SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME – Third Sunday in Advent (December 13, 2020)

Bible Passage (for parents)
Joy (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

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:

 

Read:

In our Scripture reading for today, from Isaiah, God gave the Israelites instructions for living in the world.  God reminded them that everything they had was from God and instructed them to share what they had.  God instructed them to practice Sabbath, to take time for worship and rest.  God asked them to allow for gleaning, a way to help feed the hungry.  God also wanted the Israelites to celebrate Jubilee.  God knew that when the people worked together with God that they would experience joy.  God sent Jesus, born as a baby in Bethlehem.  When Jesus was born, an angel said to the shepherds, “I bring you Good News of great joy.”  The coming of Jesus is the coming of joy.  God can work through each of us to bring joy to others.

Discuss

  • If you were planning the biggest party ever, what would you include?  What would you do?
  • What brings you joy?
  • How can you bring joy to someone this week?

 

Song

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhJuVHpB8us

or

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imK7pAMf61E

 

Activity

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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Activity

Today we are going to make “Joy Spinners.”  Cut a circle out of a piece of cardstock or cardboard (I used a file folder). Write the word “joy” on both sides and decorate it using bold colors.  When finished decorating, poke two holes close together in the center of the circle and thread about 32 inches of yard through one hole and then back through the second hole.  Tie the loose ends together.  Pull the loop so there’s an equal length of yarn on each side.

Hold the ends of the loops and move your arms in a circular fashion to twist the strands of yarn.  When the strands are tightly twisted, quickly pull the ends against each other; the circle will spin, and the designs will have a different appearance.

Prayer

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.  There will be a new one for each Sunday while we are unable to gather together physically in our congregational buildings.  Contact him at [email protected].

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