SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME – Third Sunday in Advent (December 11, 2022)

Scripture Reading (Matthew 11:2-11)

Today is the third Sunday in Advent.  Advent is a special time in the church year.  It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus.  We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus born as a baby in Bethlehem.  We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus among us here and now.  We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus in glory at the end of time.  On this third Sunday in Advent, we are going to be focusing on joy.  Advent is a time of waiting, but it isn’t a boring, sitting around kind of waiting.  We are waiting in an active way.  We are looking and preparing for Jesus to come and an important way we do that is by helping to bring joy to the lives of others.


Watch this video together:


In our Scripture reading for today, from St. Matthew’s gospel, we heard about Jesus’ cousin, John who is called John the Baptist.  John had a long beard and lots of hair.  He wore clothes that were made of camels hair and a leather belt around his waist.  John ate food that seemed really strange to people (and it seems strange to us as well!), he ate locusts (a kind of grasshopper) dipped in wild honey.  Yes, that’s right, John ate bugs!

John had an important job, a job given to him by God.  God gave John the job of telling people that Jesus was coming and the job of helping them get ready to believe all that Jesus would teach them.  What John taught the people was to repent, that means to be sorry for the things you do wrong and to turn around…to turn your life around and do what is good and honest.

John told the people that Jesus as the Messiah, the person who would save the people from their sins.  Some people listened to John and some people didn’t.

The people who listened to John came to be baptized by him in the River Jordan (that’s why we call him John the Baptist).  These people said, “I am sorry for my sins.  I want God to forgive me.”  John did a good job.  The people were ready to hear the message Jesus would bring!

During Advent, we listen to John’s message and we ask God to forgive us for our sins.  We also forgive others for the things they’ve done wrong to us.  We forgive others the way God forgives us.



  • John was preparing the way for Jesus.  John wasn’t in charge, Jesus was.  Who is in charge today?  Why?
  • What would you do if you were in charge?
  • What things about Jesus can you tell someone?



Joy to the World.  Go Fish Guys. (uses traditional/non-gender inclusive lyrics)


I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.  Listener Kids.



If your family uses an Advent wreath, light the first and second candles as well as the third (3 blue candles or 2 purple and a pink) today and use this litany as you do so:


One:  When the world seems scary or uncertain,

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


One:  When things aren’t as they should be,

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


One:  When we feel sad,

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


One:  When something makes us happy,

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


One:  You, Lord, are our source of joy.

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


One:  Today, we light the candle of joy.

Others:  Our joy comes from the Lord.


Pray:  Thank you, God, that you are with us.  Thank you for your faithfulness.  May the candle of joy be a reminder today and throughout Advent that our joy is in you.  Amen.


If you don’t have an Advent wreath, download this page and color the first two candles (those labeled hope and peace) either blue or purple.  If you used blue, color the candle labeled joy blue.  If you used purple, color the candle labeled joy pink:

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John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey.  Make a honey dip and while you could dip locusts in it, we’d suggest that you instead dip various kinds of fresh fruit or pretzel sticks in it, eat them, and enjoy.  Here’s the recipe for the honey dip.  Mix together thoroughly in a bowl and enjoy:  16 oz. plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1/2 grated orange peel, 1/4 cup honey.  Enjoy!



God, as we wait during Advent, open our eyes to see your coming among us.  Help us to experience the joy Jesus brings to our lives.  Help us bring joy to the lives of others.  Amen.


Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home.  Contact him at [email protected].

Portions of this lesson adapted from Let Earth Receive Her King by The Foundry Publishing.  Used with permission.