Lesson 2: Jesus, the Light of the World, Is Born 01/27/2023
Classroom: My Classroom
Luke 2:1-20 Leader Guide for Grades 3 & 4

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

Kids share about a topic related to the lesson.

Supplies

  • Bible

Music Video

Kids 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

Kids 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 to make a cross from glow sticks
  • 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

Kids 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.

 

Object Lesson

Kids look at the difference between reading a message in the dark and in the light.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • “Glory to God” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • glow sticks* (If you made the lantern crafts, use these instead of glow sticks.)

Deeper Bible

Kids explore if God plays favorites.

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • candy or other treat for each child

High-Energy Game

Kids play a version of Freeze Tag.

Supplies

  • flashlight
  • small lamp (optional)

Easy Prep

  • If your room doesn’t have any windows, consider turning on a small lamp to one side of the room for safety.

Low-Energy Game

Kids act out ways to share Jesus’ light.

Supplies

  • “Share Jesus’ Light Cards” handout (download here)
  • paper bag

Easy Prep

  • Cut apart the “Share Jesus’ Light Cards” from the handout.
  • Put the cards in a paper bag, and mix them up.

Craft

Kids make a glowing water bottle lantern.

Supplies

  • 1 empty water bottle per child
  • 1 glow stick per child*
  • heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • pencils
  • Glue Dots
  • chenille wire

Creative Extras

  • stickers
  • permanent markers

Easy Prep

  • Cut a piece of aluminum foil for each child so that it fits around the full height of the water bottle.

Life Application Wrap-Up

Kids place their thoughts and prayers near a glowing cross.

Supplies

  • glow cross*
  • glow sticks*
  • markers
  • sticky notes

Take-Home

Kids 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 kids 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. Today we’ll learn about the night Jesus was born.

 

Share

            Tell a story about when you were a baby.

            Have kids get in pairs and tell stories about when they were babies or about babies they know.

 

Summarize

            Open a Bible, and say: Today we’ll explore how Jesus is the light of the world and what that means to us. We’ll dig in to the Bible to find out. The Bible isn’t an ordinary book; it’s God’s special book. The Bible is one way God talks to us. 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 to make a cross from glow sticks
  • 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. Did you know there’s another kind of darkness we can have in our lives? When we feel afraid, sad, confused, lonely, or far from God, it’s like being in the dark.

          Have kids form groups of four or five to talk about this question.

          Ask: • Tell about a time you experienced darkness by being afraid, lost, confused, or all alone.

          Before kids share, give your own example of a dark time, such as losing a job, moving away from friends or family, or facing an illness.

          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 Jesus, the light of the world.

 

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: Wow! There’s a bright light! I need your help celebrating this good news of Jesus, the light of the world. The angels did it with style, so let’s do what they did.

          Read aloud Luke 2:13-14.

          Have kids pretend to be angels as they 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 (turn off the lights), the shepherds hurried to find Jesus. And they found Jesus lying in the manger—just as the angel had said. Listen to this!

          Read aloud Luke 2:6-7, and then have kids make baby crying sound effects. Say: Jesus—God’s Son—had left heaven to come to earth.

          Ask: • Call out words that describe what you imagine heaven is like.

          Say: Jesus left that perfect place to come to earth. And the first thing he experienced was a dirty stable.

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

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

 

Shining God’s Light

          Have children gather around the manger.

          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 and smelly with sadness, fear, and sin.

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

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

          Have kids go back to their groups of four or five.

          Ask: • What do you want to do with the glow stick?

          Say: The shepherds wanted to share the news that Jesus is the light of the world! That’s the most important news in the world! They ran and told everyone about Jesus, the light of the world. Let’s do that now!

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

 

Light Party

          Tell kids to be the shepherds. They have 30 seconds to tell as many people as possible that Jesus is the light of the world.

          Ask: • What just happened here?

          Say: That was exciting! That’s what happens when we share that Jesus is the light of the world. We can celebrate and share this amazing gift of God’s love!

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]

Preschool Puppet Skit

Not available for this age level.

Object Lesson [10 min]

The Word Revealed

Supplies

  • Bible
  • “Glory to God” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • glow sticks* (If you made the lantern crafts, use these instead of glow sticks.)

Reveal a Message

          Darken the room.

          Set a handout facedown in front of each child.

          Say: There’s a message on your paper. Without picking up your paper, see if you can read the message in the dark.

          Have kids crack the glow sticks to make them glow. Then have them use their glow sticks or lanterns to try to read the message while the papers are still facedown on the floor.

          Have kids pick up the papers and hold the glow sticks or lanterns behind the papers to reveal the message.

 

Talk About It

          Ask: • How did the light make a difference in this experience?

          • Jesus is the light of the world. Does Jesus make a difference in your life? Tell me about that.

          Say: Let’s look at what the Bible says about Jesus, the light of the world. When these verses talk about “the Word,” they’re referring to Jesus.

          Read John 1:4-5. Remind kids that Jesus is the light of the world. Read the passage, substituting the word “Jesus” for the words “the light.”

          Ask: • What does this passage tell you about Jesus?

          • What would our world be like without Jesus?

          Say: Jesus is the light of the world. He came to show people God’s love and power. The Bible tells us that nothing is more powerful than Jesus! I am so thankful that Jesus came to shine God’s love to each of you.

Deeper Bible [15 min]

Does God Have Favorites?

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • candy or other treat for each child

Wonder

          Read aloud Luke 2:13-14. Repeat the end where it says “with whom God is pleased.”

          Say: This verse makes it sound like God is going to give peace to only those people he likes. Does God have favorites? Let’s dig in to that.

 

Favorite Kids

          Choose a few of the kids as your “favorites.”  If you have a large group, stop when you reach 20. Have your “favorites” come to you and get candy or another treat.

          Let your “favorites” eat their candy up front, and ask the other kids: • What’s this activity like for you?

          Ask the “favorite” kids: • What was this activity like for you?

          Ask everyone: • Do you think this is the way God treats people? Explain.

          Have the “favorites” rejoin the rest of the kids. Give everyone candy.

 

Peace on Earth

          Say: Some of you probably didn’t have a very peaceful feeling about that experience.

          Tell the kids about a time you felt God’s peace.

          Ask: • Turn to a partner and share about a time you felt peaceful.

          Say: That peaceful feeling is like God’s love filling your heart. True peace can only come from God. Jesus came to show God’s love—and to give us true peace—because Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Look at Verse Context

          Tell kids to listen to a Bible verse so they can answer this question: According to this verse, who is God’s good news for?

          Have an older child read Luke 2:10.

          Ask: • According to this verse, who is God’s good news for?

 

Look at Other Verses

          Tell kids to listen to a Bible verse so they can answer this question: What do these verses show you about favorites?

          Have an older child read Acts 10:34-36.

          Ask: • What do these verses show you about favorites?

          • Based on these verses, who can receive God’s peace?

 

Summarize

          Say: Everyone is special to God, and peace is available for everyone. Jesus is the light of the world, not just parts of it! What this verse is really saying is: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will toward all people on earth.”

High-Energy Game [10 min]

Light of the World Tag

Supplies

  • flashlight
  • small lamp (optional)

Easy Prep

  • If your room doesn’t have any windows, consider turning on a small lamp to one side of the room for safety.

Recommended for 6 or more kids.

 

Set Up the Game

            Choose a child to be “Darkness,” and have him or her stand in the middle of the room.

            Choose another child to be “The Light of the World,” and have him or her stand on one side of the room, holding a flashlight. Tell him or her to be careful not to shine the light directly into anyone’s face.

            Have the rest of the children spread around the room.

 

Play the Game

            Have kids move around the room using only baby steps.

            When children are tagged by Darkness, they must freeze and crouch down on the floor, waiting for The Light of the World to shine the flashlight on them. When the light shines on them, they’re free to stand and can continue playing.

            The Light of the World can’t be tagged by Darkness.

            The game starts when the lights go off and ends when the lights come back on.

            Stop the game after a few minutes of play.

            Repeat the game with different children being Darkness and The Light of the World.

 

Talk About It

            Have kids sit in a circle.

            Ask: • What would the game have been like without The Light of the World?

            • What would our world be like without Jesus—the true light of the world?

            Say: Jesus is the light of the world. Without him, we would live in darkness. But Jesus is more powerful than the darkness. His light can never be stopped.

            Have kids each think about a friend or family member who would be encouraged by Jesus’ power over darkness. Let kids pray silently for those people, asking God to shine Jesus’ light into their lives.

Low-Energy Game [10 min]

Share Jesus’ Light

Supplies

  • “Share Jesus’ Light Cards” handout (download here)
  • paper bag

Easy Prep

  • Cut apart the “Share Jesus’ Light Cards” from the handout.
  • Put the cards in a paper bag, and mix them up.

Mime Sharing the Light

            Say: Jesus is the light of the world. He came to show people how much God loves them. That’s great news that everyone should know! Let’s play a game to think about ways we can spread Jesus’ light—and share God’s love—with our friends and family members.

            Let each child take one of the “Share Jesus’ Light Cards” from the bag without looking.

            Tell children not to show their cards to anyone else.

            Say: Each of your cards has a different way you can share Jesus’ light. When it’s your turn, act out what’s on your card. The rest of us will try to guess what it is.

            Choose a child to start the game, and have each child act out what’s on his or her card while others guess what that child is acting out.

            If kids can’t guess after about 30 seconds, have the child reveal the answer, and let the next child have his or her turn.

            If you have more than 10 people in your group, form two or more groups to play simultaneously.

            Continue until everyone has had an opportunity to act out what’s on a card.

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • What makes it hard to do these things in real life?

            • How would your world—your school, home, sports teams—be different if you did share God’s love?

            Say: Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is the light of [name of your community]. We get the awesome job of sharing Jesus, and showing God’s love, to the people around us!

Craft [20 min]

Light of the World Lanterns

Supplies

  • 1 empty water bottle per child
  • 1 glow stick per child*
  • heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • pencils
  • Glue Dots
  • chenille wire

Creative Extras

  • stickers
  • permanent markers

Easy Prep

  • Cut a piece of aluminum foil for each child so that it fits around the full height of the water bottle.

Decorate

            Give each child a water bottle, a sheet of foil, and a pencil.

            Have kids decorate their foil by poking holes in it with a pencil to make the letters in their names or initials or other creative decorations. Kids can also engrave shapes into the foil with a pencil, draw on it with permanent marker, or decorate the foil with stickers.

 

Assemble the Lantern

            Have kids use Glue Dots to secure their foil tightly around their water bottles.

            Kids can wrap chenille wire around the neck of the bottle and then twist it at the top to make a handle.

            Direct kids to place their lighted glow sticks in their water bottles.

 

Talk About It

            Darken the room.

            Read aloud Luke 2:8-11.

            Ask: • What do you think it was like for the shepherds to see all that radiant light in a dark, quiet pasture?

            • How is that like the way Jesus brought light to the world?

            Say: Jesus came to bring God’s awesomeness to people on earth so we could know about God’s love and power. That’s why we say that Jesus is the light of the world. He came to shine God’s love, power, and glory to people.

            Encourage kids to take home their Light of the World Lanterns as a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world.

            Say: The light in your lantern will eventually stop glowing, but Jesus is always the light of the world! When your lantern stops glowing, you can put it on a windowsill or near a lamp and still watch the light shine through.

 

Life Application Wrap-Up [5 min]

Light Prayers

Supplies

  • glow cross*
  • glow sticks*
  • markers
  • sticky notes

Listen to God

            Darken the room, and set the glow cross in the middle of the room.

            Say: Jesus is the light of the world. That means he came to show God’s love to everyone. Now that you’ve heard about Jesus’ light, you can shine it to people around you. Take a moment to silently ask God about what he might want you to do to show his love to people around you. Listen to hear what God might say to you.

            Allow about one minute for kids to sit in the dark, quiet room and silently listen to God.

 

Light Prayers

            Explain that sometimes we hear God’s voice, and sometimes we get a feeling in our hearts. Sometimes God brings a picture or name or word to our minds. Have children each write or draw on a sticky note what they just heard from God.

            After they’re done, have children each stick their notes around the cross so that the light of the cross shines on their notes. Ask kids to return to their seats, and then have them silently pray for the courage to show God’s love and share about Jesus, the light of the world.

            Say: Thank you for being here today. This week you can be like the shepherds who shared about Jesus. Hold your glow stick up high. Pause. You can share God’s love and light with the people around you.

            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.