forward to seeing them next week.

Take-Home [0 min]

Dig In @ Home

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

           Distribute a copy of the “Dig In @ Home” handout to kids as they leave, or email it to parents during the week.